Google+ 12/24/13 Be Prepared for History to Repeat Itself!

Isaiah 7:10-14

 

 Later, the Lord sent this message to King Ahaz: 

 “Ask the Lord your God for a sign of confirmation, Ahaz. Make it as difficult as you want—

As high as heaven or as deep as the place of the dead.”

But the king refused.

“No,” he said, “I will not test the Lord like that.”

Then Isaiah said,

“Listen well, you royal family of David!

Isn’t it enough to exhaust human patience?

Must you exhaust the patience of my God as well?

All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign.

Look!

The virgin will conceive a child!

She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).

 

In part eight of our nine-part devotion series entitled, "Taxes, Travel, and Temptations!" we look to the prophet Isaiah for the prophecy that was fulfilled.  The "Immanuel Prophecy," as it is called by Biblical scholars, spans Isaiah 7:1-12:6.  It introduces hope of the future even in the midst of pending judgment.  Ahaz ruled Judah from 736-720 B.C.  He was an ungodly king and refused Isaiah's words of encouragement.  Isaiah is sent to Ahaz to warn him to not form an alliance with Assyria, but rather to trust God to get rid of his enemies.  Because Ahaz does not believe, Isaiah tells him to ask God for a sign.  Ahaz turns that around, and refuses as he says he does not want to tempt the Lord.  God told Isaiah to have Ahaz ask!  Since Ahaz refuses to ask, Isaiah explains that the Lord will give Ahaz a sign.  What is it?  We now know it as the birth of Jesus.  In the coming years, all of the prophecy comes true as Syria falls to Assyria and Pekah no longer ruled Israel.  Within ten years, Israel falls to Assyria.  All of this could have been avoided if Ahaz had only listened.  There is much for us to learn from this passage on Christmas Eve.  Listen to the prophecy and accept the sign God has given us.  We cannot reject it and go our own way.  God asks tough questions of us, as He did through Isaiah.  How much of Christmas have we already missed while we pursued worldly things?  Have we spent more time shopping for gifts from Santa Claus than we have worshipping in the temple daily?  Have we turned our backs on the very truth that will set us free?  If we discover unpleasant answers to these tough questions, we need to repent and go the other direction.  Tonight, on Christmas Eve, spend some quality time at the manger.  Look for God's sign and embrace it.  As we prepare for another year of life, let's not make the same mistakes King Ahaz made.  If we do make these same mistakes, "Be Prepared for History to Repeat Itself!"