“and say unto him—
Take heed and keep thyself calm—do not fear、 neither let ||thy heart|| be faint, because of these two fag-ends of smoking firebrands,—in spite of the glow of the anger of Rezin and Syria、 and the son of Remaliah. ”

This is God’s instruction to King Ahaz in light of the existential threat from Rezin, king of Syria, and Pekah, king of Israel. The pair when confronting Judah are enough to make King Ahaz’s heart shake “as the trees of a forest shake before a wind.” He is, from a human perspective, full of fear.

God does not fear these two beautifully described “fag-ends of smoking firebrands” [which is roughly the equivalent of  saying “the ashes at the end of a cigarette.”] Other ways of translating this expression are:

  • smoldering stumps of firebrands – ESV
  • two smouldering sticks – GNB
  • two burned-out embers – NLT
  • these two burnt-out cases – The Message

The point being that God is neither impressed, nor threatened by the collective might of any and every army gathered against either him, or his own people. This is good and needed medicine for King Ahaz (even though he fumbles the ball as it were).

It is even better news for us. God is watching out for his people and if he is watching out for us, then let all worry and anxiety cease because what is there to be concerned about? David captures the attitude we should have with the eyes of faith:

“But I call to God, and the Lord will save me. ”

And so He will!