Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: http://sothrichfield.podbean.com
Isaiah 7:10-16 (NIV)
10 Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, 11 “Ask the Lord your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights.” 12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask; I will not put the Lord to the test.” 13 Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of humans? Will you try the patience of my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. 15 He will be eating curds and honey when he knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, 16 for before the boy knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, the land of the two kings you dread will be laid waste.
If the God of the universe said that you could ask him to do anything “whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights” what would you do? Before November 2, I would have probably asked God to make the Cubs win the World Series, but now I’m not sure… Maybe make Wisconsin weather more like California?! In this passage God wanted Ahaz, the king of Israel to ask him for a sign, anything he wanted, to help Ahaz understand that God was with him. God desperately wanted Israel to put their faith and trust in Him, rather than their false idols and political treaties. The same is true for us. God wants us to know that we are not alone. That He loves us, especially when problems and conflicts arise that we are too weak to handle on our own. At Christmas, God came down to give us the hope and peace of His loving presence. God, our Lord, is Immanuel. Let us pray: Gracious Lord, live with us, abide with us, give us a greater sense of your presence in our lives, fill us with hope and faith in the “sign” of Immanuel, who is your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.