Summary: Christmas Series from Isaiah
Passage: Isaiah 7:1-14
Title: A Baby Changes Everything
Interesting Statement: Christmas is a busy time of year. The parking lots, stores and internet are full and busy with people on a hurried mission, dealing with the holiday stress.
Introduction (1-13): The same could be said about the city of Jerusalem around 735 B.C. It was thriving and well populated with much stress from political stress and unrest. King Ahaz led the capital city of Judah from the family line of the great King David while the nearby countries of Syria and Israel had formed an alliance and sought to conquer Jerusalem (1). God sent the prophet Isaiah and his son to speak to Ahaz (from the house of David) with God’s message to not be afraid or lose heart because they would not be defeated (2-9).
Ahaz was considering a treaty of his own with Assyria, which God did not want him to do. God spoke to Ahaz through Isaiah “asking God for a sign” in an opportunity for Ahaz (who was not a good man) to affirm his faith and act as a believer. Basically, God says, “Ask me for a sign so you can believe I will protect you.” Not wanting to put God to the test, Ahaz essentially says, “No, I won’t believe God or trust Him with the fate of the city of Jerusalem.” (10-12) To which God makes an astounding promise that “the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” (13-14)
#1: God’s Sign (Isaiah 7:14a)
• Explanation: Ahaz wouldn’t ask God for a sign because of his selfish unbelief. However, regardless of what Ahaz said or did, the Lord was going to give a sign that He was going to intervene in human history. The significance of the sign went way beyond the situational context of Jerusalem as God said “I see the strivings and yearnings of humanity and will give the sign that I will do something about this.”
o The Sign Promised before Time - Before the stars were placed in the heavens, before the earth took form, before life existed on our planet, God had a plan. // “God… promised before the beginning of time…” Titus 1:2-3
• Ill. - If God sang you a song, “You were always on my mind.” He was thinking about you before the beginning of time!
o The Sign in the Person of Christ – “Jesus went through all the towns… preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” Matthew 9:35-36
• The plan all along was to send a shepherd!
• Illustration: “Everything else in life can wait, but the search for God.”
• Application: There is great importance on the search to find God. In the search people will ask for a sign from God – He has already given that sign in the person of Christ. The good news is, He’s not difficult to find. Jesus is sent straight from God. He’s always had you in mind. He took action for you. Do you believe it? Have you accepted it?
#2: Given Miraculously to all People (Isaiah 7:14b)
• Explanation: The miraculous sign God gave has two concepts...
o Worldwide Implications/Fulfillment - The prophecy through Isaiah to Ahaz had worldwide implications for all of history, as everyone could be a benefactor (not just Judah).
o Given through Virgin - Scholars believe that a young lady during Isaiah’s time did become pregnant and named her son Immanuel. If that did happen it was merely served as a type (foreshadowing) for the Virgin Mary - the mother of Jesus.
• “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son…” Matt. 1:22-23
• Side note: In some medieval works of art, Mary is typically found reading Isaiah 7:14 at the moment Gabriel arrives to announce the Messiah’s conception. You’d think that would capture people’s attention!
• Illustration: How mankind gets people’s attention is often loud holding signs, protesting or even acts of terrorism. While man operates one way, God does through different means – which is often through a whisper.
• Application: The whisper to Ahaz through Isaiah was to all people. When God goes Christmas shopping He doesn’t mess around! Remember what the angel said to the shepherds who were watching their flocks by night? “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” (Luke 2:10)
o Jesus is for all people. And most importantly for you today, Jesus is a gift for you. Do you realize you were included on God’s gift list? Have you opened the present? People get hung up on with Jesus today is the virgin birth. From the get go, we approach him through faith – because the sign would be miraculous. Do you believe it?