I have to start by being honest. Preachers are very honest people--unless it comes to talking about themselves. We like to tell you that everything is ok, that we are superhumans--never sick, never doubting, never lacking faith. But we do get sick and down in spirit. We have days when we don't want to preach or write blog posts. Days when we are too sick or tired to listen.
I know Christ had these days. I know my mother does. I know so many of us do. I say all this to say this has been one of those weeks. I've read this passage each day with an overflowing heart and a stuffy nose and a bad cough. And through those lenses, I think God really was able to speak. I love that--when God speaks even when my ears are too plugged up to listen!
First, I'm honestly split on whether this is a direct prophesy pointing to Christ or not. I agree that the words in verses 14-18 have traditionally be seen that way. I also believe that the ancient Hebrews were looking for the messiah to come through David because of the covenant in 1 Samuel we have already studied. So, the discussion of the house of Ephraim points that way. Still, the rest of it is a bit murky for me. I'm not so sure that it all makes sense to me.
But these passages did speak to me. I've learned through my life, never to ask God for signs--not becuase its not Biblical--but because I'm often scared of what the sign will be. But, God starts this passage to Ahaz asking him to ask for a sign. A big sign--as deep has hell and as high as heaven (vs. 10)!
Sometimes I don't ask God for enough. I think I can do it all myself. Instead of asking God for big things that he can do, I ask him for little things that I CAN DO! That was Ahaz's problem, wasn't it? He wanted to DO for himself, and he forgot God. That's why he was so "evil" because he forgot God. I do that--do you?
Ahaz replied, "I won’t ask; I won’t test the LORD.” (11)
I've said that!
God then grew weary of him! UGH! Does God grow weary of my little faith? Sometimes, I'm sure!
Then come the words about the coming savior. That even if Ahaz won't ask--God will send a sign. That God will be with them! That one will come to show us evil and good, and good times will be coming!
Then God talks about the evil that Assyria will do to its enemies. It talks about the bad things that will be coming for Israel! The pictures of the flies and bees particularlly got me--since after returning home from the better part of two weeks out of my apartment, I had a million fruit flies! They were a mess. (Thankfully an open glass of apple cider vinegar with some dawn in it solves that problem fast!). But I thought of this verse. How many times do I unintentionally leave other people my messes to clean up! That's what was going to happen to Ahaz! The goodness of their riches would become briers and thorns. Bad things were coming.
This week, I was given hope that God will do bigger things than I ever can. That its time to start trusting God and asking for big things. Giant things. Wonderful things. God, I'm ready for the grace that is too big to swallow too enormous to contain. I'm ready for big things--give me the faith to believe!
What parts of these passages really got to you this week? How was your week?
Blessings and praying for you all!