July 11

Written by Bill Grandi on July 11th, 2022

I’m probably not alone when I say that there are times when I wish God would just make Himself and His will very clearly known. Like “Here Bill! I want you to go this way” while either holding my hand (literally) or putting up a sign which says, “This way Bill.”

But He doesn’t work that way.

Not that there aren’t times He makes His will clearly known. And truthfully, that is most often after a struggle when bears itself out in heartfelt prayers, tears, sometime sleepless nights, and yes, even wrestling with God.

I thought about all of that as I read Isaiah 7. I’m not an expert in the OT by any stretch. Far from it. I more often scratch my head in a “say what?” mode than I do having a light bulb show up.

We can’t miss the significance of Isaiah 7 because of verse 14, but I’m a bit stumped of its relevance to the situation. Forgive me if I get a little lost. The way I understand it is that Ahaz was told my Isaiah to ask for a sign. Isaiah has told him to go against his enemies. When he doubts the wisdom of that, Ahaz is told to look for a sign.  He refuses.  Isaiah rebukes him then quotes verse 14.

That’s quite a sign! Ahaz doesn’t get it. Honestly, I’m not sure I do either. Not at that time.

I get its significance now because the sign is for us. In fact, I get that message loud and clear.  “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and she will name Him Immanuel.”  I’ve heard that somewhere before. 🙂

Now…if I could see just as clearly in my day to day life.

Note: after coming to the office I did a little study on this passage.  Rezin, the king of Syria and Pekah the king of Samaria resolved to remove Ahaz and to set up a puppet on the throne of Judah. So Isaiah, at God’s direction, confronts Ahaz and pleads with him not to find refuge in the Assyrians but to find his help and strength in Almighty God. A second time Isaiah went to Ahaz and Ahaz gave this pious, hypocritical reply (verse 12) to Isaiah.  It was then Isaiah gave this prophecy.  The second part of that prophecy (verse 16) is fulfilled within 3 years of Isaiah’s words. Rezin is slain by Tiglath-pileser and Pekah is slain by Hoshea, his successor.

The first part of that prophecy-the one we know-is a bit more difficult to understand its place. While Ahaz is told to ask for a sign (singular) the pronoun changes to plural (you) referring to the house of David.  The sign is given to the whole house of David as part of the Davidic covenant.  We know of its fulfillment in the birth of Jesus, which is repeated in Matthew 1:23 as part of the angel’s message to Joseph.

I hope I have not totally muddied the waters with this further explanation. 🙂


6 Comments so far ↓

  1. I’m sure Ahaz was confused, Bill, and had no idea what Isaiah was talking about. I wonder how many signs God gives to us, but we miss them?

  2. Glynn says:

    When it’s unclear, I figure I’m being taught something.

  3. gail says:

    Bill the other verse I like in Isaiah 7:9 at the end where it says: If you do not stand firm in your faith, then you will not stand at all. I believe that God wants us to be vigilant in looking for Him in our lives, whether He is giving us signs, opening doors, closing doors, bringing people in our paths, or putting us in someone else’s path, stay strong in your faith with your Father. The Lord knows where we need to be and how to get us there. Trust his plan.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      This is why I like comments. I missed that part of the verse Gail. Thanks for pointing it out. You are right. We do need to stand firm whether things are obvious or not.