Daily Devotional

September 29, 2018

Daybreak: Isaiah 7:1-25

“Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the Lord. And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also?” (Isaiah 7:11-13)

Students are sometimes told, “There’s no such thing as a dumb question.” This comment is used to encourage students to ask questions. While the statement may not strictly be true, it is true that a thoughtful question asked of a knowledgeable individual can open new vistas of understanding. When we ask a question, we are hoping to obtain information. 

The word “ask” can also mean “to make a request.” That was the case in today’s focus verse. Through the prophet Isaiah, King Ahaz was directed to request a sign of the Lord. Ahaz, who had not been following God, decided against doing so. Ahaz and the house of David didn’t have a problem making requests of men, but as they drifted from God, they no longer brought their petitions before Him.

How often do we forget to simply ask God for help as the cares of life come our way? God does not get agitated nor does He grow weary of our petitions. God is willing and waiting to answer our questions. He cares about the problems we face each day. While God already knows what we have need of before we ask, He still wants to hear it from us.

Perhaps there has been a specific problem at work or school that you have been struggling with. Have you asked God for His intervention in the matter? Maybe you’ve put off seeking a deeper experience from the Lord. Try asking God for a deep spiritual hunger today. Or maybe you’ve been dealing with a physical ailment recently. Have you asked God to heal you while being obedient to his Word? Remember, whatever the petition may be, we must ask according to God’s will, in faith.

Background

This portion of Scripture probably took place around 745 to 730 B.C. Ahaz, King of Judah, was one of the many ungodly rulers of Judah. When Ahaz and his kingdom (Judah) were notified that Syria and Ephraim were creating an alliance against him, he became very frightened. The name Ephraim (one of Joseph’s sons, as noted in Genesis 46:20) was sometimes used to identify the Northern Kingdom of Israel. 

The Northern Kingdom of Israel was bordered on the north by Syria. Located north of Syria was the great Kingdom of Assyria. Syria had created an alliance with Israel for help in withstanding an invasion by the Assyrian Empire. Syria and Israel’s plan was to overrun Judah to bring them into the alliance by force, and included setting up their own king identified as “the son of Tabeal.”

The location of the “conduit of the upper pool” (verse 3), was east of Jerusalem. This was the primary water source for Jerusalem and known as the Gihon Spring. From this location, Isaiah prophesied that the plan to overrun Judah would not come to pass. After Isaiah delivered his prophecy, he invited Ahaz to ask a sign of the Lord, as verification that God would protect Judah. When Ahaz refused to ask for a sign, Isaiah prophetically delivered a sign for the House of David. This sign came to pass when Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary.

Finally, Isaiah prophesied of the destruction of Judah that would take place some years later after the reign of Hezekiah. This destruction would come to pass at the hands of the Assyrian Empire. The reference of Judah being shaven denotes utter humiliation.

Amplified Outline

(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
II.   The message of condemnation: the Holy One of Israel provoked, rebuking and
      judging 
     B.   Prophecies related to Israel 
            1.   The destruction of Israel by Assyria 
                  a.   Judah’s promise of deliverance from Israel 
                        (1)   Isaiah’s promise to Ahaz (7:1-25)
                               (a)   The setting (7:1-2)
                               (b)   The message to Ahaz (7:3-9)
                               (c)   The sign to Ahaz(7:10-16)
                               (d)   The chastisement of Ahaz’s unbelief (7:17-25)
                                        [1]   The means (7:17-19)
                                        [2]   The result (7:20-25)

A Closer Look

  1. How did Ahaz respond to the news of Ephraim and Syria creating an alliance?
     
  2. What may have motivated Ahaz to refuse God’s request of asking for a sign?
     
  3. What should be our attitude when we approach God with a question?

Conclusion

God never grows weary of hearing about our daily cares. Bring your petitions to God today with a thankful heart.

Reference Materials