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Tag Archives: Jesus

Isaiah’s Message to Ahaz

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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The Reign of Ahaz

In the seventeenth year of Pekah son of Remaliah, King Ahaz son of Jotham of Judah began to reign. Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign; he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. He did not do what was right in the sight of the Lord his God, as his ancestor David had done, but he walked in the way of the kings of Israel. He even made his son pass through fire, according to the abominable practices of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel. He sacrificed and made offerings on the high places, on the hills, and under every green tree. Then King Rezin of Aram and King Pekah son of Remaliah of Israel came up to wage war on Jerusalem; they besieged Ahaz but could not conquer him. At that time the king of Edom recovered Elath for Edom, and drove the Judeans from Elath; and the Edomites came to Elath, where they live to this day. Ahaz sent messengers to King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria, saying, “I am your servant and your son. Come up, and rescue me from the hand of the king of Aram and from the hand of the king of Israel, who are attacking me.” Ahaz also took the silver and gold found in the house of the Lord and in the treasures of the king’s house, and sent a present to the king of Assyria. The king of Assyria listened to him; the king of Assyria marched up against Damascus, and took it, carrying its people captive to Kir; then he killed Rezin. When King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria, he saw the altar that was at Damascus. King Ahaz sent to the priest Uriah a model of the altar, and its pattern, exact in all its details. The priest Uriah built the altar; in accordance with all that King Ahaz had sent from Damascus, just so did the priest Uriah build it, before King Ahaz arrived from Damascus. When the king came from Damascus, the king viewed the altar. Then the king drew near to the altar, went up on it, and offered his burnt offering and his grain offering, poured his drink offering, and dashed the blood of his offerings of well-being against the altar. The bronze altar that was before the Lord he removed from the front of the house, from the place between his altar and the house of the Lord, and put it on the north side of his altar. King Ahaz commanded the priest Uriah, saying, “Upon the great altar offer the morning burnt offering, and the evening grain offering, and the king’s burnt offering, and his grain offering, with the burnt offering of all the people of the land, their grain offering, and their drink offering; then dash against it all the blood of the burnt offering, and all the blood of the sacrifice; but the bronze altar shall be for me to inquire by.” The priest Uriah did everything that King Ahaz commanded. Then King Ahaz cut off the frames of the stands, and removed the laver from them; he removed the sea from the bronze oxen that were under it, and put it on a pediment of stone. The covered portal for use on the sabbath that had been built inside the palace, and the outer entrance for the king he removed from the house of the Lord. He did this because of the king of Assyria. Now the rest of the acts of Ahaz that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Judah? Ahaz slept with his ancestors, and was buried with his ancestors in the city of David; his son Hezekiah succeeded him. (2 Kings 16:1-20, NRSV)

What will you be remembered for?

I read this account of King Ahaz and have to think, what will people read about me or remember about me?

And Ahaz thought about himself. So he wanted a big write up and wanted people to know all the things he had done.

But I have to say that I am taken by the new song by Casting Crowns called Only Jesus.

You see it isn’t about me being remembered. It is about me letting the world know who God is. Who Jesus is. And how much Jesus loves me and the world. You see it is more important for me that you know Jesus than me. I want you to see Jesus.

 

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Nathan and King David

In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab with his officers and all Israel with him; they ravaged the Ammonites, and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem. It happened, late one afternoon, when David rose from his couch and was walking about on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; the woman was very beautiful. David sent someone to inquire about the woman. It was reported, “This is Bathsheba daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” So David sent messengers to get her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she was purifying herself after her period.) Then she returned to her house. The woman conceived; and she sent and told David, “I am pregnant.” When the wife of Uriah heard that her husband was dead, she made lamentation for him. When the mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife, and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord, and the Lord sent Nathan to David. He came to him, and said to him, “There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor. The rich man had very many flocks and herds; but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. He brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children; it used to eat of his meager fare, and drink from his cup, and lie in his bosom, and it was like a daughter to him. Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was loath to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the wayfarer who had come to him, but he took the poor man’s lamb, and prepared that for the guest who had come to him.” Then David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man. He said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves to die; he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.” Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: I anointed you king over Israel, and I rescued you from the hand of Saul; I gave you your master’s house, and your master’s wives into your bosom, and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would have added as much more. Why have you despised the word of the Lord, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. (2 Samuel 11:1-5, 26-27; 12:1-9, NRSV)

Nathan came to tell David that the Lord was not happy with him taking Uriah’s wife.

I remember this story from Veggie Tales. It is King George and the Ducky. And Nathan comes in at the end to explain to David with a flannel graph of sheep and poor and rich man. You see David was focused on what he wanted. In the Bible story it is Bathsheba, and in the Veggie Tales version even though King George has all of these wonderful duckys he see the ducky that Uriah has and he has to have it.

You see when we put ourselves before others we are not living the way that God and Jesus have taught us to live. It is not about us but the other.

How can we focus on the other to live as Jesus taught us?

 

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David’s Words

For David says concerning him, ‘I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand so that I will not be shaken; therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; moreover my flesh will live in hope. For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One experience corruption. You have made known to me the ways of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’ (Acts 2:25-28, NRSV)

David knew that his offspring would be the King and knew that they would save the world.

David was always pleased to be in God’s presence.

How do you love to be in the presence of God?

How can we have David’s understanding of Jesus?

 

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The Marriage of Ruth and Boaz

Now these are the descendants of Perez: Perez became the father of Hezron, Hezron of Ram, Ram of Amminadab, Amminadab of Nahshon, Nahshon of Salmon, Salmon of Boaz, Boaz of Obed, Obed of Jesse, and Jesse of David. (Ruth 4:18-22, NRSV)

This is not the beginning of the descendants of Jesus or the end, but it is a part that needs to be known. Ruth is a direct descendant of Jesus and is important to our faith.

You are in the lineage of Jesus and Ruth’s story is part of your story.

How do you share the story of your faith with others so that might know how they are connected to Jesus?

 

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The Marriage of Ruth and Boaz

Then all the people who were at the gate, along with the elders, said, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your house like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you produce children in Ephrathah and bestow a name in Bethlehem; and, through the children that the Lord will give you by this young woman, may your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah.” (Ruth 4:11-12, NRSV)

So Boaz acquired the land and Ruth as his wife and a blessing from the elders who witnessed the transaction.

That as they witnessed the deal, they blessed Ruth to be as a woman like Rachel and Leah who built the house of Israel, and like the house of Perez. A rich house filled with children.

And may Ruth be like Leah and Rachel who built the house of Israel…

Ruth is the great-grandmother of David, who is the forefather of Jesus the savior of the world!

This woman truly had a hand in the building of a nation!

How do we help spread the news of God in our lives?

 

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The Marriage of Ruth and Boaz

No sooner had Boaz gone up to the gate and sat down there than the next-of-kin, of whom Boaz had spoken, came passing by. So Boaz said, “Come over, friend; sit down here.” And he went over and sat down. Then Boaz took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, “Sit down here”; so they sat down. He then said to the next-of-kin, “Naomi, who has come back from the country of Moab, is selling the parcel of land that belonged to our kinsman Elimelech. So I thought I would tell you of it, and say: Buy it in the presence of those sitting here, and in the presence of the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, redeem it; but if you will not, tell me, so that I may know; for there is no one prior to you to redeem it, and I come after you.” So he said, “I will redeem it.” Then Boaz said, “The day you acquire the field from the hand of Naomi, you are also acquiring Ruth the Moabite, the widow of the dead man, to maintain the dead man’s name on his inheritance.” At this, the next-of-kin said, “I cannot redeem it for myself without damaging my own inheritance. Take my right of redemption yourself, for I cannot redeem it.” Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning redeeming and exchanging: to confirm a transaction, the one took off a sandal and gave it to the other; this was the manner of attesting in Israel. So when the next-of-kin said to Boaz, “Acquire it for yourself,” he took off his sandal. Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “Today you are witnesses that I have acquired from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and Mahlon. I have also acquired Ruth the Moabite, the wife of Mahlon, to be my wife, to maintain the dead man’s name on his inheritance, in order that the name of the dead may not be cut off from his kindred and from the gate of his native place; today you are witnesses.” Then all the people who were at the gate, along with the elders, said, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your house like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you produce children in Ephrathah and bestow a name in Bethlehem; and, through the children that the Lord will give you by this young woman, may your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah.” So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When they came together, the Lord made her conceive, and she bore a son. Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without next-of-kin; and may his name be renowned in Israel! He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has borne him.”Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her bosom, and became his nurse. The women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed; he became the father of Jesse, the father of David. Now these are the descendants of Perez: Perez became the father of Hezron, Hezron of Ram, Ram of Amminadab, Amminadab of Nahshon, Nahshon of Salmon, Salmon of Boaz, Boaz of Obed, Obed of Jesse, and Jesse of David. (Ruth 4:1-22, NRSV)

So Boaz saw the next of kin and took with him 10 men as witnesses and sat down at the city gate, where men met to talk business and weather. The city gate would be the local McDonalds for coffee… The place where men gathered to discuss the doings of the day.

And Boaz said that Naomi was selling a field and asked if the next of kin wanted to acquire the field, and of course the next of kin did until he heard that a wife came with the field. Becuase now his of spring would not be his, it would be Elimelech’s. So he passed it on to Boaz, and to seal the deal, Boaz removed his shoe and acquired the land and Ruth as his wife.

And when they had consummated the relationship they had a son who is the grandfather of David, and so in the lineage of Jesus.

A foreigner, a stranger is the lineage of Jesus…

How do we care for the other is how we care for Jesus.

 

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