Immanuel – God with us – Timothy Warren at Dallas Theological Seminary

immanuel

Isaiah 7:14  (NIV)

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

Matthew 1:23 (NIV)

“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”(which means “God with us”).

Text: Isaiah 7:1-14 – Isaiah comes on the scene to warn Israel of coming judgement and to invite them to step into a world where God is present  even though He is transcendent. Although He is sovereign, He is immanent, here with us in this moment. And those who will repent, those who will acknowledge Him will be part of a remnant which will survive, and that He will bless and prosper. And those who will repent, those who will acknowledge Him will be part of a remnant which will survive and that He will bless and prosper.

Isaiah goes to a people who do not want to and will not see or hear the message. Really, Isaiah, then and today is presenting to us the choice between fear & fear induced behavior and faith resting in God, His promise of protection and His presence.

Ahaz
Preceded by
Jotham
King of Judah
Coregency: 736 – 732 BC
Sole reign: 732 – 716 BC
Succeeded by
Hezekiah

source (wikipedia)

Fact of life: Our natural response to threat is fear

There are a ton of things that can make us fearful and fear is a natural response in a time of threat. But, when we fear, when we’re overwhelmed with our fear, God shows up with a presence of his presence.

English: Ahaz was king of Judah, and the son a...

Verse 14 – ‘Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.‘ Before verse 14 had any meaning in the New Testament, as we relate it to Jesus, it had meaning for Ahaz and for Isaiah, and for the people of Judah at that time.

The promise from God: God tells Ahaz, „Ahaz, you can be part of the remnant. Your soul can be at peace. This threat to my people will not happen. And the reason all of that is true is because I am with you.”

When our normal response to our life is fear, God steps in and gives us the promise of His presence. He says, ‘I will be with you.”

What is our response to God’s promise of His presence?

What is our response to God’s promise of His presence, even when we face the fear of the threat that we so often do and will face for the rest of our lives? Sometimes we lie. Sometime we make bad choices.

We need to reject fear based behavior that will come back and bite us. Lying will come back and bite you. Ahaz’s fear induced behavior was to make an alliance with the King of Assyria. When God said in the last part of verse 9, „if you do not believe, you will not last,” there is a play on words in Hebrew. It says, „If you don’t have faith, then you will not faithfully stand. If you do not believe, you will not survive.” Because Isaiah knew and God knew that Ahaz has a plan and his plan was to go to the King of Assyria and make an alliance so that the King of Assyria would come and beat up on Syria and Israel. and keep Ahaz and Judah from being destroyed by them. God says, „That will come back and bite you”.

Look at verse 7. He says, „If you go that route, the Lord will bring upon you and upon your people, and upon your father’s house, some days as has never come since the days of Ephraim separated in Judah. That is the King of Assyria. If you compromise, if you default in your behavior, the compromise of alliance rather than trusting me, that will come back to bite you.”

The lesson of Isaiah 7- Trust God. He will protect you and provide for you.

The Land of Judah during the reign of the Kings- source

A sidenote: King Ahaz did not trust God and went on to defile the temple. He died at the age of 36 and was succeeded by his son, Hezekiah. Because of his wickedness he was „not brought into the sepulchre of the kings” (2 Chronicles 28:27) (he was not buried with . An insight into Ahaz’s neglect of the worship of the Lord is found in the statement that on the first day of the month of Nisan that followed Ahaz’s death, his son Hezekiah commissioned the priests and Levites to open and repair the doors of the Temple and to remove the defilements of the sanctuary, a task which took 16 days (2 Chronicles 29:3-20). (via)

You can also read more about idolatrous King Ahaz here – http://www.chabad.org Ahaz was twenty years old when he succeeded his father Jotham to the throne of Judea. He was a weak and idolatrous king. He even made his son walk through the fire of Moloch, aping the abominable custom of the Phoenicians. Another son, Hezekiah, who was to become king after Ahaz, was saved from the flames of the idol by his mother.

Published on Dec 6, 2012 dallasseminary Dr. Timothy Warren, Professor of Pastoral Ministries, DTS, explains how God is with His people.

Doug Wilson – How to pray and beseech God

September 9, 2012 Text: Psalm 70 Doug Wilson (the first 5 minutes of 45 min message):

There are two and only two fundamental approaches to God in the world. There are two and only two conceptions of God in the world:

  1. One is: God is God and we are not. God is the center of all things.
  2. And the other is: God on the side, God somewhere on the side to help me if I need help. But, I am fundamentally god. I am the fundamental center of all things and He comes around to help or not, at different times. I am the center of the solar system and everything revolves around me

So there are 2 fundamental conceptions of God. One sees the Lord God almighty high and lifted up. The other might be called the domestic animal approach to God, where the ostensible worshipper keeps ‘a god’ on hand the way you might keep a cow for the milk. God is worked, god is the cosmic vending machine in the sky. God is there in order to help you out, that’s his job. He is god in heaven, god on tap.

Now, I am speaking in an obviously disrespectful way- domestic animal approach to keeping god, keeping god for the milk, a vending machine god, god on tap. That’s all disrespectful. That’s disrespectful in how it’s phrased. But, there are people who refuses to phrase it that way who still function that way.

We know from the Bible that God is God altogether. God is God through and through. It’s not a little bit of God here and a little bit of God there. All of God is everywhere, all of God is all of God. That which is true of God is true of all of Him. Now, we know, as christians who want to pursue God centered worship, we know that’s a good phrase. God centered worship is better than man centered worship. But, there’s a way of formulating God centered worship which is at the heart (down in secret places) still man centered worship.

So we know that we want to worship God high and lifted up, but, we don’t know what to do. Once we’ve got that fixed in our minds, we don’t know what to do when the Lord high and lifted up tells us to tell Him to do things; when God, the ultimate God tells us to approach Him and give Him no rest until He answers our prayer. When that God tells us to ask for something, we don’t quite know what to do. We act like Ahaz, and in the name of a high view of God refuse to obey Him.

The prophet Isaiah says, „Ask whatever sign you want,” and he says, „I’m not gonna do that… not me, I don’t wanna be disrespectful.”  Look, the almighty God has just sent a prophet to tell you what to do and you’re saying: No, because I’ve got a too high view of God. That’s the Ahaz approach. Ahaz’s approach is an approach that pretends to a high view of God, but it really isn’t. What we are doing is we’re taking refuge in certain piety, certain expressions, certain confessional expressions and our christian life is not vibrant and alive. We don’t have an ongoing functional relationship with God that’s in accordance with how God describes it, how God invites us to approach Him.

In this psalm, Psalm 70, this psalm is basically a section of Psalm 40. This psalm is a shorter version or a portion of Psalm 40.. with some changes (Yahweh for Elohim, for example). The psalmist is in trouble, as he frequently is and he cries out to God in his trouble. Some of us might think, „I think David is doing this on purpose. I think David, maybe needs to get into an anger management class or a relationship class.” David doesn’t need to do anything other than pursue God, pursue God and then, lo and behold, what happens is opposition. If someone is sold out to God in this world he will have adversaries, he will have trouble. He will have this sort of trouble.

So, the psalmist is in trouble, he frequently is in trouble, he beseeches God to get a move on. Verse 1: Hurry up God. Now, not only does he want God to come quickly. He knows what he wants God to do when God arrives. He wants God to show up and shame and confound the adversaries of his soul. (first 5 minutes of message)

On Telling God to Hurry Up

Sermon: On Telling God to Hurry Up from Canon Wired on Vimeo.

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