Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Our question tonight, is do we really believe that God is with us? To tie this with our text, we need consider Ahaz, king of Judah 735-715bc. In the scope of things, you may regard Ahaz as a bad king. Why? Well, the scriptures tell us that he practiced idolatry; thatís strike one. When face with trouble, he didnít turn to God, he didnít live by faith, but sent a large bribe including gold confiscated from the temple to Tiglath-Pileser - king of Assyria, and thereby became a vassal to him; strike 2. And when his rescue was not coming quickly enough, he killed his own son as an offering to Mollech, the fire god; strike 3, and 3 strikes and youíre out.
But God could not leave the land in turmoil. Even if Ahaz was a bad king, Ahaz was not abandoned. God raised up 3 prophets to speak the word specifically for Ahazís time - Isaiah, Hosea, and Micah specifically say so. 3 prophets ought to be able to set things right, and infact they do. For the wonderful promise of God is this - that his word will accomplish his purpose, and prosper the thing to which he has sent it.
The problem is that even though God was a work, Ahazís unbelief was so strong as to continue to be an obstacle. And thatís what happens in our text. So during the siege, when things had gotten desperate, God sends his prophet Isaiah to Ahaz, with a message of hope. But Ahaz wonít believe. God is going to work deliverance, the city will not fall, but Ahaz wonít believe. Ahaz has done everything including sacrificing his son, has hasnít believed in God in the past, he hasnít worshipped God, he hasnít kept the covenant with God - he simply canít believe that God would save the city, he canít believe that forgiveness is possible. And so the Lord tells Isaiah to ask Ahaz for a sign, what sign should be done, to show that God can forgive, and that God will save. And Ahaz is being real stubborn, and he wonít ask for a sign, he says he wonít put God to the test, for Ahaz sees his sins and he knows that because of what he has done, that the price to be paid is just too great.
We must always remember that Godís word will accomplish his purpose, and even though Ahaz would ask for a sign, God through Ahaz gave a sign. And this is the sign: "Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." And when we look in the genealogy of Jesus as recorded in Matthew, we see that Jesus, was born of a virgin, and was a direct descendant of the wicked king Ahaz. Ahaz didnít think that God would be with him, but not only was God with him, but the Messiah, the savior of the world would come through him. And though Ahaz had sacrificed his son, but could not save the people, Jesus would lay down his life, and would be sacrificed, not just to save some people, to so save all people of all time.
God was with Ahaz. God would have forgiven Ahaz. Ahaz just would believe. Now the question is - did God waste his time? Did Godís word not accomplish its purpose? Although Ahaz did not repent, did not believe, a wonderful thing happened, because Ahaz had a son, one that he didnít kill. That sonís name was Hezekiah. and Hezekiah heard the word of God, believed in the Lord God, trusted in the Lord God, followed the Lord, God, and served the Lord God. And when Hezekiah became king he tore down all the idols, and he had the temple repaired, and he had everyone hear and learn the word of God, so that everyone might hear, believe and be saved. Hezekiah is number among the good kings of Judah, and he brought the nation back to their Lord and God.
This is still important for us today. For while God has at various time and in various ways acted to save his people from many dangers. There is one way in thing God acted, that was once, but for all. It was a deliverance wrought not so much by a might hand and an outstretched arm, as it was in the miracle of a deliverance wrought in a God, with us. For that is the promise: "Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."
And no matter how wicked we are, not matter what we have done, the good news we hear, is that God is with us, he will forgive, we will save, for in Jesus Christ we have all been given the victory. For the great good news is that there is forgiveness, for the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin.