God’s Gift

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with a child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14) Prophesying over 700 years before the birth of Christ, Isaiah spoke to King Ahaz of Judah about the deliverance that God would provide that besieged kingdom. This prophecy has provided the world with one of the clearest declarations of the Christmas miracle. God would come in the flesh to dwell among us. He would enter our world through the womb of a virgin. What a wonderful sign God gives to us to behold and believe.
It may be difficult to identify with King Ahaz of Judah. As reflected in 2 Kings 16:24, he was a young, arrogant king of “detestable” ways. In spite of this, the prophet Isaiah went to Ahaz to offer him spiritual strength in a time of national crisis. Because of his godless ways, Ahaz did not merit a sign or a faithful prophet. Yet despite these evil ways and his phony spirituality, a covenant keeping God gave Ahaz a clear sign of what he would do, not only for Ahaz but for our sin-darkened world through the Immanuel prophecy.
What can we learn from God’s actions? We learn about the character of God. He is a God of tremendous mercy and tenderness. In the midst of the dilemmas that were entirely of Ahaz’s doing, God came to deliver the king and his kingdom. We should never underestimate the depth of God’s love for any of us. None of us is worthy, and still God comes. He comes into our lives with signs that are clear and understandable to us. He is not a God who would stay hidden and unnamed from a people he loves. As we worship him, he extends to us a cup, the bread, and a cross. At Christmas we are presented with a star, a manger, a virgin, shepherds, and kings. As Jesus takes on our flesh God presents us with tangible proof that he is indeed among us, to be known by us, in a personal relationship.
At Christmas, through signs and the messages, God continues to seek after us. Will we be onlookers who stroll past these familiar words and signs with casual interest? Or will we stop, open our eyes, ears and mouths, and dare to believe that a loving heavenly Father is here to cut through our fears, and to draw us to himself? Ahaz. You. Me. God still desires that we believe and be saved. Christmas is a gift for such as us.
Dear God, you know of no hopeless ones in this world. Help us to stop and realize that you are truly there for us. Enable us to believe. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
In His Peace, Pastor Schultz

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