Isaiah 7: Bible Study Guide.

23-BSG-7A: WORSHIP GUIDE.

A Worship Guide corresponding with the today’s Bible Reading Plan: Isaiah 7/ Theme: The sign given to Ahaz /23-BSG-7A, (Isaiah 7:10-16)/ Key Text: “Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: Behold, the young woman who is unmarried and a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel [God with us].” (Isaiah 7:14, AMP)/ Hymn: “Immortal, invisible, God only wise,” [Author: Walter C. Smith (1867)]

EXPLORATION: Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14–16, 14, 8:8, Mt 1:23); for a complete ‘Isaiah’s Messianic Prophecies with NT fulfillments’ see section ‘23-BSG-7C’ of this Study Guide.

REFLECTION: “During the 60-year ministry of Isaiah he served God under both godly and ungodly rulers. One of the wicked rulers was Ahaz, who even sacrificed to the pagan gods of surrounding nations. Yet it was during the rule of Ahaz that one of the most powerful of Isaiah’s great promise-prophecies was uttered. It was to this king who had turned away from the Lord, and who in this represents all humankind, that Isaiah was sent with a clear promise that one day God Himself would take on human form. One day a virgin would have a Child, and He would be the Son of God.” [Lawrence O. Richards, The Teacher’s Commentary, (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1987), 371].

DEVOTIONAL IMPLICATION: “In the Immanuel prophecy we have a noted instance of predictive prophecy where there is divine revelation of events centuries before they occurred. This is evidence of divine foreknowledge and also, from the nature of what is here foretold, evidence of divine power to sweep aside every barrier erected by human sin so that God’s plan of redemption is not frustrated. It is, however, from the nature of that salvation as embodied in the name Immanuel that the greatest comfort is to be derived. God does not save from a distance, but draws close to his covenant people so that his presence with them in and through the child to be born in this miraculous fashion will be evident. Christ’s presence with his people is not confined to his days on earth. It continues to be a reality in their experience through the fulfilment of the promise: ‘I am with you always, even to the very end of the age’ (Matt. 28:20). Life lived in the perspective of that truth is able to surmount the pressures and stresses that arise in this sinful world because of the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ to the believer (Phil. 1:19).” [John L. Mackay, A Study Commentary on Isaiah: Chapters 1–39, EP Study Commentary, (Darlington, England; Webster, New York: Evangelical Press, 2008), 1:202].

THE GOSPEL’S VOICE: This section is written as if God were speaking directly to you—Because He does. What does the Lord say to me this morning? My son, I love you so much. I desire for you to dwell in My presence always (Psa. 91:1, Jn 15:1-6). I am the Emmanuel! I Myself, your divine, resurrected, living, eternal LORD, am with you always, “even to the end of the age.” Lo, I am with you: I will put My Spirit within you. I will give you My Angels to protect you (Ps. 34:7; 91:11-12). I will comfort, strengthen, assist, guide and direct your steps, and keep you from falling (Jude 24-25). And in the end, I will crown you with immortality and glory. All this I can do, if you believe and surrender your life to Me. Would you?

My Desire: By God’s grace, I want to trust the Lord Jesus Christ, the Emmanuel, to guide my steps all the way to the glory land. Because Christ is ‘knocking’ and desire to tabernacle with me (Rev. 3:20), I want to respond by confessing/ repenting all my sins and open my heart to Jesus!

Have A Blessed Day: “All this took place that it might be fulfilled which the Lord had spoken through the prophet, Behold, the virgin shall become pregnant and give birth to a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel—which, when translated, means, God with us.” (Matthew 1:22–23, AMP)

23-BSG-7B: PRAYER GUIDE.

A Prayer Guide corresponding with the today’s Bible Reading Plan: Isaiah 7/ Theme: Emmanuel— “God with us.” /23-BSG-7B, (Isaiah 7:1)/ Key Text: “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14, NKJV)/ Hymn: “Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling” (SDAH 287).

Opening Remarks: Through the promised Seed (Emmanuel), the God of Israel was to bring deliverance to Zion. When Immanuel (Jesus Christ) came, He brough deliverance to the world—He preached the good news (the Gospel) to the poor; He announced release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind. He brough a message of Hope to the oppressed (who were downtrodden, bruised, crushed, and broken down by calamity). He proclaimed the acceptable year of the Lord. Above all, He delivered us from sin and death — “Inasmuch then as the children havepartaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” (Hebrews 2:14–15, NKJV)

Beloved, it’s worth repeating that Jesus is our only Hope. He is the only known link between Heaven and Earth- “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,” (1 Timothy 2:5, ESV). He is in charge of all the divine resources you might need. He can answer your prayer. He can lift you up. He can deliver you from sin. His presence can fill you, satisfy, and energize you for His service.

Beloved, as we come to the today’s Prayer Session, what burden weighs you down today? Here we have the Immanuel; the All powerful God, even the Lord Jesus Christ. He can deliver you from sickness, heartaches, and all kinds of misery in your life! We are invited to— approach the throne of the Immanuel; the throne of grace (that is, the throne of God’s gracious favor) with confidence and without fear, so that we may receive mercy (for our failures) and find grace (His amazing grace) to help us in time of need!

Values To Build On: Faith – compare Ahaz’s faithlessness. “[Faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen].” Heb 11:1, AMP.

Sins To Avoid/ Confess: Ahaz: Unwillingness to step out on Faith; Failure or refusal to believe in the Fulfillment of prophecy or God’s promises (Isa 7:10–13).

Something To Thank God For: God’s Acts in Fulfilling His Purposes (in spite of our belief); Birth of Jesus Christ; Divinity of Jesus Christ; Immanuel: God’s presence with us; Prophecies concerning Jesus Christ; The patience of God with Ahaz/ Us; Signs of the times; The Incarnation of Jesus Christ;

People To Pray For: [1] Doubters: Pray for all Christians to have faith, believe that what God has said in His holy Word will come to pass. On the bases of that belief and God’s faithfulness (Heb 10:23), surrender one’s life to God; and walk in the light of His Word. [2] Pray for the unsaved to know Jesus Christ, the Emmanuel –the only Saviour of the World.

Issues To Pray For: Unbelief; Unwillingness to step out on Faith; Prophecies concerning Jesus Christ—pray for the doctrine of the Sanctuary and the Second Coming: that people may know what Jesus is doing now and the preparation needed for His second Coming. Pray for Pastors, Evangelists, Teachers, etc., to prioritize these topics and prepare people for Christ’s return (John 14:1-3).

Today’s Promise: “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen.” (Jude 24–25, NKJV)

Action Step: Take a moment to Examine Yourself: Do you see any Specific Sins listed above in your life? If Yes; Confess and Repent right away. Remember – “Sins that have not been repented of and forsaken will not be pardoned, and blotted out of the books of record, but will stand to witness against the sinner in the day of God.” (The Faith I Live By, p. 211). Take a moment to pray for issues listed above; Pray for someone who is struggling with these sins. If you have a Prayer Request(s), kindly write it below and someone will pray for it. God Bless You! Note: For Closing Prayer, see Segment “23-BSG-7Z.” Blessings!

23-BSG-7C: CHAPTER OVERVIEW.

Chapter At A Glance[1] Contents: Evil confederacy of Rezin and Jekah; The sign of the Virgin’s Son; Prediction of impending invasion of Judah; [2] Characters: God, Christ, Ahaz, Rezin, Pekah, Isaiah, Shear-jashub; [3] Key Word: A Sign, Isaiah 7:11; [4] Striking Verses: Isaiah 7:1-2, 3-6, 7, 9, 10-12, 13, 14-16, 17, 18-25.

Important Words/ Phrases (NKJV):

  1. [Isa 7:2] ‘were moved’ (ya-na) = quiver, waver, tremble, shake/ be shaken.
  2. [Isa 7:4] ‘take heed’ (his.sa.mer) = keep, watch, preserve, be on the guard.
  3. [Isa 7:4] ‘be quiet’ (sqt) =be at rest, be peaceful, keep the peace, maintain quiet attitude.
  4. [Isa 7:4] ‘do not fear’ (tira) = don’t be afraid, or anxious, or apprehensive about the situation/ event.
  5. [Isa 7:6] ‘It shall not stand’ = it shall not come to fruition, endure, or stay fixed.
  6. [Isa 7:12] nor will I ‘test’ the Lord’ (anasseh) = to put to the test in order to ascertain the nature of something, including imperfection, faults, or other qualities.
  7. [Isa 7:14] “virgin” (almâh) = a word used of an unmarried woman of marriageable age.
  8. [Isa 7:11] ‘a Sign” (ot) = “a marvelous event manifesting a supernatural act of a divine agent; often with an emphasis on communicating a message: Ex 4:8; 7:3; 8:19; 10:1–2; Nu 14:11, 22; Dt 4:34; 6:22; 7:19; 11:3; 13:2–3; 26:8; 28:46; 29:2; 34:11; Jos 24:17; Jdg 6:17; 2 Ki 20:8–9; Is 7:11, 14; 8:18; 38:7; 44:25; 55:13; 66:19; Je 32:20–21; Ps65:9; 78:43; 105:27; 135:9; Ne 9:10.” (The Lexham Analytical Lexicon of the Hebrew Bible, 2017).

Issues For Further Study: The Kingdom of Judah in Isaiah’s Time; The Assyrian Empire in Isaiah’s Time; “A Child is Born;” The Neo-Assyrian Empire; Ahaz’ Idols in the Temple; Ahaz Reigneth Very Wickedly; “Sheol” – (Old Testament Theology of the Afterlife, Isa 7:11).

Commentaries By Theme: Immanuel (Is 7:14–16, 14, 8:8, Mt 1:23); The Coming Assyrian Invasion (Is 8:1–10);

Similar Commands: Isa 8:1-4, 10; Deut 20:3; Isa 38:7; 35:4; Ex 14:13; Mt 24:6; 1 Sam 17:32; Isa 10:24; 41:14.

Biblical Events –[Events occurring]:

  1. Isaiah’s early prophetic career • Is 6:1–8:10
  2. Divided Kingdom • Is 6:1–8:10
  3. Fall of Israel • Is 6:1–8:10
  4. Israel and Syria attack Judah • Is 7:1–2
  5. Israel allies with Syria and attacks — Judah • Is 7:1–9
  6. Reign of Pekah in Israel • Is 7:1–9
  7. Isaiah Sent to King Ahaz (Is 7:1–9)
  8. Isaiah says that Israel and Syria will not defeat Judah • Is 7:3–9
  9. Isaiah gives Ahaz the sign of Immanuel • Is 7:10–25

Parallel Passages: Old Testament Quotations and Allusions in the New Testament

  1. Isaiah 7 — (Is 7:14//Mt 1:23//Lk 1:31//Jn 1:45//Re 12:5)
  2. Matthew 1 —  (Is 7:14//Is 8:8//Is 8:10//Mt 1:23)
  3. Luke 1 — (Ge 16:11//Jdg 13:3//Is 7:14//Lk 1:31)
  4. John 1 — (Dt 18:18//Is 7:14//Is 9:6//Eze 34:23//Jn 1:45)
  5. Revelation 12 — (Ps 2:9//Is 7:14//Is 66:7//Re 12:5)

Old Testament Quotes in the New Testament

  1. Matthew — (Is 7:14//Mt 1:23)

Isaiah’s Messianic Prophecies with NT fulfillments:

  1. Isa 7:14 (Matt. 1:22, 23);
  2. Isa 9:1–2 (Matt. 4:12–16);
  3. Isa 9:6 (Luke 2:11; Eph. 2:14–18);
  4. Isa 11:1 (Luke 3:23, 32; Acts 13:22, 23);
  5. Isa 11:2 (Luke 3:22);
  6. Isa 28:16 (1 Pet. 2:4–6);
  7. Isa 40:3–5 (Matt. 3:1–3);
  8. Isa 42:1–4 (Matt. 12:15–21);
  9. Isa 42:6 (Luke 2:29–32);
  10. Isa 50:6 (Matt. 26:67; 27:26, 30);
  11. Isa 52:14 (Phil. 2:7–11);
  12. Isa 53:3 (Luke 23:18; John 1:11; 7:5);
  13. Isa 53:4, 5 (Rom. 5:6, 8);
  14. Isa 53:7 (Matt. 27:12–14; John 1:29; 1 Pet. 1:18, 19);
  15. Isa 53:9 (Matt. 27:57–60);
  16. Isa 53:12 (Mark 15:28);
  17. Isa 61:1 (Luke 4:17–19, 21).

23-BSG-7D: CHAPTER INTRODUCTION.

Immanuel: A message of hope (Isa. 7:1–25)

A promise to King Ahaz (Isa. 7:1–9). “These were perilous days for the nation of Judah. Assyria was growing stronger and threatening the smaller nations whose security depended on a very delicate political balance. Syria and Ephraim (the Northern Kingdom) tried to pressure Judah into an alliance against Assyria, but Ahaz refused to join them. Why? Because he had secretly made a treaty with Assyria! (2 Kings 16:5–9) The king was playing “power politics” instead of trusting in the power of God. Syria and Ephraim planned to overthrow Ahaz and put “the son of Tabeel” on the throne, and Ahaz was a frightened man.

The Lord commanded Isaiah to take his son Shear-jashub (“A remnant shall return”) and meet Ahaz as the king was inspecting the city’s water system. Ahaz’s heart had been wavering, and the hearts of his people had been shaking for fear (Isa. 7:2); but Isaiah came with a message of assurance: “Take heed, and be quiet; fear not, neither be fainthearted” (v. 4). How would Ahaz find this inner peace? By believing God’s promise that Judah’s enemies would be defeated. “If you will not believe, surely you shall not be established” (v. 9, NKJV). Faith in God’s promises is the only way to find peace in the midst of trouble. “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You” (26:3, NKJV).

In God’s eyes, the two threatening kings were nothing but “two smoldering stubs of firewood” (7:4, NIV), who would be off the scene very soon; and they both died two years later. Furthermore, within sixty-five years, Ephraim (Israel, the Northern Kingdom) would be gone forever. Isaiah spoke this prophecy in the year 734 B.C. Assyria defeated Syria in 732 B.C. and invaded Israel in 722 B.C. They deported many of the Jews and assimilated the rest by introducing Gentiles into the land; and by 669 B.C. (sixty-five years later), the nation no longer existed.

A sign to the house of David (Isa. 7:10–16). If Ahaz had believed God’s promise, he would have broken his alliance and called the nation to prayer and praise; but the king continued in his unbelief. Realizing the weakness of the king’s faith, Isaiah offered to give a sign to encourage him; but Ahaz put on a “pious front” and refused his offer. Knowing that he was secretly allied with Assyria, how could Ahaz honestly ask the Lord for a special sign? So, instead of speaking only to the king, Isaiah addressed the whole “house of David” and gave the prophecy concerning “Immanuel.”

Of course, the ultimate fulfillment of this prophecy is in our Lord Jesus Christ, who is “God with us” (Matt. 1:18–25; Luke 1:31–35). The virgin birth of Christ is a key doctrine; for if Jesus Christ is not God come in sinless human flesh, then we have no Savior. Jesus had to be born of a virgin, apart from human generation, because He existed before His mother. He was not just born in this world; He came down from heaven into the world (John 3:13; 6:33, 38, 41–42, 50–51, 58). Jesus was sent by the Father and therefore came into the world having a human mother but not a human father (4:34; 5:23–24, 30; 9:4).

However, this “sign” had an immediate significance to Ahaz and the people of Judah. A woman who was then a virgin would get married, conceive, and bear a son whose name would be “Immanuel.” This son would be a reminder that God was with His people and would care for them. It is likely that this virgin was Isaiah’s second wife, his first wife having died after Shear-jashub was born; and that Isaiah’s second son was named both “Immanuel” and “Maher-shalal-hash-baz” (Isa 8:1–4; note vv. 8 and 10).

Orthodox Jewish boys become “sons of the Law” at the age of twelve. This special son was a reminder that Syria and Ephraim would be out of the picture within the next twelve years. Isaiah delivered this prophecy in 734 B.C. In 732 B.C., Assyria defeated Syria; and in 722 B.C., Assyria invaded the Northern Kingdom. The prophecy was fulfilled.

A warning to Judah (Isa. 7:17–25). Instead of trusting the Lord, Ahaz continued to trust Assyria for help; and Isaiah warned him that Assyria would become Judah’s enemy. The Assyrians would invade Judah and so ravage the land that agriculture would cease and the people would have only dairy products to eat (vv. 15, 21–23). The rich farmland would become wasteland, and the people would be forced to hunt wild beasts in order to get food. It would be a time of great humiliation (v. 20; 2 Sam. 10:4–5) and suffering that could have been avoided had the leaders trusted in the Lord.” [Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Comforted, “Be” Commentary Series, (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 30–34].

23-BSG-7J: QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS.

SEEING WHAT’S THERE. — [1] What is the main content of this chapter? Evil confederacy of Rezin and Jekah; The sign of the Virgin’s Son (the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ); and the Prediction of impending invasion of Judah.

[2] What does the chapter say about God? God is the deliverer. Isaiah prophesied about a Child to be born who in some way would relate to the nation’s deliverance. The birth of the Baby, to be named Immanuel, has great significance for the line of David.” (John A. Martin, The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, 1985, 1, 1046).

GET THE CONTEXT — [3] What happened in the days of Ahaz, king of Judah? (7:1) “The scene in Isaiah 7 is the reign of King Ahaz in Judah. Though son of the great Uzziah, he was a wicked king. He filled Jerusalem with idols, reinstated the worship of Molech, and burned his own son as a sacrifice to that god. Rezin, king of Syria (Aram), and Pekah, king of Israel (also called Samaria at that time), decided to remove Ahaz and replace him with a king who would do their bidding. In the face of such a threat to the people of Israel and to the royal line of David, Ahaz, instead of turning to God for help, sought the help of Tiglath-pileser, the evil king of the Assyrians. He even plundered and sent to Tiglath-pileser the gold and silver from the Temple…. Isaiah came to Ahaz and reported that God would deliver the people from the two enemy kings. When Ahaz refused to listen, Isaiah responded with the remarkable messianic prophecy of 7:14.” [John F. MacArthur Jr., Matthew, MacArthur New Testament Commentary, (Chicago: Moody Press, 1985), 1:19].

CAPTURE THE ESSENCE: — [4] Why did God want Isaiah’s son to go with Isaiah? (7:3) “Isaiah was instructed to take his son with him to meet Ahaz as an implied sign to Judah’s king. The name Shear-Jashub (“a remnant will return”) is, of course, symbolic. Perhaps he had been born shortly after Isaiah’s call and given a name expressive of the threat to Judah described in 6:11–13.” (NIV Quest Study Bible). “Isaiah and his sons were ordained of God as signs to the people (ch. 8:18). The same was true of Isaiah’s contemporary, Hosea, whose children also bore significant names (Hosea 1:4–9). Isaiah constantly kept this message of the return of the remnant before the people (chs. 4:2, 3; 10:21; etc.).” —(SDA BC 4:132).

[5] What message did the LORD tell Isaiah to tell Ahaz? (7:4-5) “Take heed, and be quiet; do not fear or be fainthearted for these two stubs of smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin and Syria, and the son of Remaliah. because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah have plotted evil against you” (Isaiah 7:4–5, NKJV)

[6] Who was Ephraim? (7:2, 5) “After Israel divided into the northern and southern kingdoms, Ephraim became the most prominent tribe in the north. “Ephraim” became another name for the northern kingdom as a whole (7:2, Hos 5:3; Zec 9:10, 13).”

[7] How did the enemy conspired to attack Judah? “Let us go up against Judah and harass and terrify it; and let us cleave it asunder [each of us taking a portion], and set a [vassal] king in the midst of it, namely the son of Tabeel,” (Isaiah 7:6, AMP)

[8] How did the LORD respond? What assurance did Isaiah communicated to the king? “Thus says the Lord God: It shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass.” (Isaiah 7:7, AMP)

[9] What was going to happen to Ephraim? (7:8-9a) “For the head [the capital] of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is [King] Rezin. within sixty-five years Ephraim will be broken to pieces so that it will no longer be a people. And the head (the capital) of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is Remaliah’s son [Pekah].

[10] What caution was given to the king from the LORD? “If you will not believe and trust and rely [on God and on the words of God’s prophet instead of Assyria], surely you will not be established nor will you remain.” (Isaiah 7:9b, AMP)

[11] Why did God offer to give Ahaz a sign? (7:11) “The threat posed by the Aramean and Israelite invaders was still frightening Ahaz and his advisers. The offer of a sign revealed God’s grace and ongoing concern for Judah’s destiny. It was as though the Lord were saying, “What will it take to prove this to you?” By now Ahaz must have made up his mind to appeal to Assyria for military assistance (2Ki 16:5–8). And that is why, with a show of piety, he declined to seek a sign from God (Isa 7:12).” (NIV Quest Study Bible).

[12] What sign was the LORD going to give? (7:14) “Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: Behold, the young woman who is unmarried and a virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call his name Immanuel [God with us].” (Isaiah 7:14, AMP)

[13] How did a prediction of the virgin birth of Messiah fit that ancient scene? “Isaiah was telling the wicked king that no one would destroy the people of God or the royal line of David. When the prophet said, “The Lord shall give you a sign,” he used a plural you, indicating that Isaiah was also speaking to the entire nation, telling them that God would not allow Rezin and Pekah, or anyone else, to destroy them and the line of David (cf. Gen. 49:10; 2 Sam. 7:13). Even though the people came into the hands of Tiglath-pileser, who destroyed the northern kingdom and overran Judah on four occasions, God preserved them just as He promised.” [John F. MacArthur Jr., Matthew, MacArthur New Testament Commentary, (Chicago: Moody Press, 1985), 1:19-20].

[14] Does the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14 have a double meaning? Yes. “The first meaning was that a child, perhaps another son of Isaiah, would be born to a virgin (which could simply refer to a young woman) during the time of Ahaz. By the time he was grown, Judah’s two enemies (Israel and Aram) would be destroyed. The second meaning of this passage was later applied to the birth of the Messiah (Mt 1:23). The name Immanuel (meaning “God with us”) became a title for the Messiah.” (NIV Quest Study Bible).

[15] Why are flies and bees mentioned? (7:18) “In the years that lay ahead, rulers in Judah would look to Assyria and Egypt for military help, but God warned that both were to be viewed as sources not of support but of great danger. Egypt was noted for its flies, Assyria for its bees. Isaiah pictured the troublesome insects settling everywhere (v. 19), therefore making it impossible to escape from the foreign invasion of armies.” (NIV Quest Study Bible).

[16] Why shave the Israelites’ hair? (7:20) “This metaphor pictures the great shame Judah would experience at the hands of the Assyrians; shaving, particularly of the beard, was a way of inflicting shame on a defeated foe (2Sa 10:4–5).” (NIV Quest Study Bible).

23-BSG-7K: DISCUSSION QUESTIONS.

TO THINK ABOUT AND DISCUSS: [1] King Ahaz was distressed. What fears do you struggle with in your life today? Do they have a rational basis, or are they irrational? How might you begin to deal with irrational fears, and what shouldn’t you do about them?

[2] Consider the prophetic fulfillment of  Isa 7:14 which is found in Mat 1:18-25. Why is the fact of Jesus’ virgin birth an important truth for us to know and believe? “Paul is very clear when he tells us that “When the fulness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman” (Gal. 4:4). There is no human father in that verse. Jesus had to have one human parent or He could not have been human, and thereby a partaker of our flesh. But He also had to have divine parentage or He could not have made a sinless and perfect sacrifice on our behalf.” [John F. MacArthur Jr., Matthew, MacArthur New Testament Commentary, (Chicago: Moody Press, 1985), 1:17].

[3] “Let us go up against Judah and harass and terrify it; and let us cleave it asunder [each of us taking a portion], and set a [vassal] king in the midst of it, namely the son of Tabeel,” (Isaiah 7:6, AMP)

Beloved, there is a council in heaven (the supreme court) that dashes the mold of all contrary counsels upon earth. Do you remember when they thought of frustrating Christ’s Redemptive Plans? How did the Father respond? “He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord has them in derision [and in supreme contempt He mocks them].” (Psalm 2:4, AMP) You remember Potiphar’s wife plot against Joseph? How about Daniel in the Lion’s den? As a righteous person, what should be your attitude when people plan evil attacks on you or plan to destroy your life? (Read and discuss these Scriptures Gen 39:13-18; Dan 3:8-12; 6:6-9; Mt 5:10-12)

[4] “Isaiah’s meeting with Ahaz should have encouraged his faith in Yahweh to deliver Judah from its present predicament. Instead, Ahaz discounts the reassurance Yahweh offers, and compounds his sin by refusing a divine sign.” (Faithlife Study Bible) Sometimes we say, oh if only God could give me a sign.. then I will believe. Israel was given multiple signs and yet they did not believe. But there’s one momentous sign—Christ’s death on the Cross for us! How many times, like Ahaz, have we rejected that sign? What more could God do for us? Who will we blame for our loss (eternal death) on the day of Judgment?

FOR FURTHER STUDY: “God through Isaiah invited Ahaz to ask for a supernatural sign as a pledge of God’s faithfulness in fulfilling His word. Ahaz, disbelieving God but hiding his unbelief under the guise of piety, refused to ask for a sign. Because Ahaz in his unbelief wearied God as well as men (God’s prophets), God announced that He would give Ahaz a sign of His own choosing: a virgin will conceive and bear a son and will call his name “Immanuel” and before the child knows to refuse the evil and choose the good, Israel and Syria will be conquered by Assyria. This prophecy of a virgin and her child had a double fulfillment: (I) a near and partial fulfillment that is recorded in Isa. 8:3, 4; and (2) a distant and a complete fulfillment in Matthew 1:20–25. The child born in 8:3 was a sign to Ahaz of the soon-coming fulfillment of God’s prophecies made in Isa 7:49.” [Roy E. Gingrich, The Book of Isaiah, (Memphis, TN: Riverside Printing, 1993), 14–15].

FOR SELF-EXAMINATION: In Isaiah 7, we also see the Lord’s tender mercy to His people. Surety in this story (of Isaiah’s encounter with Ahaz), the Apostle’s words are fulfilled: Where sin abounded, Grace did much more abound (Rom. 5:20). We hear nothing of Ahaz sending to Isaiah, or himself calling upon the Lord for help; but instead, it is the Lord who is sending to Ahaz. Beloved, this is God’s Grace! How many times, even in our sinfulness, that the Holy Spirit is praying for us; striving with us to repent. How many times we are broken with fears and yet there are multiple messages of Hope and confirmations of God’s love, mercy, compassion, and grace? How many times have you thank the Lord for His grace & mercy? Consider Hope in the Lord’s Forgiving Love (Psa. 130:3)

FOR LIFE TODAY: “Isaiah also refers to another child who would be born; and before that child (Maher-shalal-hash-baz) would be old enough to “eat curds and honey” or “know enough to refuse evil and choose good,” the lands of Rezin and Pekah would be forsaken (7:15–16). Sure enough, before the child born to Isaiah’s wife was three years old those two kings were dead. Just as that ancient prophecy of a child came to pass, so did the prophecy of the virgin birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. Both were signs that God would not ultimately forsake His people. The greatest sign was that Immanuel, which translated means, “God with us,” would come.” [John F. MacArthur Jr., Matthew, MacArthur New Testament Commentary, (Chicago: Moody Press, 1985), 1:20].

FOR GOING DEEPER: “The Old Testament repeatedly promises that God is present with His people, to secure their destiny in His covenant. The Tabernacle and Temple were intended to be symbols of that divine presence. The term for tabernacle is mishkān, which comes from shākan, meaning to dwell, rest, or abide. From that root the term shekinah. has also come, referring to the presence of God’s glory. The child born was to be the Shekinah, the true Tabernacle of God (cf. John 1:14). Isaiah was the instrument through which the Word of the Lord announced that God would dwell among men in visible flesh and blood incarnation—more intimate and personal than the Tabernacle or Temple in which Israel had worshiped.” [John F. MacArthur Jr., Matthew, MacArthur New Testament Commentary, (Chicago: Moody Press, 1985), 1:21]. What Scriptures can reinforce this teaching of God’s desire to dwell with humanity? How can we — (fallen humans)– dwell, rest, or abide in Jesus Christ? How can we tabernacle with God? Elaborate on how (practical ways) this goal can be achieved in our daily lives?

PERSONAL IMPLICATIONS: What response do you think this chapter should inspires us to do? “In what sense then, is Christ GOD WITH US? Jesus is called Immanuel, or God with us, in his incarnation; God with us, by the influences of his Holy Spirit, in the holy sacrament, in the preaching of his word, in private prayer. And God with us, through every action of our life, that we begin, continue, and end in his name. He is God with us, to comfort, enlighten, protect, and defend us, in every time of temptation and trial, in the hour of death, in the day of judgment; and God with us and in us, and we with and in him, to all eternity.” [David Guzik, Isaiah, David Guzik’s Commentaries on the Bible, (Santa Barbara, CA: David Guzik, 2000), Is 7:13–16].

23-BSG-7Y: NIGHT DEVOTION.

A Night Though corresponding with the today’s Bible Reading Plan: Isaiah 7/ Theme: Ahaz’s unbelief/ 23-BSG-7Y, (Isaiah 7:10-16)/ Hymn: Speak to my soul, dear Jesus![Author: L. L. Pickett].

Isaiah 7:10–16 (NKJV)10 Moreover the Lord spoke again to Ahaz, saying, 11 “Ask a sign for yourself from the Lord your God; ask it either in the depth or in the height above.” 12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, nor will I test the Lord!” 13 Then he said, “Hear now, O house of David! Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. 15 Curds and honey He shall eat, that He may know to refuse the evil and choose the good. 16 For before the Child shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land that you dread will be forsaken by both her kings.

REFLECTION: The sin of Judah clearly brought foreign invasion and all kinds of trouble. God wanted to deliver them but the evil king would not trust God. King Ahaz was urged speak toto believe what God said, and it was added, “If you will not believe, surely you will not be established” (Isa. 7:9b). In other words God told Ahaz, “Unless your faith is firm, I cannot make you stand firm” (NLT). Ahaz did not believe God’s promise to assist him. So, God asked him to demand any sign, “either in the depth or in the height above” (Isa. 7:11), any sign, that would convince the king that God has spoken and that He definitely would keep His word! In other words, “Ask the LORD your God for a sign of confirmation, Ahaz. Make it as difficult as you want—as high as heaven or as deep as the place of the dead” (v. 11 in NLT).

“But Ahaz said, ‘I will not ask nor will I test the LORD’” (v. 12). “Ahaz herewith revealed his stubbornness and rebellion against God. God offered to help and guide him, but he chose to rely on Assyria for help instead. Ahaz was determined to have nothing to do with God, and was making that fact altogether clear.”— (SDA BC 4:133). At this point, Isaiah seemed annoyed and he said: “Hear now, O house of David! Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:13–14, NKJV) Thus even though Ahaz would not ask for a sign God would give him one.

Note: The very Assyria that Ahaz trusted instead of God would later wage war against him! The rest of the chapter (Isa 7:18-25) provides a graphic description of the judgment on God’s people by means of Egypt and Assyria.

DEVOTIONAL IMPLICATION: [1] God had promised that the dynasty of David would last forever and that the Messiah would come through his lineage (see Gen. 49:10; 2 Sam. 7:10), but Satan, through the king of Syria and Israel, attempted to cancel that plan. God said their plan would not stand, and it did not stand in spite of the stubborn unbelief Ahaz exhibited. The lesson here is that Satan, aided by our unbelief, can only delay the second coming of Jesus Christ, he cannot cancel it, for any plan of Satan against God’s plan cannot stand. Why? Because God’s power and wisdom are infinite, those of Satan are finite!

[2] Before we condemn Ahaz for his unreasonable unbelief (disbelieving God in spite of the fact that God asked him to demand any sign of confirmation that He would keep His promise) we should ask ourselves if we are not as guilty of unbelief as he was. The greatest sign God can give us of His love and care for us is dying for us in the person of Jesus Christ, yet we are often full of anxiety about our needs because of unbelief, making God ask us: “How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them?” (Numbers 14:11, NKJV) “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Rom. 8:32). Beloved, unless our faith is firm, God cannot make us stand firm. Truly, we are “wretched, miserable, blind, and naked” (Rev. 3 : 17). Father please help Thou our unbelief and carry out Your plan for us as individuals, and Your church as Your body.

Have A Good Night: “Only it must be in faith that he asks with no wavering (no hesitating, no doubting). For the one who wavers (hesitates, doubts) is like the billowing surge out at sea that is blown hither and thither and tossed by the wind.” (James 1:6, AMP)

23-BSG-7Z: CLOSING PRAYER.

Is there a prayer for me to pray/echo in this chapter-(Isaiah 7)? Yes.

Father, we thank You for Your word in Isaiah 7. Father, we adore You and give You thanks for the sign of Emmanuel in this chapter. The people of Judah might have not fully comprehend what this prophecy was all about, but we (in these last days) have seen this prophecy come to fruition: at the appointed time, the Lord Jesus Christ came and dwelt with us — He “became flesh, and lived among us; and we (actually) saw His glory.” We praise You for the deliverance He brought to us. We thank You for His multiple victories on the Cross of Calvary.

Father, would You forgive our unbelief? Like Ahaz, many times we prefer doing our own things without You. We are full of pride. We thank You for Your love and care, even in those moment when we drift away from Your presence. Fix our eyes upon the Lord Jesus Christ.

Father, there might be someone here today who needs a personal experience with the Lord Jesus Christ. May thy Spirit teach them and reveal to them the love, mercy, compassion, and  power of Jesus Christ. Above all else: we are sinners in need of deliverance from sin. Of ourselves we can do nothing, but with Jesus, we can do everything and be victorious over sin. Help us then to always cling to Jesus.

Father we look forward to that family reunion—when Christ, our Immanuel, shall come and take us home (John 14:1-3; Rev 21:3) Grant it our joy we plead. We thank You Lord, and ask these things, believing and trusting, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

The Gospel’s Voice/ Bible Study Guide/ Isaiah 1-66/ 23-BSG-7 (Isaiah 7)/