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Isaiah’s Message to Ahaz

07 Nov

In the days of Ahaz son of Jotham son of Uzziah, king of Judah, King Rezin of Aram and King Pekah son of Remaliah of Israel went up to attack Jerusalem, but could not mount an attack against it. When the house of David heard that Aram had allied itself with Ephraim, the heart of Ahaz and the heart of his people shook as the trees of the forest shake before the wind. Then the Lord said to Isaiah, Go out to meet Ahaz, you and your son Shear-jashub, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool on the highway to the Fuller’s Field, and say to him, Take heed, be quiet, do not fear, and do not let your heart be faint because of these two smoldering stumps of firebrands, because of the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram and the son of Remaliah. Because Aram—with Ephraim and the son of Remaliah—has plotted evil against you, saying, Let us go up against Judah and cut off Jerusalem and conquer it for ourselves and make the son of Tabeel king in it; therefore thus says the Lord God: It shall not stand, and it shall not come to pass. For the head of Aram is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin. (Within sixty-five years Ephraim will be shattered, no longer a people.) The head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is the son of Remaliah. If you do not stand firm in faith, you shall not stand at all. 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. The Lord will bring on you and on your people and on your ancestral house such days as have not come since the day that Ephraim departed from Judah—the king of Assyria.” (Isaiah 7:1-17, NRSV)

This is the great passage about Jesus! The one my Old Testament Professor said that if it is only about Jesus, Isaiah is telling Ahaz to hold out about 750 years until the siege will be done. Now that isn’t to say that it isn’t about Jesus, but the question my professor asked us was how many times does a prophecy come true before it ceases to be prophecy?

Maybe this passage is more than this prophecy though. You see Ahaz was asked to ask for a sign from God that what Isaiah told him was true and Ahaz wouldn’t. Ahaz was told that he had to stand firm in his faith, and he said he wouldn’t test the Lord. But God wanted to give him a sign, so Isaiah did. So maybe this is about Jesus saying to Ahaz you need to be strong and firm in your faith for 750 years. But how many of us could do that. Plus the baby eating curd and honey is about 2 years. So which would you rather wait, about 3 years (the woman is with child, so the baby isn’t born yet) or 750ish years?

Standing firm in our faith for 3 years would be hard enough. But that is truly the test. We need to trust God and do what He asks of us and hold fast to His promises because God is always true to His word.

 

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