10 And Yahveh continued to speak to Ahaz, saying, 11 “Ask for a sign for yourself from Yahveh God; make its difficulty deep like Sheol or make its difficulty high as the sky above.” 12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I will not put Yahveh to the test.” 13 Then he said, “Hear, house of David! Is it too little for you to tire men out, will you also tire my God out? 14 For this reason the Lord himself will give all of you a sign. See! the virgin, about to get pregnant and give birth a son, and she will call his name ‘God with us.’ 15 He will eat curds and honey until he knows to reject the wrong and to choose the right. 16 Because before the boy knows to reject the wrong and to choose the right, the ground which you are fearing will be abandoned by the faces of her two kings” 17 “Yahveh will bring on you and on your people and on the house of your father days that have not happened since the day Ephraim defected from Judah: the king of Assyria.”
here’s your sign
Perhaps Ahaz thought he was being noble when he refused to ask God for a sign. Yahveh thought differently. He said that he was getting tired of Ahaz and all of Judah trying to figure things out on their own. So, he decided to give them a sign anyway. Ahaz and Judah, here’s your sign. Imagine the virgin, a constellation in the night sky. She is about to give birth to her son, and he will be called Immanuel: God with us. But before this young man is even weaned, a threat is going to come upon you that makes the current threat of Israel and Aram seem like a walk in the park. The world-shattering invasion of Assyria is coming.
One of the important messages in this passage is this: Ahaz was too busy fighting his personal fears that he did not take time to stop and ask God for help. That was a big mistake. If Ahaz were wise, he would have been spending more time in the prayer room than in the war room. He would have been bothering Isaiah for signs from God all the time. But Ahaz was not wise. He failed to keep in touch with his God, so he was not prepared to deal with the real threat to him and his people.
Another message in this passage is that the virgin that the stars proclaimed would – and did give birth to Immanuel. God walked among the people of Judah just a few centuries after Isaiah predicted it. And, just like Ahaz, the mighty and powerful ignored that too.
LORD, thank you for the sign. We see you caring enough about us to send your son, and you walked among us in him. Give us the wisdom to follow him, and stop trying to fight your battle in our strength alone.