Daily Devotion - December 14, 2020 - Doubly Prophetic

Pastor: Connie Belmore

Daily Devotion – December 14, 2020
Reading:
Isaiah 7:10-17
Weekly Theme: God Is with Us
Today: Doubly Prophetic

What thoughts come into your mind when you hear the word prophesy? I don’t know about you but I tend to think of certain prophesies that we think about pertaining to the birth of Jesus and to the return of Jesus. According to one Presbyterian scholar, J. Barton Payne, there are 1,239 prophecies in the Old Testament and 578 prophecies in the New Testament, for a total of 1,817. That is a lot of prophesy! Studying prophesies is a big task and huge responsibility. Recently in a study of the book of Isaiah in our church, I was reminded that today’s reading of the familiar prophesy in Isaiah 7:10-17, is not solely associated with the birth of the Messiah (Jesus), to be named Immanuel. It is likely this prophesy also refers to a child born to Isaiah’s wife, who at the time Isaiah spoke these words, was a virgin and later, after Isaiah married her, became pregnant. In other words, it is believed that Isaiah’s words also prophesy something that takes place in Isaiah’s lifetime, and is recorded in chapter 8...the coming of an invasion by the Assyrians.

Isaiah in today’s passage is warning Ahaz. The Lord urged Ahaz to ask for a sign from the Lord and Ahaz refused to do this. His rejection of God, seemed to have angered, Isaiah, and he warns Ahaz that he is trying the patience of the Lord and the Lord will give him a sign and will bring Assyria to destroy Judah. This is really bad news for Ahaz! In the passages that follow Isaiah describes what Ahaz can expect because of his refusal to seek insight and wisdom from God as the Lord has requested of him. The ultimate and other fulfillment of this prophesy, of course, is recorded in Matthew 1:22-23, where Isaiah 7:14 is referenced in association with the birth of Christ. The fact that there are two fulfillments of one prophesy is not a contradiction but rather a clear acknowledgement revealed through the name “Immanuel”... God is with us. Ahaz rejected God when he would not ask for a sign from God. This was almost an admission by Ahaz that he did not have faith that God would “pass the test” and be with him.

People who have placed their faith in God are fully aware that God is with us...right now... and feel that presence constantly and consistently. To not expect God to deliver on God’s promises and to not have enough faith in God to look for or even ask for signs from God, is an indicator of our faith. The amount of faith needed for God to do great things is very small indeed ... it's the size of a mustard seed (Matthew 13:31–32).  Believe...have faith that God is with us! No task is too great or too small for God to handle. God wants us to ask for his divine insight and wisdom indicating our trust in God. During this time of preparing our hearts to celebrate and anticipate Christ’s coming, take time to reflect on the constant coming of God into our lives every minute and to  prepare our hearts to receive with great hospitality God’s presence.

Dear God, thank you for Immanuel, your presence with us. Help us to be mindful that you created us to love us and to be in relationship with us. Help us to not reject your desire to intervene on our behalf. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

 
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