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 will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’). By the time this child is old enough to choose what is right and reject what is wrong, he will be eating yogurt and honey. For before the child is that old, the lands of the two kings you fear so much will both be deserted. “Then the Lord will bring things on you, your nation, and your family unlike anything since Israel broke away from Judah. He will bring the king of Assyria upon you!” In that day the Lord will whistle for the army of southern Egypt and for the army of Assyria. They will swarm around you like flies and bees. They will come in vast hordes and settle in the fertile areas and also in the desolate valleys, caves, and thorny places. In that day the Lord will hire a “razor” from beyond the Euphrates River —the king of Assyria—and use it to shave off everything: your land, your crops, and your people. In that day a farmer will be fortunate to have a cow and two sheep or goats left. Nevertheless, there will be enough milk for everyone because so few people will be left in the land. They will eat their fill of yogurt and honey. In that day the lush vineyards, now worth 1,000 pieces of silver, will become patches of briers and thorns. The entire land will become a vast expanse of briers and thorns, a hunting ground overrun by wildlife. No one will go to the fertile hillsides where the gardens once grew, for briers and thorns will cover them. Cattle, sheep, and goats will graze there.
Dear God, this is yet another verse taken out of context. The original “verse of the day” from Bible Gateway was:
All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).
Modern Christians read that and think, “Jesus! Yay, Jesus!” Or they think, “See, there was prophecy about Jesus. Yay!” But this is one little verse of hope–actually, it was just a sign–in the midst of calamity. The setting was not good into which this child of a virgin would be born, and the prophecy doesn’t claim that the life circumstances of everyone around at that time will get better. And you said this to a seemingly good king who loved you.
I talked a couple of days ago about prosperity gospel and how much I am against it. Now, I find myself wondering over the last few months if we aren’t seeing the beginning of our own nation’s decline. Are we seeing a rotting from within? I even see it within the church. Divisiveness. Hatred. Satan’s Plan A is working to perfection, and things like social media are fueling it. The idea that our nation is called “The United States” is almost laughable because we are not united among the states, within the states, or even within communities. Everyone is fighting so hard for their own rights they are losing sight of each other, and social media seems to be the fuel.
Father, it’s funny that children want to have sex before they are ready and their parents want them to wait as long as possible. It’s because the parents know what’s on the other side of it. The irony is that they parents still practice as much sexual immorality as they try to prevent among their children. The same is true for social media. I was on a call this week where we talked about the dangers of social media among children and the mental health consequences, but when I brought up our own addictions to it as adults the conversation got uncomfortable and quiet. But right now it feels like the water is rushing through the dam and I have no idea how to stop it. I don’t know that it can be stopped, so I am just going to love you as best as I can today. I’m sorry for where I fail in these areas. I’m sorry for my own hypocrisy. I’m sorry I’m not a better ambassador for you. Please forgive me, and, Holy Spirit, please help me.
In Jesus’s name I pray,