We read a short portion: Isaiah 7:10-14
v10: The L-rd spoke again: G-d knows that faith doesn’t come naturally for us. Having faith is supernatural. If we trust G-d, He will grow and build up our faith (Roms 10:17). Ahaz was not faithful (2 Chron 28). G-d, being faithful and wanting all to come to repentance, wanted to work in Ahaz’s life and grow him into a faithful man.
v11: Ask a sign …in the depth or in the height above: G-d didn’t place a limitation on Ahaz. G-d wanted Ahaz to ask for any sign that would help him to overcome his unbelief, and that (when the sign was given to him) would help to strengthen his faith.
- Sign: Something that is a supernatural or divine act that only G-d can do (eg: something that could relate to the sun, moon, stars etc. These things in the heavens are considered signs – Gen 1:14)
- Ask it either in the depth or in the height above: This is an idiom and meant that Ahaz could ask G-d for anything at all – from the depths of Sheol right up into the heavens. G-d was calling Ahaz to believe. He was calling him not to be terrified and not to panic. G-d was calling him to be a faithful man in front of the nation that he had been called to lead. G-d was willing to grant Ahaz any sign, as G-d wanted to encourage Ahaz to believe in Him.
v12: I will not ask: Ahaz did not want a G-dly experience in his life. He did not want to respond or get involved or engage with the L-rd. He was an utterly faithless individual who did not even want to give G-d the opportunity to manifest Himself to him.
v13: House of David: G-d is not addressing the people of Judah or the counsellors of Ahaz. Once again, He is addressing the house of David. ‘House of David’ is a Messianic term. It speaks about those who believe in the Messianic promise…those who are a part of the congregation of the Redeemed.
- Weary G-d: Nothing makes G-d weak; nothing wears G-d out.
v14: Sign: In Hebrew this is the same word that was used for the supernatural mark that was placed on Cain (Gen 4:15).
- Virgin:ָעַלְמָ֗ה (al·māh): In Genesis 24:16 the word used for a young woman is the word ַֽנַּעֲרָ֗ (na·‘ă·rā) and the word used for ‘virgin’ is the word בְּתוּלָ֕ה (bə·ṯū·lāh). The writer of Genesis goes on to clarify that this is referring to a woman who had never known a man. The rabbis say that ‘batulah’ means ‘virgin’ but they deny that ‘almah’ also refers to a virgin. This is not an honest mistake, and we can prove it from Genesis 24:43. In this verse, when the story of Rebekah meeting the old servant at the well is retold, he refers to her as an ‘almah’ – a virgin. In Genesis 24:43 it does not emphasise that no man had ever known her. The word ‘almah’ was the accepted term for a young woman who was a virgin, so it did not need to be clarified. The word ‘batulah’ was not so well known and that is the reason why the author of Genesis had to clarify in Genesis 24:16 that ‘batulah’ was referring to a woman who had never known a man.
- Immanuel: G-d with us. The rabbis teach that this name is the redemptive name for Messiah. Through redemption G-d is with us.
Note: A virgin conceiving by just a Word is a very supernatural or miraculous sign – something that only G-d can do. The rabbis do not teach that this is a supernatural sign – hence the need to scrub this text of the word ‘virgin’. However, this is a vital prophecy that helps us to understand the truth of how Messiah entered into this world – being born of a virgin. Those who deny the virgin birth are not saved as they do not know Yeshua. The virgin birth is also directly tied to the divinity of Messiah. If we do not believe that Yeshua is G-d, who came in the flesh and dwelt among us, then we cannot be saved.