Daily email Number 390 – from the Vicar

We continue our readings from the prophet by looking at Isaiah Chapter 7 verses 10-25.
This passage begins with the Lord telling King Ahaz for a sign, which he refuses to do, seemingly for spiritual reasons (vs.10-12).  Much later in the Gospels we read that Jesus was angry with some of the crowd who kept wanting another sign, and in His temptation in the wilderness He reminded the devil that it was wrong to put the Lord God to the test.  So at another time and in another situation you might say Ahaz was doing the right thing.
However, in this particular instance God specifically told him to ask for a sign, but he refused to do so, he was disobedient to the word of the Lord, he was being arrogant that he didn’t need to ask God for help.  And so Isiaiah prophesied that the Lord would indeed give him and his people a sign; the virgin (or young girl) will be with child and will call him Immanuel (meaning God with us).  Now there seems to be an immediate fulfilment to this (vs.15-17), so this child could be one which Isaiah himself was going to father (perhaps the one mentioned at the beginning of the next chapter), as a sign that amidst all the turmoil that was to come, God was still there, was still with them.
And Isaiah goes on to prophesy that before the boy was to reach adulthood, Aram and Israel would be destroyed by a greater force, that of  Assyria (vs.17-25).  If you read the account of Ahaz’s reign in 2 Kings Chapter 16, you would think that calling on Assyria’s help was his plan, and there is a hint of that in today’s passage when it speaks about a hired razor (v.20).  However, the irony is that this was the Lord’s plan to bring judgement (vs.17-18). 
And of course you will hopefully recognise the words of this prophetic sign about a virgin and a child, because Matthew in his gospel also sees this prophecy as ultimately pointing to another woman (Mary) and an even greater child, the Lord Jesus, (Matthew Ch.1 vs.22-23), who was more than a sign but a final fulfilment, for He was “God with us” in the fullest sense.Even in the darkest hour and the most horrendous of judgements, there is always hope with the Lord; He remembers His promises and His people.
More of this tomorrow…

From our extended church address list, please remember in your prayers today,- Beatrix, along with Bennet and Emilia- Tina Tibbett

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