Click here for the reading: Isaiah 7:10-14.
Ahaz feared that the outcome of the alliance between Syria and the northern kingdom of Israel spelled disaster for Judah. The Lord commanded Isaiah to bring a message of peace to Ahaz, even though the king did not follow the Lord as his father and grandfather had done. Syria and wicked Israel alike would fall quickly, never to rise again. Why does God give blessings even to those who have rejected Him? In what ways does the Lord bless the unbelieving world? What should this teach us as Christians? Compare 2 Kings 3 and Elisha’s response to the king of Israel.
Even though the Lord specifically forbids putting Him to the test, Ahaz hears a remarkable offer. Ask a sign of God so that you may know that these two nations will fall. Put Him to the test! Yet Ahaz refuses, not out of piety, but out of cold unbelief. He will not give the Lord the opportunity to prove Himself. Why does the Lord normally forbid tempting Him? In what ways do we tempt God? What signs does the Lord give us, and how would we act like Ahaz with them? What signs does God give in Peter’s Pentecost sermon in Acts 2?
Ahaz rejects the Lord’s offer, but that will not stop God. The Lord Himself will give a sign, even though Ahaz did not ask for one. A virgin will conceive and bear a Son and shall call His name Immanuel. Why is it a comfort that God is faithful even when men are unfaithful? How do the Scriptures teach this truth, and what are other specific examples? Consider Paul’s statements regarding the faithfulness of God in Romans 3.
Immanuel is not a sign of mercy for Ahaz. The king rejected the Lord, and so the Lord rejected him and his house also. The boy shall eat curds and honey, the food of poverty. David’s house would fall, and the promised Son of David would not be rich like the kings of old, but poor and lowly. Why does the Lord set a limit to His patience? In what ways do we weary Him? Why does God seem to change His promise to David here? What should this teach us about watchfulness and repentance? What does the Lord mean in his answer to Moses in Exodus 33:19?
Jesus is Immanuel, God with us, the Lord’s promised sign. However, Jesus was born nearly seven hundred years later, even though the Lord used this sign to show that Syria and the northern kingdom would fall within sixty-five years. How does Jesus serve as a sign to Ahaz? How do the signs of God done in the distant past or what He promises to do in the future speak to us today? How do these signs serve as comfort or as warning? How does Paul answer this question in 1 Corinthians 10?