Daily D – Isaiah 7:14
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: See, the virgin will conceive, have a son, and name him Immanuel. ISAIAH 7:14 (NLT)
The king when Isaiah spoke these words from God was offered an opportunity to peer into the future to see with God’s eyes. Long story short, he chose not to do so. God’s words here are similar in effect to having someone take your face in their hands and force you to focus on something.
What God wanted that king and those people (“you” in this verse is plural) to see is that he will do his work with us or without us. He will accomplish his purpose in this world. We can join him in his work and enjoy his expansive grace and mercy, or we can suffer the consequences of our rebellion.
That foolish king and those foolish people chose Door Number Two. Even so, God in his love continued working out his plan. Hundreds of years later, Mary had a baby. As she was told beforehand (Yes, Mary knew), he was Immanuel, God with us.
God did for us what we cannot do for ourselves.
God showed an unseeing crowd a future beyond anything they could imagine.
The investment trade tells us, “Past performance is no guarantee of future results.”
God says, “The best is yet to come.” His past performance guarantees his words of truth and life are in progress.
Famous last words of a redneck? “Watch this.”
Famous last word of God, “See!” In KJV English, “Behold!”
Our King is coming again! Can you see it? Let our Father in heaven take your face in his hands and show you what you have been missing. It will take your breath away.
Know what kings and peoples of old refused to see.
Know what Mary knew.
Know what Jesus said was coming.
Know Jesus, God with us.
God with us in the aftermath of election tumult.
God with us in an accelerating pandemic.
God with us leading us into a future free of our visionless past and our terrifying present.
God with us where the fear, the pain, and the problems of this world have been laid aside forever.
I will celebrate Immanuel.
Our Father, something about a baby changes how we think and feel. It shifts every priority. It interrupts every plan. It refocuses our lives. In this season we celebrate such a beautiful arrival and all that was initiated then and there which is yet to be fully consummated. We see into that special future by the light you provide, the vision you give, and the hope that draws us forward. Thank you for Christmas. Amen.
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Jonah 4:2, 3 So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”
Joel 2:12, 13 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”
Hosea 14:8, 9 “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.”