Photo by Davide Cantelli on Unsplash
When we come to Ahaz, king of two tribes of Israel, and God’s prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 7, the king is under great strain. As other nations are devising ways to invade and take all of Israel’s territory, Ahaz must choose to either trust God’s guidance or rely only on himself, rejecting God’s help.
And in the middle of that immediate political and military strain, God makes an unexpected statement. Ahaz is worried about the army over the geographic horizon, but God is giving him a view of His plan over the horizon of time.
Then the LORD spoke again to Ahaz: “Ask for a sign from the LORD your God — it can be as deep as Sheol or as high as heaven.”
But Ahaz replied, “I will not ask. I will not test the LORD.”
Isaiah said, “Listen, house of David! Is it not enough for you to try the patience of men? Will you also try the patience of my God? Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign: See, the virgin will conceive, have a son, and name him Immanuel [which means ‘God is with us’]….” ~ Isaiah 7:10-14 (CSB)
We know (because God told us in later books of the Bible) that the “God with us” son to be born would be Jesus. Ahaz may have wondered, “How is this baby being born going to help me? Even if he’s a military superhero like Samson, he’ll need to grow up before he can help, and I need help NOW.”
Today, God has given us another promise: Jesus is coming back. We are advised for this reason to be careful in our thinking; however, it is the future reality that we are to rely upon today. As we focus on its implications, this truth continually acts as an antidote for the day-to-day strains and emergencies of life.
Therefore, with your minds ready for action, be sober-minded and set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. ~ 1 Peter 1:13 (CSB)
“The revelation of Jesus Christ” is the time when He will be shown again to those on earth. You’re right to wonder like Ahaz: “If I believe Jesus is coming again, how does that help me TODAY?”
- God owns time, so He’s still in control. He has said it, so He will do it, just as He did when He promised Jesus’s coming to Ahaz 700 years before it happened. There is a ton of archeology and ancient historical record to support the details that Jesus really did come and match the forecasts made about Him.
- The same God promises to be your God TODAY. That means He wants to help and strengthen you for the stuff of today. He wants to give you a hand to hold.
“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand.” ~Isaiah 41:10 (CSB)
If God was in charge in 700 BC and 1 AD and offers to be your God today, then it makes perfect logical sense to rely on Him for the future when Jesus returns and be confident that He’s in it with you today.
So you can trust that Jesus really did what He said: He paid the penalty for everything wrong you’ve ever done, both big and small, and He opened the door for you to be reconciled to God, to have Him as Your God, and to be confident in His promised return.
If you’re tempted to think of God as an “imaginary friend,” I’d love to talk more about the historical evidence that proves He is both here and real. It’s a very important element of my story of faith (which I define in part as confidence in true facts that I can’t re-test on my schedule). My trust is in Jesus, and I know about Jesus because He’s preserved a record for me. Being convinced of that, I can know for sure that God is very much alive in my heart and understanding and active in my daily life.
Photo by Davide Cantelli on Unsplash