Read 179.) II Kings 15:29 thru 16:4, and II Chronicles 27:7 thru 28:4; and read 180.) Isaiah 7:1 thru 10:4. Beginning with the II Kings passage, note carefully what is taking place. Assyria has arrived. And, they have commenced their conquest and deportation of the 10 northern tribes of the Kingdom of Israel… just as God had said He would do to them through His prophets. As you can see, this is a time of great turmoil, when men’s hearts must have been growing faint with fear. They were so very far from the Lord their God, they had no refuge, no one to turn to. They had forgotten God, and did not know enough to turn back to Him, even though He was sending them prophets admonishing them to do just that… but, what did He tell these prophets? That their ministry would be fruitless, that the people were not going to listen to them; sealing their doom. Reading the II Chronicles passage, we learn of this very thing; how that this Ahaz, King of Judah, had become as detestable as Israel and the other surrounding nations. He openly rejected the Lord, and adhered to the idols of false gods; who were no gods at all, but rather, were actually demons, who love death and bloodshed.
Then, with Isaiah 7, the first verse tells us when this is taking place. It would appear to be shortly after Ahaz became king in 724 BC. He was only 20, and perhaps they thought they could take advantage of his youth and inexperience. As we just read II Chronicles, chapter 28, he was one wicked individual! This sets the stage for what follows. He is about to be attacked by a strong force, and is fearful, but Isaiah went to the king. Through Isaiah, the Lord told Ahaz not to be afraid and offers him a sign to prove His existence, strength and faithfulness, but Ahaz begged off. With verse 14, however, we have the promise of the sign of The Virgin Birth of Messiah! We also have the promise of Israel’s destruction by Assyria, to take place within 2 years, in 722 BC. Now, the actual fulfillment of that time, is seen in what we read in chapter 8, verses 1 thru 3. It was not understood to apply to Messiah until Matthew’s Gospel account. Chapter 8 goes on to speak of the necessity to fear God, and the difference it makes in a person’s life. We become a testimony to others, says verse 18, and while others turn to the occult, we are to turn to God’s Word, says verses 19 and 20. Then when all becomes bleak, these same people blame their government and God, when they, themselves, are at fault and to be blamed.
Chapter 9 contains glorious Messianic and Millennial promise! Verse 2 referred to Messiah, and was quoted in Matthew 4:14-16 about Jesus. Then, with verse 3, we are in the Millennium, and King Jesus has come to rule and reign! Verses 6 and 7, are much cited around our Christmas time. Verse 8, thru 10:4, come back to their present time, and makes clear these promises are not for them at that time; but only judgment, destruction and exile. It’s what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell