“Again Yahweh spoke
To King Ahaz.
‘Ask a sign of Yahweh!
Ask a sign of your God!
Let it be as deep
Let it be as high
But King Ahaz said.
‘I will not ask.
I will not put Yahweh
To the test.’”
Now it seems like Yahweh is speaking directly to King Ahaz rather than through Isaiah. Yahweh wanted King Ahaz to ask for a sign from God. It could be as deep as Sheol, the vague underworld, or as high as the heavens. However, King Ahaz responded that he would not put Yahweh to a test. He was not going to ask for anything.
“In spite of everything,
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
He is putting us to the test as he did our ancestors.
Remember what he did with Abraham,
How he tested Isaac,
What happened to Jacob in Syrian Mesopotamia,
While he was tending the sheep of Laban,
His mother’s brother.
He has not tried us with fire,
As he did them,
To search their hearts.
Nor has he taken vengeance upon us.
But the Lord scourges those who are close to him,
In order to admonish them.”
Despite everything, Judith wants them to give thanks to the Lord, our God. This is a test like he gave to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God is not trying us with fire nor is he vengeful. He scourges those that are close to him to help them learn by admonishment. This was a stirring speech by Judith as she wanted to give courage to the elders. She wanted to remind them that God had sustained their ancestors in times of trial.