I don’t know if this is a late Christmas post or an early New Year’s post – you know, the kind we read as we’re getting our plans and goals set for the new year? No matter the category, I want to share a huge bunch of encouragement with you as you’re making all the plans and preparations! Christmas is a few days behind us and while it’s still fresh in our mind, let’s look at the greatest promise ever given in the Bible: please grab your Bible and turn to Isaiah 7.
If you know me, we’ve got to start with a bit of history! We need to know what was going on at the time of this account in Bible history, so we can see everything that is unfolding in proper context. The nation of Israel had split in two by this time and neither the northern kingdom of Israel nor the southern kingdom of Judah were headed in a good direction. Both were under the rule of wayward kings and the worship of the One, True God, Jehovah was either just one of many or non-existent all together. Both nations were nearer captivity than they realized.
Isaiah 7:1-14 NLT:
“When Ahaz, son of Jotham and grandson of Uzziah, was king of Judah, King Rezin of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah, the king of Israel, set out to attack Jerusalem. However, they were unable to carry out their plan.
The news had come to the royal court of Judah: “Syria is allied with Israel against us!”
So the hearts of the king and his people trembled with fear, like trees shaking in a storm.
Then the Lord said to Isaiah, “Take your son Shear-jashub and go out to meet King Ahaz. You will find him at the end of the aqueduct that feeds water into the upper pool, near the road leading to the field where cloth is washed. Tell him to stop worrying. Tell him he doesn’t need to fear the fierce anger of those two burned-out embers, King Rezin of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah.
Yes, the kings of Syria and Israel are plotting against him, saying, ‘We will attack Judah and capture it for ourselves. Then we will install the son of Tabeel as Judah’s king.’ But this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “This invasion will never happen; it will never take place; for Syria is no stronger than its capital, Damascus, and Damascus is no stronger than its king, Rezin. As for Israel, within sixty-five years it will be crushed and completely destroyed. Israel is no stronger than its capital, Samaria, and Samaria is no stronger than its king, Pekah son of Remaliah.
Unless your faith is firm, I cannot make you stand firm.”
Later, the Lord sent this message to King Ahaz: “Ask the Lord your God for a sign of confirmation, Ahaz. Make it as difficult as you want—as high as heaven or as deep as the place of the dead. ”
But the king refused. “No,” he said, “I will not test the Lord like that.”
Then Isaiah said, “Listen well, you royal family of David! Isn’t it enough to exhaust human patience? Must you exhaust the patience of my God as well? All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin shall be with child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).”
Did you catch that?
Confession: the first time I read this, I was thinking they were about to get it! God was saying, “You won’t even ask Me for a sign!? I’ll give you a sign!!!” and I was thinking they were really in trouble. And then…
And then, right there amid their disgusting disobedience, their blatant idolatry, their hatred toward God who loved them so much… He gave the greatest promise humanity has ever known.
The Virgin shall be with Child.
And He will be called, “God With Us”, Immanuel.
Sweet Friend, did you catch that? God With You!
Don’t let guilt and shame shout that you’re unworthy. No! The Virgin shall be with Child. God with you.
Maybe you’re so far from where you should be that it doesn’t seem like you can ever make it back. It couldn’t even be a possibility… or could it? The Virgin shall be with Child. God WITH you.
You’ve walked away. You’ve messed up one too many times. How could God ever want anything to do with you again? The Virgin shall be with Child. God with YOU!
Please hear those Words deep in your heart.
The Virgin was with Child over 2000 years ago and bore our Savior and King, the Christ, Jesus! He suffered and died to pay a bill we could never pay ourselves. He made a way for you and for me. He offers us this gift so that we can be One with Him, no longer separated from The Father, but to live a victorious life and proclaim the Gospel to others who need freedom, too! Receive this gift today!
Jesus wants to be with You! He is offering you this crazy love – like nothing you’ve ever experienced before – and redemption from sin. No longer will your trespasses hang over your head like a flashing neon sign to your heart and mind.
He is offering you LIFE and escape from death! Just say yes!
Think about the king in Isaiah 7. My gosh! He couldn’t get much worse! If amid leading God’s people astray and basically spitting in the face of the LORD, the king of Judah can be given such a great promise, then Friend, God’s got you, too!
Stop running, cry out to Jesus, and surrender! It’s not as hard as you’re imagining, and God loves you and chooses you! Now, THAT’S the best start to any New Year ever!