About 700 years before Christ was born, the nasty King Ahaz of Judah was facing hostile neighbors (the northern kingdom, Israel; Damascus; and Assyria). The prophet Isaiah offered Ahaz a vision to help him find a way out of his political mess.
Ahaz did not want any advice but Isaiah gave it to him anyway: a sign of a young teen who would give birth to a Messiah—“the Deliverer.” The story of Ahaz is an awkward one but its message is clear. God has things to say to us even when we do not want to hear. Those messages may come from places we never thought to look. Jesus Christ comes among us and lives among us as a clear sign from God: We will be delivered. Christ delivers us from our own ignorance and arrogance.
O beautiful One with the name Immanuel, thank you for knowing our stubbornness and our arrogance. Save us from being our own worst enemies. Amen.
Writers: Michael Binder ’17, Affiliate Faculty in Congregational Mission and Leadership; Amy Marga, Associate Professor of Systematic Theology. Theological Editor: James L. Boyce ’71, Professor Emeritus of New Testament and Greek. Cover photo by Elizabeth Explores on Unsplash.