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Friends in Christ Weekly Message
December 18, 2010

     GOD spoke again to Ahaz. This time he said, “Ask for a sign from your GOD. Ask anything. Be extravagant. Ask for the moon!”
     But Ahaz said, “I'd never do that. I'd never make demands like that on GOD!”
     So Isaiah told him, “Then listen to this, government of David! It's bad enough that you make people tired with your pious, timid hypocrisies, but now you're making God tired. So the Master is going to give you a sign anyway. Watch for this: A girl who is presently a virgin will get pregnant. She'll bear a son and name him Immanuel (God-With-Us).”

Isaiah 7:10-14 (Message*)

This is an interesting story. Through the prophet Isaiah, God tells Ahaz, a young and scared king, to ask for a sign, but Ahaz refuses. But in reply, Isaiah says God will give a sign anyway!

There is an interesting shift in the text here. Isaiah is no longer speaking to just one man, Ahaz, but to the “government of David” and then uses “you” in the plural. While not evident in the text itself, there is also an expansion of time, for the sign doesn't come for another seven centuries, long past the lifetime of Ahaz.

The message in Isaiah's prophecy, fulfilled in the birth of Jesus Christ, is that the earthly powers are so disappointing that they make not only the people but God tired, so God is going to bring us one who will not make us tired but will be God With Us. And God does so even though the powers of this world will not ask for anything so good! God reaches past what the “leaders” ask for, and gives people the true desire of our hearts.

We should be warned not to put our faith in politicians, political parties, and governments. Rather, we should put our faith in the true God who is always present with us in the person of Jesus Christ. This is the truth of which we should remind ourselves this Christmas season.

Bill Samuel

* The Message version ©2002 by Eugene H. Peterson.

©2003, 2010 Friends in Christ, Inc.

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Document last modified on Saturday, 25-Dec-2010 19:38:23 EST