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.

A lesson from King Manasseh

by Royce Frederick (via) GospelTeacher.org

…press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14

              KING MANASSEH

Manasseh of Judah
Preceded by
Hezekiah
King of Judah
Coregency: 697 – 687 BC
Sole reign: 687 – 643 BC
Succeeded by
Amon

(Chart from Wikipedia)

Manasseh, son of Hezekiah, began reigning as king over Judah about 690 B.C., when he was only twelve years old. Generally, such a young boy would not be ready for such power and responsibility. Manasseh’s grandson, Josiah, who was only eight years old when he became king, was a very good king. But Manasseh did not choose the path of wisdom and righteousness.

Manasseh's idolatry

Manasseh reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. Most of those years were filled with great wickedness. “And he did evil in the sight of the Lord, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord had cast out before the children of Israel … Manasseh seduced them to do more evil than the nations whom the Lord had destroyed before the children of Israel” (2 Kings 21:2, 9). He “rebuilt the high places [places for worshipping false gods] which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; he raised up altars for Baal, and made a wooden image, as Ahab king of Israel had done; and he worshiped all the host of heaven and served them … Also he made his son pass through the fire, practiced soothsaying, used witchcraft, and consulted spiritists and mediums. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger. He even set a carved image of Asherah that he had made …” in the temple in Jerusalem (2 Kings 21:3, 6-7). All of these were clear violations of the Law of Moses.

In addition to forsaking the worship of the living God, he was extremely cruel to his own people. “Moreover Manasseh shed very much innocent blood, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another, besides his sin with which he made Judah sin, in doing evil in the sight of the Lord” (2 Kings 21:16).

"And I will wipe Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down" (2 Kings 21:13)

Manasseh’s wickedness was a major reason for the eventual destruction of Judah. “Because Manasseh king of Judah has done these abominations … therefore thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘Behold, I am bringing such calamity upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whoever hears of it, both his ears will tingle … I will wipe Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down’” (2 Kings 21:11-13).

However, the record of Manasseh’s funeral in 2 Kings 21:18 appears peaceful: “So Manasseh rested with his fathers, and was buried in the garden of his own house, in the garden of Uzza. Then his son Amon reigned in his place” (2 Kings 21:18).

The Bible also mentions Manasseh’s repentance. Did he repent after his death? No. That is not possible, for “… it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). Each person lives only one time on the earth. When we die, all opportunities for repentance and salvation are gone. We must make our choice in this life.

The story of Manasseh’s repentance is not recorded in 2 Kings, but in 2 Chronicles. “And the Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they would not listen. Therefore the Lord brought upon them the captains of the army of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh with hooks, bound him with bronze fetters, and carried him off to Babylon” (2 Chronicles 33:10-11). The Assyrians often used hooks through the noses of their captives to pull them along.

During his captivity and torture in the city of Babylon, Manasseh learned very well a lesson which his ancestor, Solomon, had written: “… the way of the unfaithful is hard” (Proverbs 13:15). “Now when he was in affliction, he implored the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, and prayed to Him; and He received his entreaty, heard his supplication, and brought him back to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God” (2 Chronicles 33:12-13).

Manasseh went to work trying to make things right. He built the outer wall of the city of David and put valiant captains in all the fortified cities of Judah (verse 14). He took away the foreign gods, removed the idol from the Lord’s temple, and tore down the altars he had built in Jerusalem (verse 15). “He also repaired the altar of the Lord, sacrificed peace offerings and thank offerings on it, and commanded Judah to serve the Lord God of Israel” (verse 16). These are the fruits of true repentance!

Manasseh truly turned his life around! But we need to soberly notice that he was never able to UNDO all the damage he had done. Part of that is seen in his son Amon, who followed his father’s wickedness, not his reform. Had Amon witnessed the wicked life of his father during the tender years of his youth? “Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned two years in Jerusalem. But he did evil in the sight of the Lord, as his father Manasseh had done; for Amon sacrificed to all the carved images which his father Manasseh had made, and served them. And he did not humble himself before the Lord, as his father Manasseh had humbled himself; but Amon trespassed more and more” (2 Chronicles 33:21-23).

Another part of the lasting damage is seen in the nation. The kingdom of Judah did not collapse immediately, but the foundation of the kingdom was beyond repair. Jeremiah wrote, “Then the Lord said to me, ‘Though Moses and Samuel stood before Me, yet My mind could not be favorable toward this people. Cast them out of my sight, and let them go forth … I will hand them over to trouble to all kingdoms of the earth, because of Manasseh the son of Hezekiah, king of Judah, for what he did in Jerusalem’” (Jeremiah 15:1, 4). Judah and Jerusalem finally fell in 586 B.C. Truly, “… one sinner destroys much good” (Ecclesiastes 9:18).

Actions have consequences. “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life” (Galatians 6:7-8). The law of sowing and reaping involves the physical, mental, social, and spiritual parts of life. And it involves all of the people whom we influence along the way. Very often, the people we influence the most are those who are most dear to us.

How sad it is when anyone continues in sin. The lesson we need to learn from Manasseh is NOT permanent guilt and unbearable regret. When a person hears the gospel, believes, repents of his sins, confesses his faith in Christ, and is baptized into Christ for the remission of sins, ALL of his sins are washed away by the blood of Christ (Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:38; 8:35-39; 22:16; Galatians 3:26-27). The Lord is ready to cleanse even the most defiled. “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). “… I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all long-suffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life” (1 Timothy 1:13-16).

The lesson is this: we must not delay obeying the Lord! The cost is too high–for ourselves and others. “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come, and the years draw near when you say, ‘I have no pleasure in them’” (Ecclesiastes 12:1). We cannot undo all of the results of our sins. But we can prevent more damage and regrets. We need to surrender to the will of God today, then always look forward and “press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).

Blogosfera Evanghelică

Vizite unicate din Martie 6,2011

free counters

Va multumim ca ne-ati vizitat azi!


România – LIVE webcams de la orase mari