Have you ever heard of the term “foxhole faith”? This refers to someone whose life is falling apart around them and in desparation, they cry out to God to save them. The term actually comes from the wartime, when men who have had nothing to do with God or religion suddenly find themselves in a foxhole with the bullets flying past their head and they cry out to God to save them. “If you get me out of here alive, I’ll serve you, God,” might be something they’d pray in the face of death.
This kind of foxhole commitment rarely ever lasts beyond the rescue. Once the person has returned to safety, the promises fade and life without God eventually returns until the next time they face danger.
In today’s chapter, Isaiah talks a about a different kind of foxhole faith:
7 Then at last the people will think of their Creator and have respect for the Holy One of Israel. 8 They will no longer ask their idols for help or worship what their own hands have made. They will never again bow down to their Asherah poles or burn incense on the altars they built.
Isaiah is bringing a message from God to the people of Damascas. After the ruin of that city, there will only be a few of them left, “like the stray olives left on the tree after harvest.” These few remaining will realize the vanity of idol worship they’ve been participating in, and they will suddenly turn to their Creator. They will suddenly have respect for God.
Reminds me of that famous passage found in Phillipans 2:
11 and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Clearly this kind of faith is not focused on God. It is focused on self. This kind of foxhole faith is actually idolatry itself because it’s about putting God on a shelf until you need Him. True faith trusts God in the good times and the bad.
How’s your faith today? Are you able to honor Him in the good times, or are you like these people from Damascas who turn to their own pleasure and carnal pursuits until crisis hits. Are you able to trust Him in the bad times? Do you have faith to know that the Creator of all things will be there for you no matter what happens?
The encouragement today is to trust Him. Have faith that God will rescue you from your enemies at just the right time.
This chapter closes with a word of encouragement for the faithful:
12 Look! The armies rush forward like waves thundering toward the shore. 13 But though they roar like breakers on a beach, God will silence them. They will flee like chaff scattered by the wind or like dust whirling before a storm. 14 In the evening Israel waits in terror, but by dawn its enemies are dead. This is the just reward of those who plunder and destroy the people of God.
Thank you, God, for your protection. Increase my faith, Lord.