Bible Studies for Life
December 2 2018
Isaiah 7:10-14; 9:6-7; 11:1-5 (HCSB)
God often uses trials troubles and tribulation to expose our true faith. Faith means to have trust and/or confidence.
The lesson of God’s dealings with Ahaz is “Stop trusting in your own strength and your political alliances and place your faith in God.”
Ahaz’ enemies sought to take control of Judah and replace him with a puppet king. Syria and Ephraim (the Northern Kingdom) applied political pressure to get King Ahaz to join them in an alliance against Assyria. Ahaz had secretly made a treaty with Assyria. Ahaz was playing power politics and not trusting in God. His alliance with Assyria would be the very thing that would destroy him and Judah almost entirely.
God told Ahaz to ask for a sign but Ahaz would not because he didn’t want to test the Lord. This was false humility. He was trusting in his political alliances and not trusting in God.
The Lord provided a sign anyway “The virgin will conceive have a son and name him Immanuel. By the time he learns to reject what is bad and choose what is good he will be eating butter and honey. For before the boy knows to reject what is bad and choose what is good the land of the two kings you dread will be abandoned” (Isa. 7:14-16).
There was a child born in Ahaz’ day who was named Immanuel and grew up as any normal child. His development was like a timepiece that would remove the military threat from Judah. The sign also told Ahaz that God was present and protecting him and Judah. Ahaz did not stand firm in faith so he did not stand at all (Isa. 7:9). He wanted Assyria to save him but God used Assyria to judge him and the faithlessness of the people.
We must stand in faith or we will not stand at all. Paul said “The righteous live by faith” (Rom. 1:17). That faith must be placed in Jesus Christ. He is our Immanuel – God with us – and our Savior.