#DailyDevotion The LORD Has Given You A Sign To Strengthen You
Isaiah 7:10–14 [The virgin will be with child.]
10The LORD spoke again to Ahaz: 11“Ask the LORD your God to give you a sign; it may be something in the depths or in the heights.” 12“I will not ask it,” Ahaz answered. “I will not test the LORD.” 13“Listen now, house of David,” he said. “Is it too little for you to weary men that you must also weary my God? 14Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Look, the virgin will conceive and have a son, and His name will be Immanuel [God-Is-With-Us]!
It was troubling times for Israel and Judah. Assyria was on the march like Nazis over Europe, except they were possibly worse. They were on the doorsteps of Judah. On top of that the kings of Israel and Syria were threatening Ahaz that if they did not join them in their opposition to Assyria they would wage war on him. So does he give into Israel and Judah or face Assyria by himself. Have you been in similar situations in your life? It seems you are facing a number of choices, none of them any good as far as you are concerned. What do you do?
Well the LORD sent Isaiah to speak to Ahaz. On the one hand you might be thinking that as a king of Judah he would be a good guy but he was not. He did evil in the sight of the LORD and did not follow the Torah of Moses. So why is the LORD sending Isaiah to comfort and strengthen him? He does it for the sake of the promise he made to Eve, to Abraham, and to David. The Messiah, the savior of the world and mankind was to come through this line. The LORD is doing what he must to preserve the line until the appointed time.
Ahaz tries to feign piety by not asking for a sign showing he won’t test the LORD. But the LORD’s prophet told Ahaz to choose. You can almost hear the LORD sigh from heaven above when he says, “Listen now, house of David. Is it too little for you to weary men that you must also weary my God?” How often do we weary the LORD when we will not listen to or trust his promises?
Despite this, the LORD gives him a sign. “Look, the virgin will conceive and have a son, and His name will be Immanuel [God-Is-With-Us]!” Indeed it is a sign to us as well that the Living God of Israel keeps his promises and delivers us. A virgin will have a son! How is that possible? Well I guess some smart Alec out there will artificial insemination. Well they didn’t quite have that back in the 8th century B.C.. Just as the LORD formed a woman from the rib of a man, the LORD will form a man from a woman’s seed. This miracle made child will the LORD who gave the sign.
The child will be called Immanuel which means God is with us. Indeed, even as the LORD was with the Israelites in the Ark of the Covenant and the Temple, now the LORD would be present with Israel, with Judah, with us as this child and then man Jesus. Jesus is truly the Living God of Israel tabernacling with us. Truly God and truly man, the LORD is with us. As the LORD with us he is also the LORD for us. We see this as he goes to the cross to ransom us from death, darkness and the power of the devil with his own blood. Since his with us, for us, we can be comforted facing the world and not fear.
Heavenly Father, even as you strengthened Ahaz by the promise of Immanuel, give us faith to take comfort in Jesus our Immanuel as we pilgrimage to the New Jerusalem. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.