Advent Theme: Peace – Week 3, Day 1

Today’s scripture passage is so ‘me’ sometimes. Even though I know God is standing by to give me a solution to a problem or supply an answer to a perplexing question, I forget to consult Him. Besides, I can handle this one. Right? When I do that, I’m robbing myself of peace. Here’s what’s going on at the time Isaiah 7 was written. Maybe we can all identify with it. (Well, except for the part about Ahaz being one of the worst kings ever.)  So here’s the story.  God told Ahaz to ask Him to help Israel defeat Assyria, but he stubbornly refused. Ahaz could handle the battle on his own. He had a plan that made sense to him, so why bother God with the details? Besides, he was the king and already knew everything so why communicate with God? He didn’t want to hear that devastating judgment was going to come on his people. God was trying to tell Ahaz that a virgin would conceive a child, and this child’s name would mean “God with us”. Immanuel would grow up to always do the right thing and in Matthew 1:21 this fulfilled prophecy says “She (the virgin) will give birth to a son, and he will save his people from their sins.”  The ultimate peace.

We are still compelled today to communicate with God, we are not an inconvenience, we are God’s children and live in his presence even when we don’t recognize it. We can have peace.

Isaiah 7:10-17 (MSG)

God spoke again to Ahaz. This time he said, “Ask for a sign from your God. Ask anything. Be extravagant. Ask for the moon!”  But Ahaz said, “I’d never do that. I’d never make demands like that on God!”  So Isaiah told him, “Then listen to this, government of David! It’s bad enough that you make people tired with your pious, timid hypocrisies, but now you’re making God tired. So the Master is going to give you a sign anyway. Watch for this: A girl who is presently a virgin will get pregnant. She’ll bear a son and name him Immanuel (God-With-Us). By the time the child is twelve years old, able to make moral decisions, the threat of war will be over. Relax, those two kings that have you so worried will be out of the picture. But also be warned: God will bring on you and your people and your government a judgment worse than anything since the time the kingdom split, when Ephraim left Judah. The king of Assyria is coming!”

 

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