Loving Lord Jesus, how wonderful You are. You love me singularly, perfectly, fully – right to the very end.
Read Isaiah 7:1–17
The Sign of Immanuel
7 When Ahaz son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, was king of Judah, King Rezin of Aram and Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel marched up to fight against Jerusalem, but they could not overpower it.
2 Now the house of David was told, “Aram has allied itself with[a] Ephraim”; so the hearts of Ahaz and his people were shaken, as the trees of the forest are shaken by the wind.
3 Then the Lord said to Isaiah, “Go out, you and your son Shear-Jashub,[b] to meet Ahaz at the end of the aqueduct of the Upper Pool, on the road to the Launderer’s Field. 4 Say to him, ‘Be careful, keep calm and don’t be afraid. Do not lose heart because of these two smoldering stubs of firewood—because of the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram and of the son of Remaliah. 5 Aram, Ephraim and Remaliah’s son have plotted your ruin, saying, 6 “Let us invade Judah; let us tear it apart and divide it among ourselves, and make the son of Tabeel king over it.” 7 Yet this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“‘It will not take place,
it will not happen,
8 for the head of Aram is Damascus,
and the head of Damascus is only Rezin.
Within sixty-five years
Ephraim will be too shattered to be a people.
9 The head of Ephraim is Samaria,
and the head of Samaria is only Remaliah’s son.
If you do not stand firm in your faith,
you will not stand at all.’”
10 Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, 11 “Ask the Lord your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights.”
12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask; I will not put the Lord to the test.”
13 Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of humans? Will you try the patience of my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you[c] a sign: The virgin[d] will conceive and give birth to a son, and[e] will call him Immanuel.[f] 15 He will be eating curds and honey when he knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, 16 for before the boy knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, the land of the two kings you dread will be laid waste. 17 The Lord will bring on you and on your people and on the house of your father a time unlike any since Ephraim broke away from Judah—he will bring the king of Assyria.”
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat is your favorite miracle story in the Bible? Our God is the God of the unexpected, the God of the impossible.
There is good news and bad news for King Ahaz in this passage. The good news was that the two nations he feared so much would not overthrow Judah. The bad news was that Assyria, with whom he had made an alliance (2 Kings 16:7,8), would do much worse.
Ahaz was making the mistake of looking at things from a human perspective.
The thing he feared was no threat at all, but the thing he was putting his trust in would destroy him (17). The Lord offered to give him a sign to help bolster his faith (10,11) – does Ahaz’s rejection of the offer suggest that he had already resolved to rely on human power and not God’s strength?
The sign was given anyway. The impossible would happen – a virgin would conceive, and God would come to live among us (14). God asks us to believe – to place our trust in – Him and His promises, not in human strategies and strength. Human solutions will always let us down. Faith in God is the only way to stand firm.
What are you currently fearful about? The same God who told Ahaz to stand firm in his faith says the same to you. Do you trust Him to empower you to have victory over those fears and challenges?
Thank You, Lord, that You do not forsake us during times of struggle and difficulty. I celebrate Your forgiveness and peace – precious gifts to me.