The Promise

by Esther Griggs

Approximately seven hundred years before the birth of Jesus, there was a man named Isaiah.   He was a man of God, called by God, to deliver a message that would not be understood, nor heeded, but would point to God ‘s plan for all people.

These were distressing times for God’s chosen people.  They prefered the customs of their neigbours over the truth of God’s word. These practices resulted in weakening them as a nation and left them open to invasion by surrounding countries.

God ‘s call came to Isaiah in the year that King Uzziah died.  By the time Uzziah’s second son Ahaz had come to the throne, the people of God were already divided into 2 nations.  History reports that the Lord brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of Israel.  He had encouraged moral decline in Judah and  continually disobeyed God.  In fact Ahaz sacrificed to the god’s of his enemies  thinking they might bring him victory as they had his enemies.  His actions resulted in the  ruin of himself and all of Israel.

Isaiah’s voice was God’s voice at a dark time, to an evil king,  “Ask a sign from the Lord your God”  Look to God for your answer, but King Ahaz would not.  Surely in frustration Isaiah declared:

“Hear now , O 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. Behold the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son and shall call His name Immanuel.”

Isaiah was God’s voice, generations before Jesus, telling them of these promises.  They had to look to the future for the fulfillment..  Even Isaiah had to look to the future for the fulfillment of the promise.

God’s promise to His people was the gift of Himself.  He  would come in the form of a baby “God with us”.

We, however, have seen the promise fulfilled.  God, in Jesus, “made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a servant, and coming in the likeness of men, and being found in appearance of a man, He humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death even the death of the cross”.

We,  because of the fulfillment of this  ancient promise, can experience individually, the indwelling of the Living God, “Immanuel”, “God with us”. We have seen the promise fulfilled.  It echoes forth from Isaiah’s own words,  penned centuries later by the great composer  Handel,   “For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given,  and the government shall be upon His shoulders and His name shall be called  Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.”  “Praise be to God for His indescribable gift!!”

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