Peter Barnes: Isaiah 7:17-25 (NO AUDIO)
(25 November 2018)
SERMON NOTES: DEVASTATION BECAUSE OF UNBELIEF (Isaiah 7:17-25)
Ahaz is the king of Judah, but his faith is in his own political machinations, not the word of God. This is the lead-up to the events of 701 B.C. when the Assyrians surrounded Jerusalem.
1. God holds His covenant people accountable.
– 7:17, 18, 20. In the Assyrian annals, Sennacherib (king of Assyria from 705-681 B.C.) records how his troops surrounded Jerusalem in 701 B.C.: ‘As for Hezekiah the Jew, who did not submit to my yoke, 46 of his strong walled cities, as well as the smaller cites in their neighbourhood … I besieged and took … Himself, like a caged bird, I shut up in Jerusalem, his royal city … As for Hezekiah, the terrifying splendour of my majesty overcame him … and his mercenary troops … deserted him.’
Notice how he talks: ‘I besieged … I shut up in Jerusalem … my majesty’. Compare it to what God says.
2. God will humiliate Judah.
– 7:17. To escape Israel and Syria, Ahaz looks to Assyria – 2 Kings 16:7-9. Alec Motyer describes it as grabbing ‘a tiger by the tail’. He looked to the wrong saviour; his son, Hezekiah, did far better, and looked to the Lord – Isa.37:15-20. In the 1930s it was not uncommon for Western people to believe that the Nazis would deliver them from the Communists, or that the Communists would deliver them from the Nazis. In reality, of course, there was not much difference.
– God’s plan is to humiliate Judah – 7:19-20 (see2 Sam.10:1-5).
3. God will leave only a few.
-7:21-25; curds and honey is not the same as milk and honey. Gen.3:17-19.
– not many will be left