The sin of a land is sure to bring foreign invasion and all kinds of trouble,
but to those who will trust Him, God sends seasonable comforts,
and the strongest consolations in times of trouble are those which come from expectation of and from Christ.
1 And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up toward Jerusalem to war against it, but could not prevail against it.
2 And it was told the house of David, saying, Syria is confederate with Ephraim. And his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the wood are moved with the wind.
3 Then said the LORD unto Isaiah, Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou, and Shear-jashub thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller’s field;
4 And say unto him, Take heed, and be quiet; fear not, neither be fainthearted for the two tails of these smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin with Syria, and of the son of Remaliah.
5 Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah, have taken evil counsel against thee, saying,
6 Let us go up against Judah, and vex it, and let us make a breach therein for us, and set a king in the midst of it, even the son of Tabeal:
7 Thus saith the Lord GOD, It shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass.
8 For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin; and within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken, that it be not a people.
9 And the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is Remaliah’s son. If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established.
10 ¶ Moreover the LORD spake again unto Ahaz, saying,
11 Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above.
12 But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD.
13 And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also?
14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
15 Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.
16 For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.
17 ¶ The LORD shall bring upon thee, and upon thy people, and upon thy father’s house, days that have not come, from the day that Ephraim departed from Judah; even the king of Assyria.
18 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall hiss for the fly that is in the uttermost part of the rivers of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria.
19 And they shall come, and shall rest all of them in the desolate valleys, and in the holes of the rocks, and upon all thorns, and upon all bushes.
20 In the same day shall the Lord shave with a razor that is hired, namely, by them beyond the river, by the king of Assyria, the head, and the hair of the feet: and it shall also consume the beard.
21 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a man shall nourish a young cow, and two sheep;
22 And it shall come to pass, for the abundance of milk that they shall give he shall eat butter: for butter and honey shall every one eat that is left in the land.
23 And it shall come to pass in that day, that every place shall be, where there were a thousand vines at a thousand silverlings, it shall even be for briers and thorns.
24 With arrows and with bows shall men come thither; because all the land shall become briers and thorns.
25 And on all hills that shall be digged with the mattock, there shall not come thither the fear of briers and thorns: but it shall be for the sending forth of oxen, and for the treading of lesser cattle.
Isaiah 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Isaiah 7:1-17 – The Sign of Immanuel
A new cycle of prophecy begins here, covering the reign of Ahaz. The complete history which illustrates these chapters is given in II Chronicles 28:5. The invasion of Judah by Syria and Samaria was permitted because a severe warning was needed to enforce Isaiah’s remonstrances and appeals. See II Kings 15:37. The Holy City, as Isaiah predicted, was not to be trodden by the invader, though it would pass through severe suffering and anxiety. This immunity, which neither Ahaz nor his people deserved, was secured by Isaiah’s faith and prayer, pleading as he did, God’s ancient covenant.
This great prophecy of the coming Immanuel must have greatly encouraged that generation, as it has all succeeding ones. It inspired Psalm 46. What greater comfort have we than that Jesus is the companion of our pilgrimage? See Matthew 1:21-23. Though the corn-lands were desolate, the cattle on the mountain-pastures would yield butter and the wild bees honey; and this would supply the nation’s needs till the invader had withdrawn. Though God chastens us, He will not forget our daily bread. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Isaiah 7:4—Take heed, and be quiet; fear not, neither be fainthearted.
Serious trouble seemed imminent. Two strong peoples were bearing down on Jerusalem, and the heart of the house of David was moved as the trees of the forest are moved with the wind. Fear like this demoralizes men and nations. It unfits them for wise and strong action. Hence the necessity that Isaiah should reassure Ahaz with these words.
They were not sent to him because of his righteousness or virtue, for he was one of the weakest and most idolatrous of the kings of David’s line; but because his foes were acting in direct collision with the determined counsel and purpose of God. Such a coalition may be threatening you today; but it is in vain for the breakers of human pride and hate to attempt to intrude within limits which God has set around his chosen. Come, my soul, enter thou into thy chamber, and shut thy door about thee! Be quiet! God will fight for you. Be not dismayed; God’s purpose cannot be overthrown. Let not thine heart be faint. Lo, a virgin has born a Son, whose name is Immanuel—God with us. “Fear not… I bring you good tidings of great joy… unto you is born… a Saviour” (Luke 2:10-11).
God Incarnate is the end of fear; and the heart that realizes that He is in the midst, that takes heed to the assurance of his loving presence, will be quiet in the midst of alarm. No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise in judgment against thee thou shalt condemn. Only be patient and be quiet.
“For while the tired waves, vainly breaking,
Seem here no painful inch to gain,
Far back, through creeks and inlets making,
Comes silent, flooding in, the main.” —Our Daily Homily