Even though King Ahaz was not putting his trust in God, God still sent Isaiah to him to let him know that he did not need to fear but to only put his trust in God. God had already determined that Jesus would come through the line of Judah and so although it looked as if Judah could get permanently wiped out God is going to keep His promises and Judah will survive.
God is getting ready to do something for King Ahaz that many people would love to happen to them because God is going to tell Ahaz he can ask for any sign from God that he wants.
If you could ask God for a sign to increase your faith in Him what would it be?
God does give us all a sign that proves not only that He is God but that Jesus is the long awaited Messiah, Immanuel (God with us) The sign that God told King Ahaz about was a promise for the people to look for and it is a core theological belief in the Christian faith. The passage we are going to look at today has a lot of controversy surrounding it and there is much debate about it because if Isaiah 7:14 is true then Jesus is the Messiah that was predicted in this verse. My goal is not to go into all the controversies but to simply show what this sign means to our faith as followers of Christ.
Isaiah 7:10- 11 Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz: 11 “Ask a sign of the Lord your[f] God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.
1) A sign to build your faith
“Ask a sign of the Lord your God “ King Ahaz did not have any limitations on what he could ask for and could ask for any miraculous sign he wanted from a sign in the sky to even raising someone from the dead. (Sheol) Signs are given as a confirmation of the promises of God and they are things we look for in order for us to understand what is getting ready to take place. The prophecies that God has given to us that were met by Jesus Christ were signs to watch for and the signs about the end times are signs to help us with our faith as we see the day approaching. Signs point to something and the sign that God is going to give King Ahaz is a sign that points directly to Jesus Christ.
Isaiah 7:12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test.”
King Ahaz, who has not been putting his trust in God but in himself, now speaks as if he is above doing what God has asked him to do. King Ahaz knows what the scriptures says and because he does not really want a sign to trust God in he looks to the Bible to back him up.
Deuteronomy 6:16 “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah.
King Ahaz knew the scripture but it did not affect his daily life until he wanted to sound spiritual in front of Isaiah. (He sacrificed his son to another god)
Matthew 16:4 4 An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” So he left them and departed.
Jesus said this after feeding 4000 people and healing many people (Sign of Jonah Matt 12:39) For some people no matter how much God has done it will never be enough to convince them to put their faith and trust in Him. God has given us enough to see that He is the true God and that Jesus is the only way to Heaven and so we should not ask for a sign.
Why was King Ahaz wrong?
King Ahaz did not ask for a sign he was offered one by God. King Ahaz was not testing God by having him give a sign God was freely offering to help his faith. King Ahaz was now disobeying God by refusing to do what God asked him to do. King Ahaz probably did not want a sign because he already had a plan in place to accomplish his mission of keeping Syria and Israel from attacking him by pleading with Assyria to protect Judah. King Ahaz probably did not want to be convinced of the power of God because then he would have to acknowledge that he was not in control.
2 Timothy 3:2-5 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
King Ahaz had a form of godliness but denied Gods power and relied on his own resources. Do we really believe in God or do we just give lip service while we go and try and control our lives? Every sign God has given us from the prophecies that have been fulfilled to the ones that will take place are to build our faith so we place our trust in Him and not in our own abilities or strengths. We do not have to ask for new signs we just need to see the signs God has already given and how they have been met perfectly in Jesus Christ. (300 plus prophecies in O.T. Fulfilled by Jesus)
Isaiah 7:13 And he[g] said, “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also?
King Ahaz must have been one of those people who just wore people out with his personality. He not only wearied people out but now Isaiah says he is wearing God out. When Employers get weary with an Employee they eventually remove their responsibility from them and come up with another solution. God is weary with King Ahaz and is going to go in another direction. King Ahaz has failed to stand firm in his faith (7:9) and has failed because he placed his faith in another army rather than trusting in God.
Isaiah even says “you weary My God” not “you weary Our God” because King Ahaz has no proof in his life of being a follower of God.
Isaiah 7:14-15 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.[h] 15 He shall eat curds and honey when he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good.
2) The Ultimate Sign
“Behold the Virgin will conceive and bear a son and shall call Him Immanuel “ Behold calls attention to the matter and it has to be something worth seeing, something out of the ordinary and something that demands our attention. A normal birth does not warrant the attention of Behold. If you study this verse there are those who do not want to make this a prophecy and they try and prove that Jesus was not the one who fit this profile and they say the verse is talking about a child of Ahaz or Isaiah. The verse does not say “Your Wife, or your young woman” which is how it would have been written if Isaiah would have been talking about that being the sign. The verse was written as something that would take place in the future and we must remember this is dealing with God’s promise made that the messiah would come through the line of Judah (1 Chronicles 17:11-14) which was being threatened to be wiped out by invading armies.
She will call him Immanuel is unusual because it was the responsibility of the father to name the child but it was given to the woman to do. Matthew uses this verse in his gospel which was written to show the Jews that Jesus truly was the Messiah.
Matthew 1:18-25 Now the birth of Jesus Christ[e] took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed[f] to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel”(which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus. (See Also Luke 1:30-35) This was a sign not just to King Ahaz but to all the generations that trusted in God.
Immanuel which means God with Us. Jesus was more than a prophet or a good teacher He was God in the flesh. This is a crucial teaching of the church one in which all other religions deny but the Virgin Birth is crucial to not only our beliefs but to our salvation.
“Of course, the ultimate fulfillment of this prophecy is in our Lord Jesus Christ, who is “God with us” (Matt. 1:18-25; Luke 1:31-35)The virgin birth of Christ is a key doctrine; for if Jesus Christ is not God come in sinless human flesh, then we have no Savior. Jesus had to be born of a virgin, apart from human generation, because He existed before His mother. He was not just born in this world; He came down from Heaven into the world (John 3:13; 6:33,38,41-42, 50-51,58) Jesus was sent by the Father and therefore came into the world having a human mother but not a human father. (Be Comforted, Warren W. Wiersbe, Pg. 43)
Jesus was born sinless something we cannot do (Psalm 51:5), lived a sinless life (2 Cor. 5:21) which made Him a perfect sacrifice (1Peter 1:19, Hebrews 9:14) to atone for our sins.
Jesus is called Immanuel, God with us, because God does not save from a distance. One of the promises we have is that God is always with us not matter what we are going through. (Matthew 28:20)
The virgin birth is important because without it we deny the deity of Jesus Christ something that all other religions do and it is also important to show that Jesus was not born into sin like the rest of humanity. The sign God gave us all is the supernatural birth of Jesus, God in the flesh, Immanuel, God with us, a sign you have to accept or ignore. In verse 15 Isaiah even tells him that Jesus will be born during a time that Judah would be under political oppression which is what was happening when Jesus was on the earth. The Virgin birth and the sign of political oppression were two signs the people should have looked at when Jesus was on the earth. Instead they just accused Jesus of being born out of wedlock. (John 8:41)
3) Consequences of Ignoring the Sign
Isaiah 7:16 -25 16 For before the boy knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land whose two kings you dread will be deserted. 17 The Lord will bring upon you and upon your people and upon your father’s house such days as have not come since the day that Ephraim departed from Judah—the king of Assyria!”18 In that day the Lord will whistle for the fly that is at the end of the streams of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria. 19 And they will all come and settle in the steep ravines, and in the clefts of the rocks, and on all the thornbushes, and on all the pastures.[i]20 In that day the Lord will shave with a razor that is hired beyond the River[j]—with the king of Assyria—the head and the hair of the feet, and it will sweep away the beard also.21 In that day a man will keep alive a young cow and two sheep, 22 and because of the abundance of milk that they give, he will eat curds, for everyone who is left in the land will eat curds and honey.23 In that day every place where there used to be a thousand vines, worth a thousand shekels[k] of silver, will become briers and thorns. 24 With bow and arrows a man will come there, for all the land will be briers and thorns. 25 And as for all the hills that used to be hoed with a hoe, you will not come there for fear of briers and thorns, but they will become a place where cattle are let loose and where sheep tread.
If a road sign says sharp curve ahead and you ignore it there are consequences that could be deadly. When we ignore the signs God has given there are consequences as well. Many think that the prophecy switches from a long term prophecy of the coming of Jesus to another prophecy (Terminology goes from saying “Son” to “Boy”) and Isaiah is known for giving short term prophecies so that people had confidence in the long term prophecies.
Isaiah now switches back to the lack of faith of Ahaz because of his treaty with Assyria they would later demand heavy prices and bring a burden to the land of Judah and it would be a time of suffering that could have been avoided if Ahaz would have trusted in God. We suffer sometimes simply because we do not place our faith and trust in God but in our own resources and ingenuity. IF King Ahaz really believed in God then he would have cancelled his treaty with Syria and placed his faith and hope in Gods promises. Because King Ahaz put his trust in another the consequences are listed in vs (18-25) The Land will be devastated, the people humiliated and only a few will remain.
God has given us a sign by sending Jesus (God in the flesh) to earth and everyone has to do something about Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 1:1-2 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.
There are consequences for not paying attention to the sign and that you will be eternally separated from God.
John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
The ultimate sign is Jesus Christ and there is enough proof that He was God in the flesh on earth.
Everyone ask for a sign and God has given one but just like King Ahaz they are ignoring it. God has given us enough signs to build our faith and trust in Him but we still have to stop trusting our own works and trust in the work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Have you put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ for your salvation from your sins? Have you forgotten that Immanuel means God with us a promise Jesus reiterated after He died and rose from the dead? You do not have to look for a sign because God has given us plenty already to look at and look forward too.