Saturday, December 25, 2010

Immanuel- The Sign of the Lord. When can you Ask for a sign.

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

The birth of Emmanuel, is a sign. To what?

In the reign of Ahaz, king of Judah, 2 armies marched against it- Kings of Aram & Israel. They  warred against it, but couldn't overpower it.

At this double trouble, "the hearts of Ahaz and his people were shaken, as the trees of the forest are shaken by the wind."

And the Lord sends a message to Ahaz saying,  “‘It will not take place, it will not happen"  7:6
And He goes on to say something stupendous: "ASK ME A SIGN" - A physical manifestation- in the depths or in the heights 7:10

And Ahaz replies, foolishly, or perhaps, faithlessly , "I will not ask"

Before He says, ask for a sign, He speaks to Ahaz saying in 7:9 - If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.’” 

In the distortion of his mind, Ahaz may be thinking not putting God to the test, may make him honorable.
But it is open rebellion to the word of God, sent directly to him.

So the Lord, Himself, volunteers a sign, a timeless sign : the Sign of Immanuel. 
A sign that Ahaz would not see in his lifetime.

A sign is not to the unbeliever.
A sign is to strengthen belief & faith, for the believer to stand in the battle ahead.

When I first met Christ, I would think, if God gave a sign, so many atheists would believe.
And when I spoke to people about Christ, I would say, ask for something you need, I'll pray for it, and you can believe in Him, then.

But when I grew up, I put away childish things. I found the way God moves.

A sign, a miracle, is for the believer (and sometimes to an unbeliever actively seeking God).
The revelation of God is restricted.
The sign of the Lord is restricted.
Ahaz would never see it.
The critical, and the faithless, and the openly rebellious would never see it.

Is there no sign for them, then? Yes, the sign of Jonah: (Matt 12:39)
Destruction is set for those who do evil, but the privilege of Restoration is available if they fear the wrath of God and repent.
To the unbeliever, the sign is that of the wrath of God, of destruction, of hellfire.

But to us, those who believe, the spirit born children of God, miracles and signs, will follow. This is the word of Jesus. And what He says is true.

Several stories & several situations are spoken about in the Bible, when the miraculous is sought for and got (Seek and find principle)
Based on this story, I believe valid situation arises to seek and find a sign.
1. Ask God for a sign, when warfare against you is doubled up, more than you can handle.
2. Ask God for a sign when you hear Him sending a message through a messenger (like now) - God has already started moving.
3. Ask God for a sign when fear besets you and faith falters.

Have a miraculous Christmas.

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