- Published: Wednesday, 16 June 2010 14:43
God’s Protection and Judgment
Israel and Aram threaten Judah (Isaiah 7:1-9)
- During the reign of Ahaz (king of Judah), Israel and Aram attacked Jerusalem.
- God spoke to Isaiah, and told him to encourage Ahaz, and tell him that God would protect Israel against this threat.
The Sign of Immanuel (Isaiah 7:10-16)
- God told Ahaz to ask for a sign from God. He refused, but God sent a sign any way: “the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel” Isaiah prophesied that before this boy becomes a man, both Israel and Aram would be destroyed.
- Immanuel literally means “God with us”.
- This prophecy had both an immediate fulfillment in the time of Isaiah and Ahaz, but is also an important prophecy of the birth of Jesus at a much later time (Matthew 1:22-23).
Isaiah prophesies that God will use Assryia to punish Israel (Isaiah 7:16-8:22)
- Israel will go from a land of abundance to being covered with briers and thorns (Isaiah 7:16-25)
- Isaiah has a son named Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz (which means “quick to the plunder”), because the wealth of Samaria (Israel) will be carried off by the king of Assyria (Isaiah 8:1-10). Isaiah prophesies Israel will be destroyed before his son can learn how to speak. Israel was destroyed by Assyria in 722 B.C.
- God warns Isaiah to fear him, and not follow the example of the people by consulting mediums and spiritists (Isaiah 8:11-22)
In these chapters we see God’s protection of Judah against an enemy (Aram), and God’s use of another enemy (Assyria) to execute his judgment against Israel.
- What is the difference between Judah and Israel (they are the southern and northern parts of the old Israel)? Why protection in one case, and punishment on the other?
- Do you think God both protects and punishes today? What do you think his objective would be for both?