Bible Reference: Isaiah 7:9-16
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)
Bible Text: 9 Samaria is the capital of Ephraim alone, and King Pekah’s power will not increase. You don’t believe me? If you want me to protect you, you must learn to believe what I say.” 10 Not long after this, the Lord sent this further message to King Ahaz: 11 “Ask me for a sign, Ahaz, to prove that I will indeed crush your enemies as I have said. Ask anything you like, in heaven or on earth.” 12 But the king refused. “No,” he said, “I’ll not bother the Lord with anything like that.” 13 Then Isaiah said: O House of David, you aren’t satisfied to exhaust my patience; you exhaust the Lord’s as well! 14 All right then, the Lord himself will choose the sign—a child shall be born to a virgin! And she shall call him Immanuel (meaning, “God is with us”). 15-16 By the time this child is weaned and knows right from wrong, the two kings you fear so much—the kings of Israel and Syria – will both be dead.
OBSERVATION: We can’t expect God to bless us, protect us, heal us or provide for us, if we don’t trust Him or believe fully in Him! Let’s meditate on this today as we contend with the busyness of Christmas and prepare our hearts for the celebration of Christ’s birth!
APPLICATION: Verse 14 is a verse that we hear used a lot around Christmas time in Christian circles, but as represented in other recent devotionals, I believe it is so important for us individually to take time and read the whole context from which these popular verses are found. Today’s scripture is a wonderful example. Like us, King Ahaz thought that some things were just too trivial to bother God with, even though it was God Himself who told Ahaz to test Him. I love what the Lord said to Ahaz in the latter part of verse 9, and I know that it very much applies to me and very possibly also applies to you. In my own words, and based on my understanding, I believe that God said to Ahaz, and is saying to us: How do you expect me to protect you, or, how do you expect me to heal you or bless you, if you don’t learn to believe in, and trust me? Friends, there is so much truth in those powerful words by the Master! Will our child ever release themselves from a high wall and jump into our arms, if they have not learned to trust us? I don’t think so! In my hyperlink to today’s scripture, I included the whole chapter, because I want you to take time to read and understand that God had given Ahaz comfort in knowing that He would take care of the opposing leaders, and He even wanted to give him a timeline that it would occur. However, God knew that Ahaz doubted what he was told, so He told Ahaz to test Him just to gain trust in knowing that He is true to His word. The timing of this event then allowed God to elaborate on the miraculous birth of His Son, Jesus. Friends, once again we are assured that our Father has a plan for His children, just like He had for Ahaz. However, we must know Him so well that we are willing to trust Him and believe what He says to us through His Word; through visions; and through His mighty warriors who deliver His messages to us each week. Wouldn’t it be ‘MERRY’, if this Christmas this concept might ‘click’ in our minds and cause us to totally place our faith and our trust in our Savior? We can’t expect God to bless us and protect us if we don’t trust Him or believe fully in Him!
PRAYER: Your Word never ceases to amaze me Oh God! To read the context from which we have traditionally heard parts of the Christmas story, and still find new truths that really speak to our hearts, we can only say ‘Wow’ what a Savior! What an awesome God! Lord Jesus, we just want to worship You, praise You and honor Your blessed name for the key role You have played in our plan of salvation. God had a plan to comfort king Ahaz, and I am convinced that His plan to comfort, protect and save us, is even more awesome! Thank you Heavenly Father! Please continue to open our hearts and fill us with Your grace and Your awesome love that You have shown to us, so that we may, in turn, be a blessing to others in every way possible this Christmas season and throughout each day of the upcoming New Year. With every fiber of our being, we again say ‘thank You Father’ for Your amazing love to us in so many ways! AMEN!