The Lord had spoken to Isaiah and sent him to Ahaz the king of Judah with the message “Do not fear”. Yes I know it was a little longer and a bit more than that, but that is the basic message God sent to Ahaz.
The plotting of Ephraim would not stand, especially since they had made league with an enemy of God and His people. “Do not fear” is used; someone has said; 365 times throughout all of Scripture. That is one for each day of the year. One thing about Ahaz is that he is a proud king and we are about to see some of that pride in its worse form.
“Moreover the LORD spake again unto Ahaz, saying, Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD. 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? Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. 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. 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 7:10-17 (KJV)
King Ahaz seems to have been trying to be pious in responding to the prophet’s message. Remember it is Isaiah who brought the message of the LORD to the king. The LORD said to the king, “Ask a sign of the LORD…”. It was the Lord who asked Ahaz to ask for a sign, yet the king wanted to have the self-righteous attitude, and a false faith, and refused the offer of the LORD. O, how often we have God’s Word before us and we hear it, then, turn around and neglect to perform the will of the Lord. The king could have asked for any sign, and due to his seeming arrogance, the sign goes a different way.
The LORD was asking to be tested. The king refused, therefore, it seems that the thing he feared was going to come to pass.
There is a two-fold message in Isaiah’s prophecy. It is to have a near fulfillment and a far off fulfillment. It is thought that the virgin would be the wife that Isaiah would marry, evidently the mother of Shearjashub has died. This young wife would have a son fulfilling the prophecy showing the king the power of God’s Word. Before this child would be old enough to know how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land of those the king dreaded would be empty/deserted.
In the end, the king of Assyria would overtake the land. It is not meant that Ahaz would see this event, but it did happen, and Jerusalem fell, and captives were carried away.
Verse 14 is also a prophecy of the Lord Jesus and His coming as the God-Man through the birth of the virgin mother Mary (Matthew 1:23). He is called Immanuel or “God with us”. It is the greatest thing in all the world to know Immanuel, that God is with us. Jesus is Immanuel; the fulfillment of the law and prophets.
It should be of great comfort to the Christian to know that Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of this promise, and that He is “God with us”, He will forever be with us, and we will one day forever be in His presence with Him.
-Tim A. Blankenship