By Tiffany Bullington
Read today’s scripture: Isaiah 7:10-14
This is one of the first mentions of the coming Messiah, the Savior of the world. And, up until now, I never realized how much humanity was tangled up in this prophesy. Ahaz was king of Judah, the southern kingdom of Israel. Israel had broken into two separate entities-Israel & Judah- because of heavy family drama and a hefty dose of prophecy-fulfilled (see 1 Kings 12 for the whole story). Ahaz began plotting to overthrow the king of Israel and ask the king of Assyria for help. Assyria had a long history of being the enemy of God’s people, so Isaiah stepped in to speak to the king and help him see the potential disaster ahead of them.
God speaks to Ahaz, saying “ask Me for anything! I’ll show you whatever you ask for.” Ahaz’s response is almost an affront to God Himself. “I will not test the Lord,” he responds, dripping in false humility. Isaiah is quick to quip back how the king isn’t afraid to tire the will of both man & God with his two-sided words. From this messy family affair we find hope in Isaiah’s prophecy. “The Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” ‘God with Us’ comes just in time–right in the midst of chaos and impending war. He comes right to the middle of humanity, in all our emotions and misguided attempts, and finds us. Fulfilling every promise He ever made. Hallelujah, Immanuel, God with us!