TODAY’S READING: ISAIAH 7-12
Isaiah’s message for King Ahaz; Christ’s birth and Kingdom foretold; Assyria to be broken; the promise of Israel’s restoration; Christ, the Branch.
HIGHLIGHTS & INSIGHTS:
The chapters in today’s reading (Isaiah 7-12) have been called “The Book of Immanuel” because of their clear prophecies concerning the Lord Jesus Christ.
Keep in mind as you’re reading that Isaiah prophesied during the time period that fell between II Kings 16-25, during the reigns of King Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Amon, Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah.
You will recall that the nation of Israel divided after the death of Solomon, the 10 northern tribes being referred to as Israel, and the two southern tribes being referred to as Judah. The capital city of Israel was Samaria, and the capital city of Judah was Jerusalem. Though Isaiah’s ministry was centered in Jerusalem, his messages influenced both the northern and the southern tribes. As we pick up in chapter 7 today, understand that because of Assyria’s menacing power, the surrounding nations wanted to form a coalition to stand against her. King Ahaz of Judah, however, refused to join the confederacy, so Syria and Israel actually joined forces (Isa. 7:1-2) to attack Judah to try to force her to cooperation with them. II Kings 16:1-9 lets us know that rather than trusting the Lord to help, Ahaz was secretly bargaining with Assyria to protect to him. While Ahaz was inspecting the safety of the water supply, God sent Isaiah and his son Shearjashub (meaning “the remnant!
shall return”), to give the king a message of confidence and hope. They tell him not to fear, because Israel and Syria would be “broken” within 65 years. In the fulfillment of the prophecy, Assyria defeated Syria (Damascus) in 732 B.C., and defeated Israel in 721 B.C.
In 7:10-16, God wanted Ahaz to ask for a sign to confirm the prophecy, but Ahaz piously refused. The Lord then determined to give a sign to the entire “house of David” (7:13). The sign was spelled out in 7:14 – “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” As with so many of the prophecies in the Old Testament, there is a double-fulfillment. In other words, to affirm and confirm that the prophecy would be fulfilled in the future, God would often allow there to be a partial fulfillment of the prophecy in more of the immediate present. That seems to be the case in prophecy of Isaiah 7:14. This is an obvious reference to virgin birth of Jesus Christ, who was conceived of the Holy Ghost in Mary’s womb, Mary having never known a man (Luke 1:31-35). But the partial fulfillment of the prophecy was a child that was to be born to Isaiah’s wife, as detailed in Isaiah 8:1-8. Apparently, Isa!
iah’s first wife, the mother of Shearjashub had died, and Isaiah took a new wife shortly after giving this prophecy, and the virgin he took to wife gave birth to a child by the name of Mahershalalhashbaz (meaning “speed to the spoil, haste to the pray”) within the next year.
>From chapter 7:17 through 10:34, Isaiah is preaching to apostate Israel, warning the northern kingdom that Assyria would come upon them and completely annihilate them. It was at this point that Mahershalalhashbaz was born, his very name pointing to the soon destruction of Samaria and Syria (8:4).
In chapter 9:1-7, Isaiah gives a second prophecy concerning the coming Messiah. (Compare this prophecy with Matt. 4:13-16). In 9:8-10:34, Isaiah continues to warn Israel of her impending ruin. At the same time he warns Assyria not to become proud of her victories, because she is simply a tool in the hand of God, and that she would be defeated as well. Do note that Assyria is a type of the Antichrist (“The Assyrian”) who will gather the nations of the world together in battle against Israel at Armageddon at the end of the Great Tribulation!
In chapters 11 and 12, Isaiah prophesies that Israel and Judah will unite in the Kingdom.
SPECIFIC REFERENCES TO “THE DAY OF THE LORD”:
7:18 – “in that day”
7:21 – “in that day”
7:23 – “in that day”
9:7 – “and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it”
9:1 – “in one day”
10:3 – “in the day of visitation”
10:17 – “in one day”
10:20 – “in that day”
10:27 – “in that day”
10:32 – “that day”
11:10 – “in that day”
11:11 – “in that day”
11:16 – “in that day”
12:1 – “in that day”
12:4 – “in that day”
CHRIST IS REVEALED:
In the SON WHO IS BORN OF VIRGIN, CALLED IMMANUEL – Isa. 7:14 (Matt.1:23; Luke 1:26-35).
In the CHILD UPON WHOM THE GOVERNMENT SHALL BE UPON HIS SHOULDER – Isa. 9:6 (Rev. 11:15).