I don’t know how many times I have either read this verse or heard it recited in my life, but as I returned to study the context of the verse recently, I realized that:
This promise was given to Ahaz, the king of Judah, whose kingdom was being threatened by enemy nations. Isaiah had gone to talk to Ahaz to reassure him that God understood how scared they were (their hearts shaking as the trees of the forest were shaken by the wind according to verse 2).
Through Isaiah, God gave them these directions: Be careful (what you do), keep calm and don’t be afraid. Do not lose heart.
God encouraged Ahaz to ask for a sign, but Ahaz was afraid to ask for anything, so God gave this sign, a promise of Immanuel’s coming as a child born to a virgin. Immanuel means “God with us”, so it was a promise of God’s presence with us when we need him most!
What does it take for you to believe God’s promises? Do you doubt that God will deliver you from your enemies any time soon? The hardest thing about promises is waiting for them to be fulfilled! We are actually blessed to be able to look back and see how God has brought everything to pass that he had promised Ahaz! It proves the faithfulness of God.
Today, by faith, perhaps you need to ask God for a sign that will help you to be calm and not lose heart. (There is nothing wrong with asking God for a sign, if you sincerely want to believe that God cares about you!) God is far more ready to give you a sign than you are to ask for one, if this story is any indication of how God wants to reassure your fears of what the future will bring.
Father, I invite you today to come and strengthen me through your Word and your Spirit and renew my faith in your unfailing power and love. Amen.
Throughout This Day: Look about you for signs of God's unfailing presence, love, power and wisdom.
Photo Credit: Avi Richards on Unsplash