Summary: This was a sermon designed to focus on the sign of a savior... if... in a nontraditional manner :p
Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, “Ask the Lord your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights.” But Ahaz said, “I will not ask; I will not put the Lord to the test.”
Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of men? Will you try the patience of my God also? Therefore 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.”
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
But after he had considered this, an angel of the lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” – which means, “God with us.”
When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
“Here’s Your Sign”
Some of you may be familiar with the comedy styling’s of Mr. Billy Engvall. He’s a comedian that is best known for the routine that made him famous… a routine based on a very simple principle… You can’t fix stupid. So… he believes we should develop a system where stupid people can wear signs to let us know exactly who we are dealing with. To this, Mr. Engvall developed a routine where whenever he encountered someone truly stupid… he would say “Here’s your sign.” Here are a few examples of Mr. Engvall’s sign-worthy people. He says:
It’s like before my wife and I moved from Texas to California our house was full of boxes and there was a u-Haul truck in our driveway. My friend comes over and says, "Hey, You moving?" "Nope… we just pack our stuff up once or twice a week. Just to see how many boxes it takes." "Here’s your sign."
Last time I was home I was driving around I had a flat tire, I pulled my truck into one of these side-of-the-road gas stations, the attendant walks out, looks at my truck, looks at me, I swear he went, "Tire go flat?" I couldn’t resist. I said "Nope… I was driving around and those other three just swelled right up on me." "Here’s your sign."
I was out in the front yard with my boy the other day and he was playing with his little friend, and he hit his friend and I went up to him and I said "Hey, (smacks his boy), we don’t hit." He looked up at me like, "Dad! Here’s your sign."
You are probably wondering… maybe even quite confused why I am bringing up Billy Engvall to start out this Christmas sermon, to be honest I’m a little surprised too… it was simply a Holy Spirit thing. As I was studying the Old Testament and New Testament lesson’s… I was looking at both of the main characters… I listened to the prophet Isaiah and the Angel speaking to Ahaz and Joseph… and you know what I heard through the lens of our modern language? I heard Isaiah and the Angel saying to Ahaz and Joseph… “Here’s your sign.”
Just look at what I am talking about. Let’s look to the Old Testament first. Here is what is going on behind the text this morning. Ahaz was king of the Southern Kingdom of Judaism known as Judah… and Israel and Syria had formed an alliance against him… and King Ahaz saw doom and freaked out… Chapter 7 - Verse 2b, “so the hearts of Ahaz and his people were shaken, as the trees of the forest are shaken by the wind.”
Enter Isaiah. Isaiah the prophet advices the King as many prophets of the lord have advised the Jewish Kings… he tells Ahaz, don’t worry about it. Your Lord will take care of you. Verse 7, “It will not take place, it will not happen, … Within sixty-five years (they) will be too shattered to be a people. … If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.”