Week Two

Introduction to Week Two

Our first partial week is over, and now we dive in to an assortment of history, judgments, and – of all things – praises! It’s going to be a rich and varied week of study, friend. Let’s commit to faithfully meeting the Lord through His words to Isaiah each and every day, gleaning knowledge of God and man, and personal application for our own selves and our week ahead.



June 4 – Isaiah 7

Back in Isaiah Chapter 1, Isaiah shares that he heard messages from God during the reigns of four kings: Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. It’s believed by many scholars that Isaiah was killed by Hezekiah’s son, Manasseh, so he most likely lived through at least the partial reigns of five monarchs. Wow. He must have been quite young, the year King Uzziah died, when he saw God “high and lifted up” and was commissioned. What a faithful servant of God Isaiah was!

In Chapter 7, we read some history. We are now in the middle of King Ahaz’ reign. Jerusalem and Judah are being threatened by two powers, Syria and Israel. This is during the time when the whole land of Israel had split in two, sort of like the North and the South during the Civil War here in America, only it was permanent. Isaiah prophesied and lived in Judah. Israel, the northern kingdom and Syria (which was directly north of Israel) banded together to attack Judah, where Jerusalem was at the northernmost part of the southern kingdom. Yikes!

Isaiah is able to reassure King Ahaz that the attack will not work. This was a moment when he was able to prophesy in Judah’s favor. A rare but nice occurrence.  King Ahaz was given a great gift from God. God told him he could ask anything to be done as a sign of confirmation that Judah would not fall to these attacks and King Ahaz refused this gift. What a shame. Instead, Isaiah gives us a cryptic sign that a virgin will conceive a child.  Let’s finish out our commentary today, with some thoughts from Charles Swindoll in this confusing passage:

In Ahaz’s time, the woman described here wasn’t necessarily a virgin in the way we use the word today. The Hebrew word …  almah could be translated ‘young woman.’ Alternatively, it is possible that Isaiah was speaking a sort of wedding blessing over a woman who was a virgin at the moment he prophesied but who would soon marry and conceive. In fact, this virgin may well have been Isaiah’s wife-to-be, who would soon bear a son (Isaiah 8:3) … Isaiah’s prophecy had a double significance: It was immediately relevant to Ahaz, but there were also long-term ramifications that would come to pass with Mary in Nazareth and at the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem.”

I hope Swindoll’s commentary is helpful to you. I was totally confused until I studied a bit on this one! I love that it’s possible Isaiah chose a sign (seeing as how King Ahaz rejected the offer) that guaranteed the woman he loved would say “yes” to marriage and give him a son. Haha! That’s a fun theory, anyway. But in any case, I am glad Isaiah got to prophesy some glad tidings, because most of the time, he had to give bad news to everyone. This prophecy also would have further established him as a true prophet from God, as it came true. It certified Isaiah in a sense as a genuine man of God.

My verse: Isaiah 7:9 “Israel is no stronger than its capital, Samaria, and Samaria is no stronger than its king, Pekah son of Remaliah. Unless your faith is firm, I cannot make you stand firm.”

My response: Father, somehow You wired us to be able to choose to believe or not. Our faith in You matters. This reminds me of Jesus when He was unable to do many miracles in His hometown. Unless I have firm faith .. I can’t stand firm. Help me to have a faith that lasts!

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