Dec. 14: Denying the signs
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We’ve all heard that we shouldn’t put God to the test, and yet, in this passage, God invites Ahaz to do just that. He tells Ahaz to ask for a sign, be it in the Heavens or on the Earth, but Ahaz declines. My first thought was, “Wow, what great faith!” But I wonder if maybe Ahaz was simply afraid that God would prove himself.
King Ahaz was not what we might call a good man. He did not know God, let alone trust him. To receive a sign indicating that God would indeed carry them through required faith, and Ahaz had none. But God gave him a sign anyway.
Declining a sign from the God who has graciously offered to prove himself was not a gesture of faith, it was fear. God wanted to show himself to the people. So Ahaz, rather than being used by God, has God’s purposes accomplished in spite of him. The birth of Christ was announced though Ahaz declined God’s offer to show a sign. How often do we do this, ignoring or declining an offer from God?
This passage demonstrates God’s ability to accomplish what he wants in spite of us, but it doesn’t give us license to ignore him. The sign God provides is Emmanuel – God with us. When Ahaz denied the sign, he denied Emmanuel. But God gave it to us anyway.
Though we deny the sign – the very proof God so longs to give us – he continues his work anyway.
SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 7:10-16 (NRSV)