TEXT: ISAIAH 7:10-25.
🔑KEY VERSE “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (ISAIAH 7:14).

Ahaz was a weak-minded and idolatrous king of Judah. He reigned in the days of Isaiah the prophet. As a confederacy of the forces of the northern kingdom of Israel and the heathen nation of Syria made plans to attack Judah, the Lord showed up for deliverance. He asked Ahaz to ask for a sign concerning any troubling matter. But the king presented a façade of meekness, saying he will not ask for a sign nor “tempt the Lord.”

But the all-seeing Lord would not be fooled. God’s grand purpose to defeat the devil and save mankind will be done regardless of some men’s shiftiness, hardiness or refusal to cooperate. So, He proceeded to give the sign. Ahaz lost the golden opportunity to be the vessel through whom the prophecy about the coming Saviour of the world would have been made.

A contrast came some decade later when another king of Judah, Hezekiah was given the chance to ask for a sign following a sickness that was about to take his life. He called for a sign from the Lord who not only healed him, but also prolonged his life by fifteen years. Hezekiah was a righteous monarch, who was not afraid to present his supplication before the Lord; unlike Ahaz who was scheming to forsake the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob for an alliance with Assyria. He trusted in the Assyrian army, not the Lord of hosts.

Man is the loser when he turns down his Maker’s open invitation for a resolution of the conflicts in his life. The “Immanuel” the Lord promised would establish heavenly peace in the hearts of those who believe in Him through His presence. But wicked men and women, regardless of their status in the society, will not enjoy His presence until they acknowledge Him and His signs, wonders and miracles; the greatest being the salvation He brought to the fallen.

✍THOUGHT FOR THE DAY Rejecting the sign of Immanuel leads to eternal regrets.

BIBLE IN A YEAR: NUMBERS 16-18.

MEDITATION

A forever lost opportunity to prove God

  1. A case of a closed mind
    a. 2 kingdoms initially unsuccessfully attacked Ahaz of Judah v1.
    b. Isaiah prophesied of victory for Ahaz if only he will believe God and feared not vv4,9b.
    c. God knew that Ahaz was determined to seek help from elsewhere, particularly from Assyria v20, being a wicked king I Chronicles 28:1-4.
    d. In order to help his faith, for Judah’s sake, God offered to give him a sign which he sanctimoniously turned down because he was made up to do his will and ignore God’s counsel vv10,11.
    Q Is there any area of your life that you have made up your mind of what to do regardless of God’s will?
    Ask God to break your stubborn self will
    Consecrate to God that you will be obedient and submissive to His will at all times
  2. A curse on closed minds against divine ministrations
    a. Since he ignored God, the Lord ignored him and gave a future sign to the “house of David” rather than to the King vv13-16.
    b. His army suffered heavy casualties and national captivity 2 Chronicles 28: 5,17,18,19.
    c. He was warned of impending captivity which he ignored as usual Isaiah 7:17-25
    c. The Assyrian army he trusted and put his confidence in betrayed and refused to help him 2 Chronicles 28:20,21.
    d. He died prematurely at 36!
    Have you counted the cost of hardness of heart and self will?
    Lord, deliver youths and adults alike in the Church from all self will, self deception and the sins of taking God for granted
    Help me Lord that I will never weary you and loose the voice of the Spirit

HYMN Have you counted the cost?

1 There’s a line that is drawn by rejecting our Lord,
Where the call of His Spirit is lost,
And you hurry along with the pleasure-mad throng –
Have you counted, have you counted the cost?
Chorus:
Have you counted the cost, if your soul should be lost,
Tho’ you gain the whole world for your own?
Even now it may be that the line you have crossed,
Have you counted, have you counted the cost?
2 You may barter your hope of eternity’s morn,
For a moment of joy at the most,
For the glitter of sin and the things it will win –
Have you counted, have you counted the cost? [Chorus]
3 While the door of His mercy is open to you,
Ere the depth of His love you exhaust,
Won’t you come and be healed, won’t you whisper, I yield –
I have counted, I have counted the cost. [Chorus]