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RCCG Miracle Land Dundalk
Wednesday, March 15 2023

Contributor: Alex Kokobili

The previous study of the seventh chapter emphasized on how Ahaz King of Judah feared being conquered by an alliance between Israel and Syria. God assured King Ahaz not to fear and gave him a sign “IMMANUEL” as an everlasting protection for His people which meanings He will always be with them. 

Isaiah 7: 13-16 Then said Isaiah, Hear ye now, O house of David, Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name Immanuel.15He shall eat butter and honey that he may know to refuse the evil and choose the good.16 For before the child shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good; the land that thou dost abhor shall be forsaken of both her kings).

Despite  God’s warning to King Ahaz, he went ahead to make a treaty with the Assyrians for protection. The consequences of Ahaz’s action will be that the Assyrians take over Judah as the waters flood over a territory.
Isaiah’s message in this eighth chapter explained the confederacy of Syria and Israel against the house of Judah. God’s assurance to protect Judah, the disobedience of King Ahaz and the consequences that lies ahead on the people. Although Israel and Judah both were brethren, they were divided as two separate kingdoms.

Isaiah 8:1-9 explained God’s message to Judah through Isaiah with instruction that he should write it with a pen on a scroll and also call the priest –Uriah as a witness so that it can be in records for everyone to see and then reveal it to King Ahaz. Why was this done? This was because King Ahaz did not trust God for the salvation of Judah. The Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz was mentioned figuratively as a prophecy which means son of plunder which is opposite to God’s redemption of humanity “IMMANUEL”. God did not take Ahaz’s actions lightly because King Ahaz himself did not trust God to depend on Him for protection for the fear of attack from Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah despite His assurance of victory to the House of Judah.
The significance of Judah is beyond a territorial extension of Israel but part of the covenant and as such should “stood out to honor the praise of God” and from which is the lineage of David and also Christ the Messiah.

2 Kings 8:19 Yet for the sake of His servant David, the Lord was unwilling to destroy Judah, since He had promised to maintain a lamp for David and His descendants forever).

Also, Joshua willed Judah the Southern of the promised land which became part of Jerusalem in Judah (Joshua 15) and this region became the site for the temple in Jerusalem, Mount Moriah, and also Mount Zion, and became the spiritual headquarters and strength of other tribes. We see this in Genesis 22:2, And later David affirmed in Psalm 132:13 that God has chosen Zion as His desired habitation. Bible scholars also tells us that Mount Moriah where God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac later became known as Zion in Southern Jerusalem. David own his own evolution willed Judah the Southern part of the city to God (2 Samuel 5: 7 Nevertheless, David captured the fortress of Zion—which is the City of David). This region of Judah was also where Solomon built the temple in Jerusalem

2 Chronicles 3: 1 Then Solomon began to build the temple of the LORD in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the LORD had appeared to his father David. It was on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, the place provided by David.

Despite the good news of God’s redemption that will be pioneered by the House of Judah, God will bring judgment against the House of Judah because of the actions of King Ahaz in which he aligned with the Assyrians to fortify Judah against the aggression of Syria and Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah. King Ahaz was justified and had reasons to be afraid because they had suffered similar situation in the past and the antecedent of the Syrians, Ephraim and Remaliah was enough to frighten King Ahaz.

We notice this in - 2 Chronicles 28:6-8

For Pekah the son of Remaliah killed one hundred and twenty thousand in Judah in one day, all valiant men, because they had forsaken the LORD God of their fathers. 7 Zichri, a mighty man of Ephraim, killed Maaseiah the king’s son, Azrikam the officer over the house, and Elkanah who was second to the king. 8And the children of Israel carried away captive of their brethren two hundred thousand women, sons, and daughters; and they also took away much spoil from them, and brought the spoil to Samaria.

However, we will observe despite Ahaz’s justification in Isaiah 8:7, that God showed displeasure with Judah for King Ahaz’s treaty with the Assyrians and how such an action will be a yoke and snare to them.

The Assyrians were also the enemies of Israel who had invaded them before which also made God not pleased with the actions of Ahaz (2 Chronicles 5: 26 So the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of King Pul of Assyria, the spirit of King Tilgath-pilneser of Assyria, and he carried them away, namely, the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, and brought them to Halah, Habor, Hara, and the river Gozan, to this day).
However, the warning of judgement of the consequences of Judah and Israel’s disobedience will be a long lasting consequence on its people which we can trace in the scripture as it continued to Hosea to Malachi with emphasis on God’s desire for the restoration of Israel out of their backsliding state.

Isaiah 8:10-16 – At this point, God makes a demand on King Ahaz to ask for a sign as an assurance over His people. God’s intention was for King Ahaz to understand that He will be an everlasting savior over the people of Israel and Judah, and also out of the tribe of Judah comes forth salvation “IMMANUEL”. This prophecy was beyond the immediate threat of the Syrians and Israel against the House of Judah. As a people the task of trusting God for the fulfilment of His word means not settling for Ismael because of the NOW situation of temporary comfort which is short sightedness and only an opposition to God’s everlasting blessing of Isaac that requires our faith and complete obedience to Him.

Isaiah 8:16-20, God warns Isaiah not to focus on the conspiracy against Judah but to tell the people to adhere to His law but regardless Ahaz put his trust and that of His people in the might of the Assyrians. Furthermore, the people Judah continued in their ways and then God tells Isaiah to pay attention to the testimony (law) of the Lord; wait on Him and position himself and his children as God’s sign and wonder which the people will now read because they have derailed to seeking mediums and fortune tellers. The became a case of backsliding and complete derailment from the only true God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The failed to come to the understanding their action of seeking other gods through mediums was a rejection of God’s law and also an abomination before Him.

Isaiah 8:21-22 The consequences of Judah’s level rejection of God will bring His God’s judgment and hardship on both Israel and Judah which prevailed for many years until the fulfilment of the coming of Jesus Christ, Immanuel (Mathew 1: 23) whose coming reconciled humanity to God.

Sometimes Christians struggle to trust God due to fear of the security of the future and most often our confidence is rather tilted towards other processes such as education, insurance policy, pension and retirement plans, etc. that point us towards a good future. God is calling us to a faith-based relationship

Hebrews 1: 1-3 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.2 For by it the elders obtained a good report.3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear).

This is a life void of sentiment, because life of sentiment focuses on reality and pragmatism which cannot pass the test of faith in God. Did you wonder why God’s rebuke of Judah and Israel was so severe? This is because God does not spare His own when it comes to complete adherence. He expects us to trust Him in order to bring out the best in us even though the process might seem unrealistic just as He assured King Ahaz of the safety Judah and His redemption “Immanuel”, but Ahaz was shortsighted by aligning with the Assyrians.

Proverbs 3: 5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight)

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