Sunday, December 23, 2007

Advent 4

Almost Christmas! The reading for today was Isaiah 7:10-17.

The famous Immanuel prophecy (a case of double fulfillment): Jesus is God-with-us (7:14; fulfilled in Matt. 1:18-25). First fulfillment: to Ahaz, of the house of David (v. 13). He was one of the first kings of Judah to be an unfaithful servant; he gave himself totally to idols, even Molech (made his own son pass through the fire--!); he changed God's altar into a pagan one. He received the promise unfaithfully, while we receive it faithfully--even though our culture is just about as bad as his. He didn't believe that God is that powerful; Isaiah warned him that he was wearying God.

There is no middle ground. Either you are faithful or an idolater. Buying Christmas trees does not make it really Christmas--you must have CHRIST. Skeptics scoff--"there's no such thing as prophecy," etc. But from the textual and historical evidence, we know otherwise. Immanuel will shatter all the nations. We are gathered here because of Him--our hope is the same as Isaiah's and Matthew's. Be comforted. The Son of David is faithful.

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