2018 Christmas Devotional — December 23

Isaiah 7:10-16 (click to view Scripture below)

The reading today is a clear reflection of an ancient scenario that we can all relate to. The first nine verses of this chapter reveal an international mess. Nations are allied with other nations and causing Israel to simply feel lost in the chaos. The prophet Isaiah is asked to go and converse with King Ahaz and tell the king to ask God for a sign that the current situation wasn’t going to be permanent. The king is so numb from the anxiety of his leadership role that he simply says; I can’t ask God for a sign. In so doing the king shows how weakened his life has become in all the chaos of the moment. In the middle of this stalemate, Isaiah says that God will provide a sign. What God will do seems impossible — a virgin shall conceive and that child will be the center of God’s plan to redeem a lost nation.

As I read this passage in Isaiah, I can’t help but recognize the reflection of this ancient situation in the world we live in today. We watch the news and listen to the multiple sources of information at our disposal. The more we listen, the more we become fearful and even neutralized by the overwhelming complexity and meaninglessness of the events around us. We are even too overwhelmed to ask God for help; we act as if we may be bothering him with our problems. But the Lord says, I have a promise for you; it’s a sign that I care deeply about that situation that has overwhelmed you to the point of despair. The answer from God may come in the form you least expect it and through means that seem impossible. That’s the God we serve: a God who realizes that we are so overwhelmed by our own circumstances we are even too weary to ask for His help. In the middle of that dilemma, we see God offer an answer that is more than a band aid on a deep wound; God’s answer is the Savior of the world!

The good news is that before you even ask, God is willing and able to provide an answer to every dilemma we have faced and every poor decision we have made or had made for us. His sign of compassion is the child Jesus Christ.

Byron Klaus
Vice President, ChildHope
Prayer:  Lord, I admit my weariness. Will you look beyond my current condition and provide me a clear understanding that Jesus Christ is the ultimate answer to my need.      

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Isaiah 7:10-16 (ESV)

10 Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz: 11 “Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.” 12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test.”13 And he said, “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. 15 He shall eat curds and honey when he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. 16 For before the boy knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land whose two kings you dread will be deserted.

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Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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