So I was reading the other day in 2 Kings and I came across a chart that listed all the kings of Israel and Judah, the time that they reigned, and the prophets that existed during that time. It is a cool chart. I decided to then read the prophets in the order they appeared in this chart. This has been a pretty cool read so far. I got to Isaiah, which is a little different from the other prophets that I have been reading, and I found something rather neat.
In Isaiah 7 Ahaz, who is king of Judah at the time, found out that two other kings have allied themselves together against Judah. He was bummed and felt kinda doomed. The Lord told Isaiah to take his son and meet Ahaz and say to him, 'Be careful, keep calm and don't be afraid. Do not lose heart because of these two smoldering stubs of firewood...' (Isaiah 7:4a) He goes on to say that the Lord will not let these two kings plans succeed. At the end of this little ditty the Lord tells Ahaz, 'If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.' (Isaiah 7:9b) Now, us being human and all, God knows when we need some help in the faith department. God tells Ahaz to ask for a sign to prove to him that everything the Lord just told him will come to pass. Ahaz, being human and all, said, 'I will not ask; I will not put the Lord to the test.' (Isaiah 7:12) Now Isaiah got a little upset at this king. When God says to do something he means it and Isaiah knows this. He says, 'Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of men? Will you try the patience of my God also?' (Isaiah 7:13) Then Isaiah proceeds to tell Ahaz about the birth of Christ.
This is one of the things that sticks out about Isaiah for me. I was thinking that fire from heaven was going to be called down to devour this king for being to good to accept a sign from God. Had the prophet been Elijah this would have probably been the case. Read 2 Kings 1:10ish for the story. Instead he tells this king about the birth of the Savior of the world. How cool is that!
Now a little later in the book Isaiah is prophesying about things to come and starts to talk about Jesus again. This is another thing that really caught my attention. Isaiah says, 'A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him -- the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord -- and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.' (Isaiah 11:1-3) Now that is pretty cool.