2 Kings 17, Appreciate Godsends
1. God Sends Enemies To Correct His People (2 Kings 17:18-23)
2. God Sends Messengers To Warn His People (2 Kings 17:13)
3. God Sends Signs To Help His People Believe (Isaiah 7:1-14)
4. God Sent His Son To Redeem His People (Matthew 1:18-23)
2 Kings 17, Appreciate Godsends
2 Kings 17, Appreciate Godsends
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Well, as we look at Second Kings chapter 17 this evening, I've titled the message Appreciate God, Sense, appreciate God Sense Now God sends it say.
Obviously a combination of two words God sends right, but it's so common in so.
Much use it's.
Become its own word.
It's a noun.
It means something that is very help.
Full or valuable, whether it's an event, a person, or a thing, it's a godsend, right?
When it is just that the right thing at the right time and it's just like a work of God, it feels like a miracle of God that this person has come in at this time, or this event has happened at this time or this thing has taken place or has shown.
Up and you can say, wow, that was a godsend, right?
Well, Second Kings chapter 17 has me thinking about God sends the things that God sends into our lives and the need for us to appreciate them, to accept them and receive them, even if they are not the typical thing that we might think of as a God said.
So, for example, point number one.
Tonight as we look at appreciating God sends here in second King 17.
Here's point number one.
God sends enemies to correct his people.
What we see happening and developing in this chapter is a work of correction, a work of discipline from God towards his people, and although this might not be the typical thing we think of when we think of a God, send this correction that God is bringing to them and when God.
Brings correction to us.
We need to learn to appreciate the God send that correction is that discipline is.
In our life.
Look at verse 18 again.
It says therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them from his sight.
There was none left but the tribe of Judah alone.
Also, Judah did not keep the commandments of the Lord their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made.
As we are reading through the Bible in three years and are now in Second Kings, we're walking through really some painful passages as we watch the decline of the nation of Israel.
It started a little bit back right under the reign of King Solomon, and that's where the nation reached the height of its glory.
The height of its impact.
That's where it was at its best under the reigns of King David and King Solomon.
But we know King Solomon really kind of floundered later on in his life.
Then began to get involved in idolatry and really led the nation in a very bad direction.
And it led to. After Solomon's death separation, so that Israel and Judah were splits in two. And so the Northern Kingdom kept the name Israel, the southern Kingdom took on the name Judah, and these two are now divided and continuing to decline the.
The division wasn't separation, so that now you know one can do what's right, but but really both nations continued to decline in their relationship with God.
The Nation of Israel.
As we've seen walking all the way through the books of kings here to Chapter 17 where finally the Nation of Israel is conquered by Assyria and taken away captive.
Israel never had a good king after King David.
After King Solomon, the northern Kingdom.
There they never had a good king who served the Lord.
They only had kings that.
Were involved in idolatry and wickedness, and things got worse and worse and worse as the time progressed.
The nation of Judah was on a similar track.
Theirs was delayed a little bit though, because they would have good kings here and there, and so we've seen a couple of those, and we'll get to see another one as we head on into the life and reign of King Hezekiah in the next couple days.
And so we'll get to see a little bit of a revival and and a turning back to the things of God.
Meanwhile, the nation as a whole for the nation of Judah continued to turn away from God and pour themselves into the things that were not of God.
And so we've been watching this decline happen.
With the separation with the decline now of each one.
It has come to the point now here in Chapter 17 where God has said enough is enough and he's going to use another nation, the nation of Assyria to bring a final blow against the nation of Israel to conquer it completely.
To take the people out of the land, lead them away captive and populate them in other parts.
Of the Assyrian empire.
And so here's a quick look at the nation of Assyria.
You can kind of see the the blue and green there and the the bottom left.
That's Israel and Judah, like we've just been looking at so that blue and green recognized that.
OK, so that's down here.
That red blotch above that is representing the nation of Syria, which is.
Part of the narrative here in Chapter 16 and 17, where Israel and Syria teamed up to try to fight against Judah.
And we'll talk about that a little bit as we continue on this evening as well.
Assyria wasn't just a nation.
It wasn't like Syria or Israel or Judah, just a small.
It was an empire.
And so, uh, Syria really grew and developed and was now conquering all of the known world at that time.
After them will come, Babylon, and they're going to conquer even more, but the Assyrians.
Were enemies of Israel?
In fact, they were such enemies.
You might remember that Jonah.
Refused to preach to them.
God said, I want you to go to Nineveh now again, going back to the map real quick.
Here you can see Nineveh, there is on the map of the Assyrian empire because Nineveh was the capital of the Assyrian Empire.
And so when God says good and evil, he's saying go to the capital of this empire of this whole entire nation, and preach the gospel to them.
Call them to repentance and Jonah said no way their enemies, I want them destroyed.
I want them, you know, to be wiped out for all of their wickedness and sin.
I'm not going to give them an opportunity to turn and get right, so that's not something that I.
Want to be?
Part of, and so Assyria was an enemy for the people of Israel.
The people of Judah.
The the Empire was seeking to take over all that existed, and so they were coming against Israel.
And against Judah.
And the interesting thing about this, as we get into the details of it, we'll see even more as we continue on in the coming year.
As God is speaking through the prophets, we'll see that God deliberately says he is using the nation of Assyria to bring discipline, correction, and judgment.
To his people.
But without getting into all those details we can see here in verse 21 how God has been at work in the midst of the nation.
Again, both Israel and Judah together in verse 21, it says.
Four heat or Israel from the House of David and they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat King.
Then Jeroboam drove Israel.
From following the Lord and made them commit.
A great sin.
For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam, as he did, they did not depart from them until and notice what it says.
The Lord removed Israel out of his sight.
Who conquered Israel and took them out of the land. It was the nation of Assyria, but put another way here in verse 23 it's the Lord who removed Israel. When Israel was carried away, they were carried away by the instruments of the Lord, the nation.
Of Assyria, their worst enemy, you might say, was God instrument God tool.
To bring correction, discipline judgment to his people.
And the fact that Assyria carried them away is an indication of this is not just judgment in the sense of execution.
But this is judgment in the sense of correction.
This is opportunity to repent because the nation was not completely destroyed.
That is, the people were not completely destroyed, but they were carried away, capped.
So that they would.
Have opportunity as they're carried away and re populated in various parts of the Assyrian empire.
They would have opportunity to respond to God's call, and again we're going to see this next year in great detail as we walk through the prophets because there is going to be this call after call after.
Call and this whole thing demonstrates so incredibly the patience and grace of God.
At the same time, it pictures very clearly for us the holiness of God.
That yes, he is gracious and he is merciful and he's patient in calling his people to repentance at the same time.
He is not shy about bringing judgments.
He's reluctant to cut off completely, but he's not reluctant to bring justice to a situation where there is great wickedness amongst his people.
God uses even the worst enemies.
To bring justice to bring discipline to bring correction to his people.
None of us like correction.
Nobody likes to be told they're wrong or confronted with an issue, right?
But you know how it is.
It stings even worse.
When it's someone that you don't want to hear from.
When it's someone that you know you wish, it would be anybody else but that person bringing correction or or saying something to.
You about that.
Even the people that we.
Might count as our enemies, even though we shouldn't count anybody as our enemies.
We sometimes do, and even if that person that we count as an enemy.
So perhaps it's a political person that you.
Count as an enemy.
And God could use that person to bring correction.
Perhaps it's a rival in the workplace, or a spouse, or you know someone within the community or someone around you that.
Yeah, you'd rather
You want to hear from the Lord and and you're even willing to receive correction.
But oh man, it's so hard to be corrected.
By an enemy by by that person.
If it was anybody else, I would receive it and.
This evening I want to encourage you to consider.
Like when God brings correction.
Sometimes he will use a good friend and it will be a loving and gracious and very good correction in the best possible way that it could be presented to us.
But also sometimes God will use someone that we're not so excited about hearing from.
And he will allow that to take place for our sake, because.
He desires for us to come to repentance.
He wants to do good in our lives and so I want to encourage you this evening to appreciate godsends.
Which include sometimes those who would bring correction to us.
The author of Hebrews deals with this in Hebrews chapter 12.
There's some really good verses surrounding these two that I'm about to share, but I I can't share them all.
So here's verse seven and eight.
If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons, for what son is there who my father does not chasing?
But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.
The truth that the author of Hebrews is presenting here is that chastening comes with being a child of God.
Because of the reality that we are sinful and we still have a flesh that we battle with and that desires to take over our lives and continue to dominate and rule in our lives, there is always going to be the need for chastening, for discipline, for correction in our lives.
And so the author of Hebrews is saying, look.
Expect that and and don't think of that as a surprise or that you're like the worst child of God who ever lived.
No, no understand that there is this chasing happening because you are his child because he cares so much for you because he wants to accomplish good and to do good in your life.
He's just being a loving father.
When he brings chastening, whether it be by that you know, friendly, soft pillow of a friend who says, you know?
Hey I need to tell you about something or whether it be the person that's more like an enemy that says, hey, you dummy, what is wrong with you?
You know whichever route it may take.
Either way we can appreciate the godsend of correction.
God sending it's a helpful or valuable event.
Person or thing and God can use all of those things for correction in us.
Sometimes it's an event that happens in our life, sometimes it's a person that approaches us or talks with us.
Sometimes it's just some object something and God can use that to bring correction to us as well, and so we need to.
Learn to appreciate it.
To be welcoming and accepting of the correction that God desires to bring to us.
Well, as we continue to consider these ideas, these God sends. Here's point #2 and that is that God sends messengers to warn his people.
So God can send enemies to correct his people, but he also sends messengers to bring warning and to really call us to repentance.
And for that I want to jump back a few verses to verse 13 here of Second Kings chapter 17.
And let's look at that, it says.
Second Kings 1713. Yet the Lord testified against Israel and against Judah by all of his prophets. Every seer saying turn from your evil ways and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your father's, and which I sent to you by my servants.
Now the immediate subject here of Chapter 17 is the conquering of Israel by the nation of Assyria.
But here God kind of going back and forth a little bit, sometimes just addressing Israel, sometimes addressing both Israel and Judah.
And here the Lord is really summarizing the the dealings.
Of the Lord with both nations.
He says the Lord testified against Israel and against Judah, and so we're talking about both nations.
Again, both nations were on a path of decline, a path of disobedience.
And So what did God do?
Well, he sent.
His prophets now if you're reading.
Through the Bible in.
Three years with us as we head into the New Year.
A good portion of our reading next year is going to be these messengers that God is talking about. Here the prophets, we're going to be spending a lot of time reflecting on and reviewing and and so this passage here in Chapter 17 of Second Kings really is a a vital passage to understand all of next year's reading.
As we get into a lot of the details that were just kind of skipping over in the narrative here in the the writing of kings, we're going to get into the specific details of the messages that God was sending through his prophets.
And so God was sending prophets, you know, sometimes we.
Kind of get a little bit skewed in our mind in our perspective of the prophets. Nope, let me put it this way like you might think that hey, when everything is going great in your life and you're right on on fire with the Lord, everything is, you know, happening and you're, you're right. In the center of God's will, that that's when you experience the most.
Prophecy in your life?
Well, that wasn't the case for the nation of Israel.
They experienced lots of fellowship with God and and unique works of God, right?
You know when they were in the the center in the the the middle of what God wanted them to do, but the majority of prophecy that we see in the scripture is not because the people are right on and on fire and totally right where God wanted them to be.
The majority of prophecy that.
We see in the scripture.
The Lord sending people to call the nation to repentance to.
Call them back to right relationship with God.
And so we're going to be digging into that as we continue on in the coming year.
Now let me just share a little quick bit of the chronology here, because so far as we've been reading through this year, we've been following along the accounts of what happened in.
Predominantly a chronological succession or progression going back to Genesis with Adam and Eve and and then, you know, later on with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, and then ending off with Joseph like we've been following along.
And it's it's following a a timeline as as we would expect for the most part and then we head into.
Exodus and so that's a little bit of time that happens after Genesis and we follow the Nation of Israel out of Egypt and into the wilderness.
And they're there for 40 years and we're just we're walking with them in pace with them in the time as it's being played out in their lives.
That brings us to Joshua, who then leads them into the promised land.
That's like the next thing right out of Egypt.
Then in the wilderness, then into the promised land.
Like you can see the the progression here, it makes sense.
It's chronological after Joshua dies, then we head into the time of the judges, and so there's progression there in that.
Time, even though some of the individual judges might be in different points in the timeline, but as a whole that the book of judges follows the book of Joshua and then leads us into the books of first and Second Samuel and 1st and 2nd.
Kings and we're following the life of Samuel into the life of King Saul into the life of King David and then King Solomon.
And then in these books of kings, we've been following along all the kings that have followed in the different nations here of Israel and Judah.
And so we've been following this chronology all the way through.
We'll continue that until the end of Second Kings.
We'll see the demise of the Nation of Israel.
You can see that here, where Assyria conquered Israel.
That happens here in Chapter 17 of Second Kings at the end of Second Kings.
We'll see Babylon conquered Judah, and so that brings us to the end of this whole block of ongoing, continual time that God is addressing.
Through the scriptures.
But really, the Old Testament chronology ends soon after Second Kings and you can see there there's a gap, which is the 70 years of captivity.
And then we pick up the narrative again with Ezra and Nehemiah and the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the rebuilding of the temple.
But as you look at this, you can see we're pretty.
Much at the.
End of all of the chronology of the Old Testament, this is essentially the the full chronology of the Old Testament, minus.
The life of Moses and Abraham, and you know those ones.
But but this covers the majority of the Old Testament chronology.
Here the timeline for the Old Testament, but we're only halfway through the Old Testament, right?
So what's going to happen from here?
Well, of course there is a couple parts where the narrative continues, like Ezra and Nehemiah, but for the most part from here on out we're going to be going back and revisiting the points in the timeline that we've already covered.
So first and second chronicles, which will start in January, basically goes back and retells.
For us with slightly different details, but the Kingdom of David and Solomon, and on through the rest of the Kingdom of Judah.
And so we're going to go back and revisit a lot of these kings and their history as we continue on.
Ezra Nehemiah that will jump to later on in the timeline, but then after that everything falls back into various points on the timeline.
Book of psalms.
That each Psalm is written, you know, at different times, and so that's going to fit somewhere in this timeline that we're dealing with here.
The Book of Job fits somewhere in this.
Chronology probably early early early, but we don't know for sure.
The the prophets then that come after are going to fit.
In the chronology here, they ministered to kings that we're talking about in first and Second Kings they ministered to and prophesied to the nation of Israel.
During this time period, and so we'll be going back and again filling in some gaps and addressing re addressing different points in the timeline.
And so both Israel and Judah, as you can see in this timeline, both of them rebel against God to the point of captivity.
And So what God did was he sent messengers again.
The Lord testified against Israel and against Judah by all of his prophets.
Every seer, saying, turn from your evil ways and keep my commandments and my statutes.
And so leading up to this final conquering of each nation.
God is sending more and more prophets and giving his people more and more opportunity to repent to turn back and to get right with God.
He's sending them warnings through these messengers.
We saw it through Elijah and Elisha right here in the Book of Kings that we've been reading, but again, we'll see it.
Through Isaiah through Jeremiah through Joel, through Micah, through Hosea, through Amos.
All of these prophets we're going to go back and plug them into the timeline and understand that they were ministering to Israel.
Along this chronology and and calling them, warning them of the judgment that was to come.
If they did not change their their ways, and so God sends messengers to warn his people.
At the end of second chronicles that this same idea is summarized, and so let me read that for you second chronicles 36.
And the Lord God of their father sent warnings to them by his messengers rising up early in sending them because he had compassion on his people and on his dwelling place.
But they mocked the messengers of God, despise his words, and scoffed at his prophets until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, till there was no remedy.
It tells us here God sends his prophets, his messengers.
And it tells us why because he had compassion on his people.
God didn't send the prophets with a message of judgment because he was so excited about judgment and it'll be hard.
To remember that.
As we get into those messages of judgment next year, sometimes we get lost in that and big man.
God is just, you know, so angry and terrible in.
In reading those things, but here it sits before us.
Here's the purpose.
Here's what God is doing.
He has compassion.
On them, and so he's calling them.
To come and get right.
But their response is summarized in verse 16, but they mocked.
The messengers of God and despise his words.
Again, I've titled the message tonight to appreciate God sense they did exactly the opposite.
Instead of appreciating the warnings, the messengers that God sent the compassion that God expressed they mocked, they despised, they ignored until finally the wrath of the Lord arose, and until there was no remedy.
But this evening, I want to encourage you.
To think about.
And to be considering the warnings of the Lord that you would appreciate them as a godsend.
Very helpful or valuable event, person or thing.
How does God been warning you?
And what warnings has God been bringing?
Again, sometimes it can take the place of an event.
Sometimes it's a person who brings the warning.
Sometimes it's some object or thing that that shouts at you.
Clearly this is something from the Lord.
It is a godsend.
It may not be.
You know, you may not look at some of those judgment passages and go.
You know, oh right, what a godsend.
That is just what I needed to hear right now, right?
That often will not be our response to those kinds of things.
And yet we need to learn to appreciate them to receive the warnings that God wants to bring.
Well, as we move on into the next point, I want to shift things up quite a bit and jump over to.
The prophet Isaiah would you turn with me to Isaiah Chapter 7?
Isaiah, Chapter 7.
And if you're thinking now, how do we get from Second kings to Isaiah?
What's the connection here?
Well, I'm really glad that you asked.
That yesterday, as we were in Second Kings Chapter 16.
We got to see King Ahaz and he was a king in Judah and watching the last days of Israel as they declined.
And as Assyria was coming against the northern Kingdom, the nation of Israel, Assyria was also coming against Judah.
But also he had Israel and Syria teaming up against him and coming against him in that way, and so he has, here really is an interesting king for us to consider tonight, because he he really fits every point that we've been talking about.
Again, point number one is that God.
Sends enemies to correct his people.
He has was a wicked king.
The Nation of Israel.
The nation of Syria leader on the nation of Assyria were all used by God and come against him as discipline as correction to bring judgment and justice for the wickedness that he was practicing and leading the nation in.
Point #2 is that God sends messengers.
To warn his people.
Isaiah is one of the prophets who spoke directly to King Ahaz and interacted directly with King Ahaz in calling him to repentance.
In providing the warnings for him, well, now that brings us to point #3. Here's point #3 for tonight God sends signs.
To help his people believe God sends signs to help his people believe.
And here in Isaiah Chapter 7, we get to see God provide a sign to King Ahaz to help him know that God is with him and to help him trust in the Lord.
So before we get to the sign though, I want to give a little bit of the context.
Let's check out verse one and two here of Isaiah.
Chapter 7 it says now it came to pass.
In the days of Ahaz, the son of Jotham, the son of Usaia.
King of Judah.
That resin king of Syria and Pica the son of Remaliah, King of Israel, went up to Jerusalem to make war against it, but could not prevail against it.
And it was told to the House of David, saying, serious forces are deployed in Ephraim.
So his heart and the heart of his people were moved as the trees of the woods are moved with the wind.
Remember, .1 God sends enemies to correct his people. Here he has is experiencing correction by the combination of Israel, the Northern Kingdom, and Syria.
And and this combination caused a has to be greatly afraid.
Again, this is directly related to 2nd Kings Chapter 16, where we see the reign of Ahaz and there's overlap here.
These two passages are intertwined.
Second, King 16 and Isaiah Chapter 7.
And when they hear it says in verse two that Syria was helping Israel, it says the their hearts were moved like the trees in the the woods are moved with the wind.
In other words, they were incredibly freaked out.
They were just shaken, visibly shaken to the core, because these two enemies.
Have teamed up now and are coming against them.
Well then we see the warning that God sends by his messenger in the next few verses like a verse 3.
Then the Lord said to Isaiah, go out now to meet.
He has you and shared josheb your son at the end of the aqueduct, from the upper pool on the highway to the fullers field, and say to him, take heed or another way to say that.
Is be warned and be quiet.
Do not fear or be fainthearted.
For these two stubs of smoking firebrands.
For the fierce anger of resin and Syria, and the son of Remaliah.
Because Syria, Ephraim and the son of Remaliah have plotted evil against you.
Saying let us go up against Judah and trouble it.
Let us make a gap in its wall for ourselves and set a king over them.
The son of Tabl
Thus says the Lord God, it shall not stand.
Nor shall it come to pass.
For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is resin. Within 65 years Ephraim will be broken so that.
It will not be a people.
Here God sends Isaiah to go talk to a house with a message, and it's a warning he.
Tells him to take heed.
And the message is not.
So much to take heed against these two kings.
Really, God's message about these two kings that are coming against him is hey, don't worry about those guys.
They're not going to be successful. Their kingdoms are going to fall within 65 years. They're going to be broken. It's not something that you need to.
Be threatened about.
The warning here for Ahaz really is to let God handle it.
To just trust God with the situation, because what he has wants to do is to go make a deal with the king of Assyria.
So Syria and Israel have joined together and what he has wants to do is defend himself by making a deal with the king of Assyria, the bigger king, and defending himself in that way.
And and this warning from Isaiah is really directly in response to that, and saying he has don't do it.
Don't make the deal with Assyria, trust me.
I'm going to deal with these two kings. Their plans are not going to stand and they're not going to come to pass, and in fact, within 65 years.
They won't even be a nation any longer.
Quite a difficult, challenging message for Ahaz to believe.
And so God says, let me give you a sign.
Check out verse 9, the head of Ephraim is some area the head of Samaria is Remilia son.
If you will not believe, surely you will not be established.
So he's calling him to believe if he doesn't believe he's not going to be established if he goes and makes the deal with the Syria, then there's going to be repercussions.
Moreover, the Lord said, I spoke again to Ehasz, saying.
Ask a sign for yourself from the Lord, your.
God ask it either in.
The depth or in the height above.
But he has said I will not ask, nor will I test the Lord.
Then he said, hear me now, oh House of David, is it a small thing for you to weary men?
But will you weary my God also?
Therefore the Lord himself will give.
You a sign?
The Virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name.
Familiar verse in verse 14, but what's probably unfamiliar to us, is all of the other verses around it, and so what's happening here is King Ahaz.
Is wrestling with his decision.
He wants to go make a deal with the king of Assyria.
God sends the messenger the Prophet to warn him, saying don't do it, I'm going to take care of this situation.
You can trust me.
And if you have a hard time believing that.
Ask me for a sign.
Let me show you something.
Ask it in the depths or in the heights.
You name it.
God says I will give you a sign to show you that you can trust me that you can believe me at my word and that you can rest in what I'm declaring to you.
Vernon McGee puts it this way.
God says to this unbelieving king, I'm not asking you to believe my message just because Isaiah said it.
I want you to put a foundation under it.
I want to give you a supernatural sign so that you will know that the message is from me.
God invites him to receive a sign.
To have a foundation under this message that he'd be able to stand solid and say OK, even though this double teaming attack is coming against me, I can know and I can trust that God is going to take care of it just as.
He said that he would.
Now he has tries to pretend to be spiritual and say, you know, I'm not going to test God by asking him for a sign, but when God tells you to ask for a sign, you should ask for a sign and it kind of goes to some of the things that we discussed earlier.
With examples like Gideon and that that.
That there is the.
Opportunity for us and I would encourage you.
To consider the the idea of asking God for confirmation.
Now, that doesn't mean that we should come up with some crazy outlandish sign and demand that God do it and answer us.
And you know whether or not I should go to Del Taco or Taco Bell.
You know, Lord, let the sun stand still, you know to to determine which one like that.
That's not the the idea here, but the idea is that the Lord wants to.
Confirm the things that he's saying to you.
Even with confirmation, it's always going to be a step of faith to obey the Lord to stand steady and not execute my plan in the face of a double team attack against me, right?
It it's always going to require faith, but but very often God will desire to put a strong foundation under us that that he would confirm.
What he's saying to us that we might hold fast in the midst of the difficulty and challenges that we face.
God sends signs to help his people believe.
And I would encourage you to think about that and to ask God to confirm things in your life when you have a sense, an idea that I think God is leading me in this direction.
Then invite the Lord to confirm it, not in a way of unbelief, not in a way of testing the Lord and not.
Pretending to be spiritual and refusing right?
But but just in a way that Lord I.
Think you want to do this and I want to be obedient.
To you, and so Lord, would you confirm your.
Word would you show me again multiple times?
And and there's a lot that we should do only with the confirmation from God and not just rush ahead.
On the inclination or every inclination that we have now again, that doesn't put us in the position of demanding that God answer certain things in certain ways.
The way that we want it doesn't put us in a position of saying, well, prove it or I won't obey you.
You know we have to be willing to be obedient to God.
But at the same time, God will often work out signs confirmations in our lives so that we know that we're hearing from him.
We know what his will is for our lives.
We can prove that perfect and acceptable will of God and then walk in it.
And God wants to develop that kind of confidence in the paths that he sets.
Before us many times.
Well, the sign he has wouldn't ask for it, so God says, alright?
Well, I'll give you a sign.
The Virgin shall conceive.
Now don't jump to Matthew in your mind just yet.
OK, the virgin.
We don't know exactly who's being referred to here in Isaiah Chapter 7.
But the idea here is not the same kind of virgin conception and birth as we experience with Mary in the New Testament.
This isn't a a virgin conception.
This is someone who is a virgin at the time of the prophecy.
Who will cease being a virgin?
Just prior to conception, right? It's not the virgin birth like Jesus experienced through Mary. It's just someone who is a virgin at this time. So there's lots of ideas in speculation. It could be Isaiah's wife.
He did have a wife who died and he took a another wife and so it could be that she is the the one that Isaiah is referring to.
You notice that God told him to bring his son with him to this meeting, where he has, and so he might be saying, hey, I just got married and my wife.
Gotta get pregnant.
She's gonna give birth and this is part of the sign that God is giving to you.
It could be perhaps a has.
Had just recently taken a wife and so the Virgin might be referring to his recently acquired wife or some other famous virgin.
It's leveraging we don't know who exactly who it is, but he has and Isaiah knew exactly who it was, and that's really the point here.
Now the sign here was not so much the virgin birth.
Again as we think of with Jesus, the sign here was the time frame.
As it goes on in Isaiah Chapter 7, he says look before the child is able to choose good and refuse evil.
The land that you dread will be forsaken by both her kings and then the king of Assyria is going to come down, and so he's setting a timeframe.
This isn't, you know, happening within the next nine months.
This is talking about the next 12.
Years really, that God is setting up this sign.
The sign that he could trust God was going to be developing and happening over the next 12 years.
A little bit.
More than 12 years as the child grew and then would become legal age at 12.
Was old to be accountable for the good and the.
Evil of the.
Law and so?
That's that's that's the time frame.
And that's the sign that God was giving to them, Warren, where's he puts it this way in case.
I confused you.
The special son was a reminder that Syria and Ephraim would be out of the picture within the next 12 years.
Isaiah delivered this prophecy in 734 BC.
In 732 Assyria defeated Syria and in 722 Assyria invaded the northern Kingdom, and the prophecy was fulfilled, and so over the next 12 years this sign is going to be fulfilled.
Both Syria and Israel are conquered by the nation of Assyria, and so he has didn't need.
To worry about them.
God sent a sign to help him believe that God really was on the throne, that he could listen to God and trust God that he should listen to God and trust God and so let that be an encouragement to you, even the wickedness of wicked kings.
God was willing to and wanted to give him a sign to help confirm the will of God.
And the word of God.
And so you can ask God for confirmation, again, not in a demanding way, not in.
You know making God your servant kind of way, but as a submitted servant saying what I want to obey you, and would you please show some confirmation?
So and reiterate this instruction that you're giving to me that I would be able to step forward in boldness and confidence, knowing that it is your will.
For me, God sends signs to help his people believe, and so when you receive confirmation, let it be a godsend.
Let it be something that is appreciated that you treasure that is helpful and valuable that you would be able to recognize.
This is what God wants me to do now that can be challenging when it's something that you know you're not.
That excited about.
Something you God is instructing you to do and you don't want to do it.
But when he gives you the sign, so think about.
He received the sign but.
He didn't appreciate it.
He didn't treasure it.
He didn't accept it, he still.
The Virgin became pregnant and he said, OK, well, I don't know.
He still went and made a deal with, uh, Syria and disobeyed what God was instructing him in.
Even though God was developing that sign and giving him that sign right there.
In front of.
Him, and so he didn't appreciate it.
He didn't accept it.
He didn't receive it.
'cause it wasn't what he wanted to do.
He wanted to follow his own plans and execute what he thought was best and not listened to what God said.
And so we need to learn to appreciate.
Those godsends it's helpful.
It's valuable even when it confirms something that we're reluctant to do.
Finally, we'll jump now to Matthew chapter one.
A little bit of a zigzag in our passages this evening, but they're all kind of connected and related to each other as well as to this time of year as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Here's point. #4 God sent his son to redeem his people, and I bring you to Matthew.
Chapter one, because here in Matthew chapter.
One the Angel quotes from Isaiah Chapter 7, which is the normal and kind of more familiar application of this prophecy, that that we are familiar with.
So Matthew chapter one.
Let me read to you verses 18 through 23. It says now after the birth of Jesus Christ, I'm sorry.
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows after his mother, Mary, was betrothed to Joseph before they came together, she was found with child by the Holy Spirit, then Joseph, her husband, being a just man and not wanting to make her a public example.
Was minded to put her away secretly.
But while he thought about these things, behold, an Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take.
To you marry your.
Wife for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.
And she will bring forth the son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.
So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, behold, the Virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel, which is translated God with us.
We see this same prophecy reused.
This time applied to Jesus the Virgin shall be with child and bear a son.
Here is it's quoted in Matthew.
Virgin takes on a whole new meaning.
In Isaiah, the usage of virgin meant that she was a virgin.
Just prior to conception.
At the time of birth.
The Virgin mentioned in Isaiah was not a virgin still at that time that was over right.
In Matthew, Virgin takes it a little bit further.
Mary was a virgin.
A virgin still at conception.
She was a virgin, still at the birth of Jesus.
In fact, she wasn't continued to be a virgin until after the birth of Jesus.
Matthew chapter one, verse 25, tells us that Joseph did not know her till he had brought till she had brought forth her first born son.
And and he called his name Jesus.
And so this takes it a little bit farther.
And it's now Speaking of the Virgin conception, which is the real miracle here that that Mary conceived, but not by man, but that instead this was a miraculous work of God.
Because it's God.
Who is being born?
Jesus, the son of God, who has always existed?
His incarnation is walked through here and that he, being God, became man and then was born of.
The Virgin Mary, but notice then that it goes on to say they shall call his name Immanuel, which is translated God with us.
And so Emanuel, again, this is from Isaiah Chapter 7 in Isaiah.
What did Emanuel mean?
Emanuel meant still that God is with you, but in a little bit of a different way, right?
It was God is with you.
Correcting you telling you that you can trust him to not worry about those kings to not go make a deal with the king of Assyria.
God is with you and and you can trust him in the midst of that he's calling you to repentance is the idea of God is with you and and he's proving it through this sign of this virgin who has now conceived and.
Been given birth to a son who is growing up to be 12 years old and all of these things are being fulfilled showing that God was with them that God was speaking to him and that God was doing this work that he said he would do in Matthew.
It means that.
But it means much more because it also speaks to us about the deity of Jesus.
But it's not just that God is working in our midst, which is more the idea of Isaiah, but now it's actually that God is present with us in a very literal sense, because Jesus, being God, has now physically present with the people around.
And so Jesus is God.
God with us.
He has tabernacled amongst us and we saw that a little bit on Sunday from the Book of John.
It also though has a lot of the same.
Messages to us.
God is correcting us.
Reflect a little bit here.
On the things that the Lord is speaking to us tonight, God.
Sends enemies to correct his people.
The coming of Jesus and the fact that Jesus is Emmanuel.
Should continue to speak to us about the correction.
That we need.
The reason why Immanuel the reason why God had to become man?
Was because of our great need of correction because of our sinful condition that that there was the enemy sin Satan death.
F that was God's way of alerting us to our condition, our situation, and and so God is leading us to Jesus so that Emmanuel God with us speaks to us about the issue of sin in our lives and the need for us to turn to repent and to.
Walk with the Lord and allow him him to transform us.
God sends messengers to warn his people.
Jesus is a warning to us.
Apart from me, Jesus says you can do nothing.
That that there is a warning that we must believe in Jesus.
We must follow him.
We must draw near to him.
We must walk with him.
God is calling us to repentance through Jesus.
He's the messenger of God, right?
The beginning of Hebrews got at various times in various ways, has spoken to us through the prophets and and all these other methods.
But now he has spoken to us through.
His son and through his son he's bringing correction.
He's calling us to repentance, he's proving.
Giving us signs in confirmation.
Speaking to us about his will and his plans.
All of this captures the work of God and that Jesus sent his son.
I'm sorry God sent his son to redeem his people.
The father sent the son to bring redemption because.
His people need care.
His people need to be warned his people struggle to believe and so he said, let me give you the greatest sign, the birth.
Of Jesus by a virgin.
The death and resurrection of Jesus.
Let me give you a great sign in the person of Jesus.
That you can know that you can trust me that you can respond to my message that you can respond and receive the grace, the forgiveness, and the hope and the mercy that I.
Have for you.
All of these things we can look at and consider as a godsend.
A very helpful or valuable event person or thing.
And as we celebrate the birth of Jesus in the next couple days, I would encourage you to to run these things through in your mind that.
You would appreciate the gifts of God.
The God sends that he brings to us.
Sometimes it's correction when we need it.
It's because he loves us, but it's because it's good for us.
And even if he uses an enemy to do.
It we need to.
And accept it as a helpful or valuable thing in our lives.
To receive the warnings that the message is from the Lord and and to accept them, and to treasure them to respond to them.
To look for those confirmations and allow the Lord to help us.
In our unbelief.
What I believe help my unbelief right.
Let let let the Lord bring confirmation to the things he wants to do, and the things he's leading you in.
God sent his son to redeem his people and so we have access to God.
We have the opportunity to receive all of these things from God because of his great work for us and towards us in Jesus Christ.
Let's pray, Lord, we thank you for your word and the good reminders.
This evening I pray God that you would help us to learn to appreciate.
Even the unpleasant parts of your plans for us God, even the things that contradict our will and our desires.
Lord, may we.
We learned to take on the heart and the mindset of Jesus, Lord, that we would say your will be done, not mine.
Lord, that we would appreciate what you are saying, what you desire to do that we would receive your gift and all that you have for us.
I pray this in Jesus name.