As chapter 7 begins, the tells Isaiah to go and meet king Ahaz. Isaiah was told to take his son, named , which means, A Remnant Shall Return. We will see how God uses both of Isaiah's sons as object lessons in his prophesies.
When Isaiah arrived before king Ahaz, he told the king that God said He would give Ahaz some kind of a sign to help convince Ahaz of His word. But Ahaz said that he would not test the Lord. It sounds like Ahaz was being humble, but in fact it was the opposite. Yes it's true, the Bible says not to test God, but if He says to test Him, as in the book of Malachai when God says to test Him with offerings so that He could pour out blessings on us, then it's OK.
God told Ahaz, through Isaiah, "Very well, then I will send you a sign anyway.." This is one of the most famous prophecies regarding the birth of Jesus the Messiah in the Bible. We know this passage speaks of Jesus because the Holy Spirit says so through Matthew: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” (Matthew 1:23)
In chapter 8, God tells Isaiah to take a large board and write the words Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz which means, Plunder and Carry Away. The word plunder means to steal by force, usually during an invasion. So Isaiah did as God commanded. Isaiah had 2 witnesses. He wasn't sure what this was all about at the time, but he wanted 2 honest men, Uriah and Zechariah, to see him write it so no one could say that he wrote it after the fact.
Soon afterward Isaiah's wife became pregnant with their second son and 9 months later, after he was born, God came to Isaiah and said, "Remember those words I asked you to write on a board last year? That is what I want you to name your son, Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz." (Mr. BibleHead paraphrase) God told Isaiah that before the baby is able to say "mommy" Assyria would attack Damascus and Samaria.
Isaiah went before the people. "See my two sons? God has asked me to give them specific names as a warning to you. Before my youngest son will be able to speak, the Assyrian army will attack and plunder. But my older son is a symbol of hope. There will be an Israelite remnant." A remnant is a small part left over after the large piece of cloth has been cut, but it can be used later. Isaiah said that Judah will be tempted to ask fortune tellers and mediums what would be their fate, but Isaiah said that he is standing right in front of them with his two sons and a message from God. We too can seek guidance through wrong means. God reveals all we need to know. Read your Bible. That's how God speaks to us. In the Old Testament, the people needed a prophet. But now we have God's Word.
Chapter 9 is a beautiful chapter of God's grace and mercy. He gives hope to Judah and to all people through His words. " Nevertheless, the darkness will not last forever. There will be a time when Galilee will be filled with glory. A light will come into the darkness.(Jesus) And the people will rejoice." Have you ever watched a Charlie Brown Christmas? Then verse 6 will sound familiar to you. It is one of the most recognized prophesies about the coming of Jesus.
For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
God is not only telling them about what will happen 700 years later, He is giving them a chance to turn from their wicked ways and turn toward Him. He is truly a faithful and merciful God! It doesn't matter how much we have screwed up. God wants us to come to Him. We don't have to get "right" before we come to Him. He is the one who makes us "right". If we accept what Jesus has done for us. (taking our sins and giving His life as a sacrifice, and if we choose to make him Lord (everything we do is for Him) of our life, God promises that the Holy Spirit will come and live inside us and that we will live with Him forever.
Chapter 10 tell about how God used Assyria as a judgement tool (vs.7) against Israel and Judah, but now it is time to judge prideful, godless Assyria. God says that Assyria will waste away like sick people during a plague. (vs.18) Then God reminds His people again at the end of Chapter 10 and into Chapter 11 about the coming Messiah. It is a beautiful description of a savior coming through the line of David.
Chapter 12 is a beautiful song of praise for salvation that comes through Jesus, and only because of the unimaginable grace and mercy of the living God. Have you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Remember to thank Him always. Because it was nothing that you or I did. It is was Jesus did!