(December 10, 2019) Brian Bell reflects …
It’s almost Christmas when Christians and churches celebrate the birth of Jesus who would become the Saviour of the world.
We’ll sing Christmas carols and choruses and refer to those scriptures that come naturally to mind at this time… from the gospels of Matthew and Luke and also Isaiah 7:14NLT, ‘All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).’
As I mediate on this Old Testament verse the background of Isaiah 7 comes to mind – God prompting Ahaz, the king of Judah, who was in a difficult situation to ask him for a sign… ‘Ask the Lord your God for a sign of confirmation, Ahaz. Make it as difficult as you want –’ (Isaiah 7:11 (NLT).
Now that’s an amazing dare by God – and, equally amazing, when Ahaz didn’t respond was God’s choice of a ‘difficult sign’ (v14).
I wonder… If God were to ask you to ask him for a sign – and you didn’t hesitate to ask – what would come to your mind?
This leads me to several ‘little seed thoughts’…
A Personal Sign
Reading verses 1- 6 of this chapter we get a fuller picture of the situation in which Ahaz found himself. Facing attack and a siege of Jerusalem, in addition to fear he was likely struggling with doubt. And God always knows how best to answer the doubts of his people – remember how God spoke to Elijah (1 Kings 19) and how the Lord Jesus dealt with Thomas (John 20). (more…)