God Is With Us! – 1


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Scripture Text – Isaiah 7-12

“Here am I and the children whom the LORD has given me! We are for signs and wonders in Israel From the LORD of hosts, Who dwells in Mount Zion.” – Isaiah 8:18.

This statement by the Prophet Isaiah is a key to understanding the meaning of the events and prophecies we are going to cover in this lesson. In his previous messages, Isaiah focused on the spiritual needs of his people, but in this portion of his message he deals with the political situation and the failure of the leaders to trust the Lord. Four symbolic names are involved in Isaiah’s messages, each of them with a very special meaning: Immanuel, Maher-shalal-hash-baz, Shear-jashub, and Isaiah.

Immanuel: A Message of Hope

Please read Isaiah 7:1-25 for the background to this section.

A promise to King Ahaz (Isaiah 7:1-9). The nation of Judah was suffering from perilous times. Assyria was growing stronger and threatening the smaller nations whose security depended on a very delicate political balance. Syria and Ephraim tried to pressure Judah into an alliance against Assyria, but Ahaz refused to join them. Why? Because he had secretly made a treaty with Assyria! (2 Kings 16:5–9). The king was playing “power politics” instead of trusting in the power of God. Syria and Ephraim planned to overthrow Ahaz and put “the son of Tabeel” on the throne, and Ahaz was a frightened man.

The Lord commanded Isaiah to take his son Shear-jashub (which means, “A remnant shall return”) and meet Ahaz as the king was inspecting the city’s water system. Ahaz’s heart had been wavering, and the hearts of his people had been shaking for fear; but Isaiah came with a message of assurance: “Take heed, and be quiet; do not fear or be fainthearted” (verse 4). How would Ahaz find this inner peace? By believing God’s promise that Judah’s enemies would be defeated. “If you will not believe, surely you shall not be established” (verse 9). Faith in God’s promises is the only way to find peace in the midst of trouble. “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” – Isaiah 26:3.

In God’s eyes, the two threatening kings were nothing but “two smoldering stubs of firewood” (verse 4, NIV), who would be off the scene very soon; and as it was, they both died two years later. Furthermore, within sixty-five years, Ephraim (Israel, the Northern Kingdom) would be gone forever. Isaiah spoke this prophecy in the year 734 B.C. Assyria defeated Syria in 732 B.C. and invaded Israel in 722 B.C. They deported many of the Jews and assimilated the rest by introducing Gentiles into the land; and by 669 B.C. (sixty-five years later), the nation no longer existed.

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A sign to the house of David (Isaiah 7:10-16). If Ahaz had believed God’s promise, he would have broken his alliance and called the nation to prayer and praise; but the king continued in his unbelief. Realizing the weakness of the king’s faith, Isaiah offered to give a sign to encourage him; however, Ahaz put on a “pious front” and refused Isaiah’s offer. Knowing that he was secretly allied with Assyria, how could Ahaz honestly ask the Lord for a special sign? So, instead of speaking only to the king, Isaiah addressed the whole “house of David” and gave the prophecy concerning “Immanuel.”

Of course, the ultimate fulfillment of this prophecy is in our Lord Jesus Christ, who is “God with us” (Matthew 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, therefore, Jesus had to be born of a virgin. He was not just born in this world; He came down from heaven into this 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 (John 4:34; 5:23–24, 30; 9:4).

However, this “sign” had an immediate significance to Ahaz and the people of Judah. A woman who was then a virgin would get married, conceive, and bear a son whose name would be “Immanuel.” This son would be a reminder that God was with His people and would care for them. It is possible that this virgin became Isaiah’s second wife, his first wife having died after his first son was born; and that Isaiah’s second son was named both “Immanuel” and “Maher-shalal-hash-baz” (see Isaiah 8:1–4; and especially verses 8 and 10).

Orthodox Jewish boys become “sons of the Law” at the age of twelve. This special son was a reminder that Syria and Ephraim would be out of the picture within the next twelve years. Isaiah delivered this prophecy in 734 B.C. In 732 B.C., Assyria defeated Syria; and in 722 B.C., Assyria invaded the Northern Kingdom. The prophecy to that extent was thus fulfilled.

A warning to Judah (Isaiah 7:17-25). However, despite all this, instead of trusting the Lord, Ahaz continued to trust Assyria for help; and Isaiah warned him that Assyria would become Judah’s enemy. The Assyrians would invade Judah and so ravage the land that agriculture would cease and the people would have only dairy products to eat. The rich farmland would become wasteland, and the people would be forced to hunt wild beasts in order to get food. It would be a time of great humiliation (see also 2 Samuel 10:4–5) and suffering that could have been avoided had the leaders trusted in the Lord.

To Be Continued

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Adaptation of excerpts from Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Comforted, “Be” Commentary Series.
Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, NKJV © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.
Where noted, Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV © 2011 by Biblica, Inc.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.

About Roland Ledoux

Pastor of Oasis Bible Ministry, an outreach ministry of teaching, encouragement and intercessory prayer from the Holy Bible, the written Word of God and author of the ministry website, For The Love of God. He lives in Delta, Colorado with his beautiful wife of 50+ years and a beautiful yellow lab whom they affectionately call Bella.
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