Lesson 3
Isaiah 7:1-14

Henry Mahan

The nation Israel, and especially the kingdom of Judah, shall be kept from destruction from its enemies and preserved by God until the Messiah shall come to earth. Jacob declared this in (Gen. 49:8-10.) In spite of Israel's backslidings, idolatry, enemies, and ignorance of true worship and true redemption, the temple shall stand, the passover shall be observed, and the law of ceremonies, circumcision, sabbath, and sacrifices shall continue unchanged until the Messiah shall come to fulfill all things and redeem true Israel by His blood and righteousness. The tribe of Judah, the house and lineage of David, must continue until He comes to Bethlehem, city of David (Lk. 2:1-4, Micah 5:2). That is what this 7th chapter of Isaiah is all about!

(Vs. 1-2) It was in the days of King Ahaz (king of Judah) that the enemies of Judah besieged Jerusalem but could not prevail. Fear and dread gripped the hearts of the people of Judah when they learned that the ten tribes of Israel were allies of Syria against Judah. Fear of the enemy, distrust of the power and care of God, and guilt because of their sinfulness made their hearts tremble like trees sway in a hurricane.

(Vs. 3-9) The Lord spoke to the Prophet Isaiah and sent him to meet King Ahaz in a certain place with the Lord's message. The Lord instructed Isaiah to comfort Ahaz and exhort him to be quiet, fear not, and neither be faint-hearted; for the conspiracy formed against him by Syria and Ephraim would be fruitless, and the rival kingdom of Israel in 65 years would be broken.

(Vs. 10-11) Although Ahaz was not a godly king, but was a wicked man, yet the Lord said to him, "Ask for yourself a sign (a token or proof) of the Lord your God." THE LORD WAS HIS GOD, as He is every man's God! And God will use every man to accomplish His divine will for Israel and the world (Rom. 9:17, Prov. 16:4). Knowing Ahaz's unbelief and hesitancy to follow God's prophet, the Lord says, "Ask of me a sign that will be convincing to you that God has spoken and will keep His word." Ask what you will—a miracle to be done on the earth or in the heavens. Examples: the dividing of the sea for Moses or the sun standing still for Joshua.

(Vs. 12) But Ahaz (unwilling to hear God's prophet, unwilling to be quiet and wait on God, unwilling to rely on the promise and power of God, unwilling to depend on God and not seek the help of others) now refuses to obey the prophet and ask God for a sign. He pretended religion and a reverence of God by saying, "I will not tempt the Lord." To ask a sign of God, when He offered one, is not irreverence; but to refuse one when offered is great stubbornness and ingratitude!

(Vs. 13) Isaiah addresses the king; but also his words of rebuke apply to the whole house of David, the entire nation, which, like their king, pretended religion and reverence for God only to openly disobey Him and refuse His words. "It is a small thing to you to weary, vex, and disturb the prophets of God by your obstinancy and unbelief; but will you weary and vex my God also?" Read Matt. 10:40-42. Unbelief is the sin of all sin, the damning sin, the sin that plagued Israel all their days and robbed them of blessings innumerable (Heb. 3:17-19).

(Vs. 14) Therefore (whether you ask a sign or no!), "The Lord Himself shall give you a sign."

(a) The POWER OF GOD to cause a virgin to give birth to a son, and the PROMISE OF GOD that it will come to pass should give them assurance (Num. 23:19). On these two things Abraham's faith rested (Rom. 4:20-22).
(b) The promise of the Messiah, made often before and repeated here, who must come from the root of Jesse, the tribe of Judah, and the loins of David, guarantees the preservation of this people.
(c) The seed of woman (Gen.3:15), the priest like Melchizedek (Gen. 14:18), the passover Lamb (Exo.12:13), the prophet like Moses (Deut.18:18-J-9), and the king (son of David—Psa. 132:11) is this virgin's son; and in Him are all of God's mercies and promises. OF HIM the prophets wrote, FOR HIM the ancient believers waited, TO HIM they all looked; and He shall come and not tarry (Isa. 46:13).

The incarnation of our great God and Saviour is called by Paul "the mystery of godliness" (I Tim. 3:16); and He is our hope, our peace, and our salvation. Isaac Watts put it in these words:

"'Til God in human flesh I see, my thoughts no comfort find;
The holy, just, and sacred THREE are terrors to my mind.
But if IMMANUEL'S face appear, my hope, my joy begins;
His NAME forbids my slavish fear; His grace removes my sin."

Henry Mahan
Ashland, Ky.