There were a few times when I was a boy, growing up in the home of my parents, that my Dad would try to explain something to me. When it seemed as though he was not making it clear, Dad would ask, or make a statement; I am not sure if it was a question or a statement; “Do I have to draw you a picture”(?.) Maybe you can answer that for me.
Any way to finish the title of this article “…a Thousand Words”. Pictures explain a lot. If you have seen the Grand Canyon you can tell people about it, but that does not begin to explain it the way a picture can. Think of the Rockies in Colorado, or wherever you have seen them; can you describe them the way that photo you took of them can? There is not enough words in the English vocabulary to explain their grandeur; and a picture can only get close.
Pictures are an important part of life. Sometimes we receive word pictures. Sometimes we give word pictures. A lot of the Bible is word pictures. The prophet Isaiah was pretty good with word pictures.
If you were to look back to the seventh chapter Isaiah had gone to Ahaz the king with a message from God, and had asked the king to ask God for a sign. The king had refused to ask, and had even said, “I will not put the LORD to the test” (7:11-12), feigning humility, but exhibiting pride instead; because God had asked him to ask a sign. So Ahaz received a sign anyway.
It was the prophecy of a baby who would be born. One would be born to prove the truth of this prophecy – a son of the prophet – and the other; who would be the fulfillment of all Bible prophecy; was to be Immanuel [God with us] (7:14).
Now we come to the near fulfillment where the king [Ahaz] is shown that what the prophet has said will come to pass:
“And I went unto the prophetess; and she conceived, and bare a son. Then said the LORD to me, Call his name Mahershalalhashbaz. For before the child shall have knowledge to cry, My father, and my mother, the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria shall be taken away before the king of Assyria.” Isaiah 8:3-4 (KJV)
“This boy Mahershalalhashbaz was the picture which the prophet painted for the king to view and to see, and to know, that the invasion of Assyria was going to come on the land of Judah. The close fulfillment would happen just a few short months following the birth of this boy. He would not even be speaking the words, “Daddy” or “Momma”. The picture (given in 7:14) was also with a distant prophecy. A promise picture of a Great Hope for the people and the land of promise.
His name would be Immanuel [God with us]. He did come, and we know Him as Jesus. There was much judgment upon the land, before Jesus came. There was much more after Jesus died, was buried, rose again and ascended into Heaven. There is much more to come. Immanuel will come again, and He will make all things new.
There is a great thing about this too. Being Immanuel we do not have to wait for His physical appearing. He is present with us now. He is making lives brandnew. He is changing old, cold, dead, and heartless lives new, warm, quick, and full of passion for things that are good, and holy, and right. Hear Him as He speaks through His Word and through His Spirit. God will fulfill all His promises. Not one will go undone.
Do you see the picture? If not let the LORD open your eyes that you may see.
-Tim A. Blankenship