Summary: An exposition of Isaiah 7
Islington Baptist Church December 17, 2000
Last week I began a series that is focused upon various Messianic prophecies of the OT scriptures. Old Testament words from God regarding the future Savior and what he would be like and do were given to the people are sometimes called Messianic prophecies.
In our first study we considered 2 messianic prophecies from Matthew 2:13-18. In that passage Hosea 11:1 and Jeremiah 31:15 are shown by Matthew to have their ultimate fulfillment in the person and life of Jesus Christ.
Hosea 11:1 prophetically points to Jesus’ escape to and coming out of Egypt.
Jeremiah 31:15 prophetically points to the grief and sorrow that came to the Bethlehem mothers and their refusing to be consoled in spite of their being good reason for such.
As mentioned last week; the fulfillment of these various prophecies confirm Jesus’ identity as the promised Savior and Messiah. Hence a reason to believe in Jesus and follow him.
In Isaiah 7:14 it says “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”
In celebrating Christmas we celebrate the fulfillment of this prophecy. God became man. Jesus, being God in the flesh, came and dwelt amongst us, being born of the virgin Mary.
Today, rather than speak of Jesus’ virgin birth strictly from a NT perspective I think you will enjoy studying the OT passage where his virgin birth is prophesied. Please turn with me to Isaiah 7 (READ)
I. Overview of the scene
The year is approximately 741 B.C. and Ahaz is said to be king over Judah. For about 250 years the Jewish nation has been divided against itself. In the North is Israel: being for the most part wicked. In the South is Judah: for a while much better in terms of righteousness than the North.
At this juncture Israel—from here on in identified in our text as Ephraim, has allied itself with Syria and has been attacking Judah. Heavy casualties had been suffered by Judah. About the only city holding out was the city of Jerusalem and they were literally shaking in their boots because to them, a terrible end was in sight.
Q Why do you think things were so bad at this time for Judah?
In II Chronicles 28:19 it says “The LORD had humbled Judah because of Ahaz king of Israel, for he had promoted wickedness in Judah and had been most unfaithful the LORD.”
King Ahaz, who was supposed to model godliness to the nation, instead modelled and taught wickedness. Hence God’s hand of judgment against him and his people. King Ahaz was wicked to the core. According to II Chronicles 28 he had sacrificed some of his own children to a false god. He also desecrated God’s holy temple by stripping it of its furnishings and shutting up the doors of the temple—that none might enter and worship God. To top it all of—the worse things got, the worse he got—for as II Chronicles 28:22 says “In his time of trouble King Ahaz became even more unfaithful to the LORD”. He like Pharaoh whose heart was hardened ever the more.
The strange this is that his father had been known for his righteousness and his son who followed him was known for his righteousness as well.
One principle we can learn: When people set their heart upon God to serve Him as he prescribes, there is blessing. When people set their hearts to sin against God and disobey Him, there is judgment at the hands of God. Obedience brings blessing. Disobedience brings judgment.
II. As you and I have considered the kind of person Ahaz was and the sins Judah was committing, the aspect of God’s mercy and deliverance in this text may seem quite surprising. Yet it is there just like in was in the Garden of Eden…
In this text, Isaiah—reckoned by many to be the greatest of the OT prophets, is sent by God to Ahaz to communicate a very encouraging message: Ephraim and Syria will fail in their attempt to conquer Judah and set up their own king. In fact, Ephraim and Syria will be destroyed
Q Why do you think God indicates that he will act in Judah’s favor and destroy Ephraim and Syria?
Answer: The promises of God to David and the fact that they had conspired against Judah and plotted to replace a Davidic king with their own.
a. To David, God had made an unbreakable promise. Ahaz was a descendant of David, he was of David’s house. To David, God said this: “Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me, your throne will be established forever.”