Isaiah- Session 3- Isaiah 7:7-17

Session 3- Trusting God

Isaiah 7:7-17

 

Lesson Resources:

Subject:  Trust

Central Theme:  Trusting God

Objective Sentence:  We should trust God for four reasons illustrated in Isaiah 7:7-17.

Keyword:

Reason #1- God intervenes. (7:7-9)

Reason #2- God expects. (7:10-13)

Reason #3- God announces. (7:14-15)

Reason #4- God judges. (7:16-17)

Introduction:

Connection:

  • Have you ever had someone make a promise to you and then break their promise?
  • We have all felt that pain.
  • Unfortunately, we have probably all done the same thing to someone else.
  • We tend to appreciate people that come through on the promises, and be frustrated with those who break their promises to us.

Tension:

  • When it comes to our relationship with God, trust is of upmost importance.
  • The Bible says that without faith it is impossible to please God.
  • The good news is that God is trustworthy.
  • But often we place our faith and trust in something other than Him.
  • This is illustrated in the life of Ahaz in Isaiah 7.
  • Because He did not trust in God as he should, both he and Judea suffered.
  • If we want to have a right relationship with God we must learn to trust in Him.

We should trust God for four reasons illustrated in Isaiah 7:7-17.

Reason #1- God intervenes. (7:7-9)

(7)  Thus saith the Lord GOD, It shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass.  Isaiah 7:7

Explanation:

  • At this point in Israel’s history, Israel was divided in two.
  • 10 tribes of Israel, sometimes referred to as Ephraim which was one of those tribes, made up the northern kingdom.
  • Judah was the southern kingdom, and was made up of the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin.
  • King Ahaz was the king of Judah at this time.
  • In verse 1 we learn that the northern kingdom and the nation of Syria had gone to Jerusalem to make war.
  • They had made a pact together to fight Judah.
  • When King Ahaz heard this he and his people were quite fearful (v.2).
  • God tells Isaiah to take his son Shearjashub and go speak to Ahaz while he is inspecting the water supply (v3).
  • He tells him to tell Ahaz not to fear (v.4).  He tells Ahaz of their plot (v.5-6).  Their plan was to defeat Judah and set up a new kingdom and then share in the spoils.
  • They even have an idea of who the king of the new kingdom could be.
  • Now if you were the king of a kingdom, finding out that there is a plot to war with your people and take over is never a fun message to receive.  If you were ever going to receive this message, to receive it this way would be the best.
  • Why?  God was the one telling him, through the prophet Isaiah, exactly what was going to happen.  Why was this good?
  • God always tells the truth.  Any military leader will tell you that a large part of warfare is having the right intelligence.  Much of the information you receive you may not be able to trust.  In this situation the person giving the information could be fully and completely trusted.
  • God was intervening. Not only was God telling him what had happened, He was also telling Ahaz what was going to happen.  In today’s verse Isaiah makes it clear that according to God the plans of these two kings will not stand, and will not come to pass.  God was intervening by communicating this to Ahaz and by making sure that this plot would not happen.

Application:

  • Two truths we can say at this point in the passage that would apply to our lives are as follows:
  • First, God can be trusted.
    • If God says something to us it is true.  If he says something will happen, it will happen.  He cannot lie.  If we build our lives on what He has said our ways will be established.
  • Second, God is active.
    • Sometimes we think that God is up in heaven, unconcerned with what is going on in our lives.
    • We tend to think that there are so many “important” things happening in the world, how can God be concerned with the things that concern us?
    • The truth is that God is big enough to handle everything.  He tells us to cast our cares on Him.
    • Although sometimes we feel like God is silent, we should not take his silence as absence.
    • He has spoken to us through His Word.
    • Even though it may not seem like He is working, it does not mean that He is absent.
    • He loves us and wants what is best for us and that which will bring Him glory in our lives.

(8)  For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin; and within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken, that it be not a people.  (9)  And the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is Remaliah’s son. If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established.  Isaiah 7:8-9

Explanation:

  • The scripture continues this poetic statement that Isaiah started in verse 7.
  • He is speaking to Ahaz, King of Judah, the words of God Himself.
  • He has already told Ahaz of the plot of the kings of Syria and Ephraim (the northern kingdom of Israel) to overthrow Judah and Jerusalem in verses 1-6.
  • He had also assured Ahaz that their plot would not come to pass.
  • God was intervening both by telling him what was happening and what would happen.
  • In this part of the poem (v.8-9) God foretells of the breaking of Ephraim.
  • There would be an exile of those people.  Eventually there would also be foreign settlers that come in, all within 65 years.
  • The end of the statement, in verse 9, is interesting.  “If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established”.
  • God was telling Ahaz that if he were to believe God and act based on what God was telling him then his actions and leadership would be established.  He would make the right decisions moving forward.
  • If he would not believe God, then his decisions would be wrong.  Unless Ahaz decided to trust God, he would find himself continuing to lead in fear, without confidence, and from a state of panic.

Application:

  • It is so important that we trust God.
  • When it comes time to make the right decisions in life we will be panicked, live in fear, and live without confidence if we put our trust in anything less than God Himself.
  • When it is time to make decisions we ought to trust God.  What are some ways we can show that we trust God?
  • Consult and Obey His Word.  God’s Word speaks directly to so many decision we must make.  It also gives us principles that help us make decisions that may not be as clear.
  • Pray about the decisions we make. When we pray about our decisions we put ourselves in a posture of submission to God.  We are opening our minds and hearts to God’s direction for our lives.
  • Ask for wisdom.  God’s Word tells us that He desires to give us wisdom.  He gives it out liberally!

(5)  If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.  James 1:5

  • When we seek God’s will through His Word, seek God’s will through prayer, and seek God’s will through wisdom, we are showing that we trust God.  When we do trust God our way is established.
  • God is working.  We must trust His plan.

We should trust God for four reasons illustrated in Isaiah 7:7-17.

Reason #1- God intervenes. (7:7-9)

Reason #2- God expects. (7:10-13)

(10)  Moreover the LORD spake again unto Ahaz, saying,  (11)  Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above.  (12)  But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD.  (13)  And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also?  Isaiah 7:10-13

 

Explanation:

  • The word “Moreover” indicates that God does not just challenge Ahaz to believe Him.  God challenged Ahaz to trust him in verse 9, and now He wants to help him to learn to trust.
  • Think about what God is offering.
  • More than just the challenge to believe, He offers to give Ahaz a sign to help Him believe.
  • And if that isn’t enough, God offers to let Ahaz choose what the sign would be!
  • Notice the scale of the kind of sign He is willing to give.  He says “ask it either in the depth, or in the height above”.  It’s almost like God is saying, “The sky is the limit!  Let me prove to you that I can be trusted.”
  • As amazing as that proposition was, what is more amazing is that Ahaz does not take God’s offer.
  • He gives a pious reason why He will not ask God for a sign.

“But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD.”

  • At first glance that answer may sound spiritual but think about it.
  • If God is the one who came up with the idea and proposed it to you, you would not be tempting the Lord to participate in the proposition.
  • This response showed Ahaz’s lack of belief, and how unchanged his attitude was.
  • We know all of this from verse 13.

(13)  And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also?

  • His attitude not only wearied the whole of Judah (called here the “house of David), but now his attitude and response was wearying God.  Ahaz was acting like the apathetic, snobby teenager who stubbornly will not respond in trust to God.
  • The truth was that Ahaz had already made an alliance with the King of Assyria to protect him against Syria and Ephraim.
  • In an attempt to please the Assyrian king, Ahaz gave him tribute, built an altar, and modified parts of the temple.
  • Ahaz was trusting in the king that he could see more than trusting in the God that he could not see, even when God Himself was speaking to him and offering him a sign.
  • You can read all about Ahaz’s trust in the Assyrian king and sin against God in 2 Kings 16:5-19.
  • God expected Ahaz to respond in faith.  He did everything He could do by intervening and revealing Himself supernaturally to Ahaz.
  • He even offered to let him choose how he would be moved to trust, and yet Ahaz demonstrated a significant lack of faith.

Application:

  • You and I do not want to find ourselves in the position of being wearisome to God in our attitude and actions.
  • God is patient, merciful, and kind.  There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  But what does please God is faith.
  • Read what the Bible says in Hebrews 11:6.

 (6)  But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.  Hebrews 11:6

  • God expects us to be people of faith.
  • We must not just believe Him to save us from our sin.  We also must trust Him with the details of our lives.
  • We demonstrate our trust by obedience, by seeking His will through His word, by abiding with Him in prayer, and by prioritizing Him in our lives.

We should trust God for four reasons illustrated in Isaiah 7:7-17.

Reason #1- God intervenes. (7:7-9)

Reason #2- God expects. (7:10-13)

Reason #3- God announces. (7:14-15)

(14)  Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.  (15)  Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.  Isaiah 7:14-15

Explanation:

  • In verses 10 to 13 God offers to give Ahaz a sign so that he would trust God.  Ahaz feigned a pious answer and refused a sign from God.
  • When we read verse 14 we realize that God would not be refused.  He gives Ahaz a sign anyway.
  • Verse 14 may be one of the most well-known verses in Isaiah.  We often hear this verse around Christmas time because of its clear reference and fulfillment in the conception and birth of Jesus Christ.  Matthew quotes this verse regarding the conception and birth of Christ in Matthew 1:22-23.

(22)  Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,  (23)  Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Matthew 1:22-23

  • So we know, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that Isaiah 7:14 definitely refers to Christ.  Jesus Christ was definitely born of a virgin, Mary.
  • In Luke 1 an angel came to Mary and told her that she had conceived and would have a son.  Look at Mary’s response:

(34)  Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?  (35)  And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.  Luke 1:34-35

  • The virgin that would conceive which was foretold in Isaiah 7:14 clearly referred to Mary.
  • Christ was supernaturally conceived by the Holy Spirit, and could rightly be called the Son of God.
  • When we read Isaiah 7:14-15 in its context there is clearly a sign that is being given to Ahaz.
  • Ahaz had refused God in asking for a sign (Isaiah 7:12), and had wearied God and man in not trusting in God (Isaiah 7:13).  The sign being given is also then a sign to Ahaz.

When reading this verse in the context of Isaiah 7 several positions have been taken.

  • Isaiah 7:14 is only fulfilled in the day of Isaiah. 
    • This is problematic because Matthew teaches that it speaks to Mary and to Christ.
  • Isaiah 7:14 is only fulfilled in the day of Christ.
    • This is problematic because there is a specific reference to timing in verses 15 and following.
    • The sign of this son named Immanuel would signify that before this son was old enough to discern good and evil (a reference to his age) “the land would be forsaken of both of her kings” (Isaiah 7:16).
  • Isaiah 7:14 has both an immediate fulfillment in Isaiah’s day, and ultimately is fulfilled in Christ. 
    • This seems to be the correct interpretation, but one must be able to answer several questions in this view as well.
    • Is the son born in Isaiah’s day “born of a virgin”?
    • Bible commentators like Warren Weirsbe and others contend that the woman spoken of in Isaiah’s day was then (at the time of the prophecy) a virgin but would conceive and bring forth a son.
    • Others concede that the Hebrew word for virgin could also mean “young woman” or “maiden”.  Many arguments have been made through the years about this word.
    • Unfortunately, people have taken this argument to try to make the point that Jesus was not born of a virgin, but of a “young woman” and therefore his birth was not supernatural, and he is not God.  He would then be born with a sin nature, and we are still in our sins.
    • Matthew, Luke and many other New Testament writers leave no room for the idea that the conception of Christ is anything less than miraculous. Mary became pregnant supernaturally, and Christ is the Messiah, the perfect, sinless Son of God.  What is amazing and proof of this third position is that every part of this prophecy was fulfilled!  The land was forsaken of both her kings before the time-frame of this son being old enough to discern right from wrong, and a virgin did conceive, and brought forth a son who was literally “God with us”, Jesus Christ.

 

Application:

  • Don’t miss the point of the big idea of this text.  God can be trusted.  What He says will come to pass.
  • Jesus Christ is God in the flesh.  When we understand why He came and trust in Him to pay for our sins, we are saved.  When we doubt who He is, and reject Him as Savior, the consequences are stark.  We will spend an eternity separated from God, paying for our sins.
  • When God makes a promise, not only can He be trusted, but He must be trusted.  The consequences of doubting God are grave!

We should trust God for four reasons illustrated in Isaiah 7:7-17.

Reason #1- God intervenes. (7:7-9)

Reason #2- God expects. (7:10-13)

Reason #3- God announces. (7:14-15)

Reason #4- God judges. (7:16-17)

(16)  For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.  (17)  The LORD shall bring upon thee, and upon thy people, and upon thy father’s house, days that have not come, from the day that Ephraim departed from Judah; even the king of Assyria.  (Isaiah 7:16-17)

Explanation:

  • God explains that the sign of this child and his age will indicate His timing for judgement on Syria and Ephraim.
  • He also explains that this judgement will not just be for Ahaz’s enemies. The judgement will be for Him as well. (Verse 17).
  • Interestingly the thing that Ahaz was trusting in instead of God was the king of Assyria.  We know that Ahaz was willing to change the altar (2 Kings 16:10-12) and elements of the temple (2 Kings 16:16-18) to make the king of Assyria happy.
  • He was willing to dishonor God by making appeasement for this pagan king.
  • God tells Ahaz that the king in which he trusted would eventually be what God used to judge the nation for their sins.

 

Application:

  • It is often the case that God uses the things that we worship other than him to bring about our own discipline.
  • Sometimes God gives allows the things we worship to devour us.
  • How many people have been consumed by sexual promiscuity, drink, and drugs?  What they worship ultimately destroys them.
  • You have heard people say to be careful what you wish for.  When we trust in something other than God that can become our undoing.

 God can be trusted, and when we trust in something else the consequences can be devastating.

 

Response:

  • What are you trusting in?  Are you putting your confidence in God?
  • Are there any false idols in your life that are limiting your trust and dependence on God?

 

Conclusion:

We should trust God for four reasons illustrated in Isaiah 7:7-17.

Reason #1- God intervenes. (7:7-9)

Reason #2- God expects. (7:10-13)

Reason #3- God announces. (7:14-15)

Reason #4- God judges. (7:16-17)

 

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