Isaiah

Isaiah 7 Immanuel.

Isaiah once again gives us an anchor point in history. Since Uzziah died in 740 we know that what follows is later, under the reign of his grandson Ahaz, king of Judah. The alliance between Israel and Syria came against Judah in the war of 734-732 (v. 1 Cf. II Kgs. 16:5-18; II Chr. 28:16-21). “They threatened to invade Judah if Ahaz would not help them against Assyria.” (NGSB, p. 1034) One can understand the fear that came upon Judah (v. 2). It is in this context that the LORD speaks to Isaiah telling him to go and meet Ahaz with his son Shear-Jashub, whose name means-a remnant shall return (v. 3). The message was one of courage and hope. This is rooted in the promise in the Davidic covenant, “granting him an eternal offspring and kingdom (2 Sam. 7:12-16)” (NGSB, p. 1034) “Take heed, and be quiet; do not fear or be fainted hearted,” because the plot and plans of these kings would not prevail (vv. 4-7). Their enemies would suffer a defeat which they could look forward to in prophetic fulfillment, for “within sixty-five years Ephraim will be broken, so that it will not be a people.” (v. 8) In their present, what it required of them was to believe, for “if you will not believe, surely you shall not be established.” (v. 9 Cf. 5:24)

Only those who believe shall be established. In his next message to Ahaz the LORD continues His challenge to him to believe. The LORD even offered to Ahaz a sign (vv. 10-11). However, Ahaz claimed that he would not ask for a sign so as not to test the LORD, but in fact this was nothing more than a mask for his unbelief (vv. 12-13). Signs were given to authenticate the prophetic message. In effect, Ahaz did not care about the word that was being delivered to him. Nevertheless there would be a sign, and that sign was the virgin birth, showing that this book of Isaiah finds ultimate fulfillment in the Servant to come, who would also be called Immanuel (v. 14 Cf. 9:6; 8:10; Mt. 1:23; Lk. 1:31; Jn. 1:45; Rev. 12:5). However, the immediate fulfillment of this prophecy was Isaiah’s second son (vv. 15-16 Cf. 8:1-4). But before this came to fulfillment they would suffer defeat from the King of Assyria (vv. 17-20). However, a remnant will survive (vv. 21-22). The fact that the child to come would also feed on curds and honey, identifies him with this remnant (v. 15). Briers and thorns will overtake the land, a place only for animals to range and roam (vv. 23-25 Cf. 5:6). Where once God was with them, only through Immanuel would this be assured (Cf. v. 14 Cf. 8:8).

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