Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz, saying, Ask a sign of the LORD your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, and I will not put the LORD to the test. Then Isaiah said: “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary mortals, that you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel. He shall eat curds and honey by the time he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. For before the child knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land before whose two kings you are in dread will be deserted. (Isaiah 7:10-16, NRSV)
This is a passage which we Christians read as a prophecy of the coming of Christ. The one we await in just a few days. But here are the problems with that.
This prophecy of Isaiah is for King Ahaz whose kingdom is under siege. There are 2 kingdoms coming down upon him and Isaiah says before the child that is born eats curds and honey (about 2 years) the siege will be done. Now if this is a prophecy of the coming Messiah we await, then Isaiah is telling King Ahaz to hold out about 750 years and all will be good. Not a very good prophecy!
But how many times can a prophecy come true before it is no longer prophetic?
The sign of God with us is all around us and especially comes to us in the baby in the manger we await.