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Isaiah 7:10-16 1
10 Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz, 11 “Ask the LORD your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights.” 12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask; I will not put the LORD to the test.” 13 Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of humans? Will you try the patience of my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. 15 He will be eating curds and honey when he knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, 16 for before the boy knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, the land of the two kings you dread will be laid waste.

clip_image159Background

In Isaiah 7:14, the prophet Isaiah is addressing the “house of David,” meaning the family and descendants of King David. He speaks of a virgin being pregnant with a child, and giving birth to the child. Isaiah says this in the context of it being a sign from God. He also says that the child would be referred to as “Immanuel,” which means, “God with us.” We look to the New Testament books of Matthew and Luke to record details involving the birth of Jesus, who was born about 700 years after the time of Isaiah, saying that he was born of the virgin Mary and is the Son of God. Because he is the Son of God, Jesus literally can be referred to as “God with us.”

Biblical Truths 2

Secret disaffection to God is often disguised with the color of respect to him; and those who are resolved that they will not trust God, yet pretend they will not tempt him. The prophet reproved Ahaz and his court, for the little value they had for Divine revelation. Nothing is more grievous to God than distrust, but the unbelief of man shall not make the promise of God of no effect; the Lord himself shall give a sign. How great so ever your distress and danger, of you the Messiah is to be born, and you cannot be destroyed while that blessing is in you. It shall be brought to pass in a glorious manner; and the strongest consolations in time of trouble are derived from Christ, our relation to him, our interest in him, our expectations of him and from him. He would grow up like other children, by the use of the diet of those countries; but he would, unlike other children, uniformly refuse the evil and choose the good. And although his birth would be by the power of the Holy Ghost, yet he should not be fed with angels’ food. Then follows a sign of the speedy destruction of the princes, now a terror to Judah. “Before this child,” so it may be read; “this child which I have now in my arms,” (Shear-jashub, the prophet’s own son, verse 3,) shall be three or four years older, these enemies’ forces shall be forsaken of both their kings. The prophecy is so solemn, the sign is so marked, as given by God himself after Ahaz rejected the offer, that it must have raised hopes far beyond what the present occasion suggested. And, if the prospect of the coming of the Divine Savior was a never-failing support to the hopes of ancient believers, what cause have we to be thankful that the Word was made flesh! May we trust in and love Him, and copy his example.

Items for Discussion

  • How do people “Secretly” hide their true beliefs with respect to God?
  • When and where is this most to occur in our society?
  • What do we miss from the Advent Season and Christmas when we fail to believe in our Savior’s birth?
  • Isaiah is focusing on the humanity of our Savior – He will eat ordinary foods. How does the food we eat define our very character?
  • Is it important to believe in the “Virgin” birth? How does this “belief” help us with our relationship with God?
  • Isaiah is pointing out to the king that he is trying the “patience” of our God – How do people to that today, especially over the Christmas season?

 

Matthew 1:18-25
18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel (which means “God with us”). 24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

Background 3

Matthew begins with the account of Christ’s parentage and birth, the ancestors from whom he descended, and the manner of his entry into the world, to help us understand that he was indeed the Messiah promised, for it was foretold that he should be the son of David, and should be born of a virgin. His pedigree from Abraham in forty-two generations, three fourteens, ver. 1-17 An account of the circumstances of his birth, so far as was requisite to show that he was born of a virgin, ver. 18-25

The Genealogy of Christ.
  1. The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
  2. Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren;
  3. And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram;
  4. And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon;
  5. And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse;
  6. And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias;
  7. And Solomon begat Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa;
  8. And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias;
  9. And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias;
  10. And Ezekias begat Manasses; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias;
  11. And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon;
  12. And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel;
  13. And Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor;
  14. And Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud;
  15. And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan;
  16. And Matthan begat Jacob;
  17. And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.

Biblical Truths 4

Verses 18-19 Joseph and Mary had promised to marry each other. But Joseph thought that Mary had not been loyal to him. They were Jews. And the only way for Jews to break this promise was to divorce each other. But Joseph was kind. He planned to protect her from public gossip. He wanted to divorce her in private. He himself would risk public gossip.

Verses 20-21 Matthew and Luke agree that Mary had the child ‘by the power of the Holy Spirit’ (Luke 1:35; Matthew 1:20). God showed the truth to Joseph in a dream. ‘Jesus’ is the same as the Old Testament name ‘Joshua’. The name means ‘the Lord saves’.

Verses 22-23 ‘Immanuel’ means ‘God is with us’. God’s servant Isaiah lived about 700 years before Jesus. He gave the name ‘Immanuel’ to the son of a young woman. Isaiah wanted to encourage the king and the people to trust God. God would protect them from their enemies (Isaiah 7:14). Isaiah’s words came true in an even more wonderful way when Jesus came into the world. The whole gospel describes how Jesus was ‘God with us’. Everything that he said and did showed the power of God. And he showed how much God loves people.

Verses 24-25 Joseph believed the Lord’s messenger and he obeyed God’s message.

Items for Discussion

  • How far back can you trace your genealogy?
  • What is the significance that Jesus’ genealogy can be traced back directly to David?
  • What can we tell about the character of Joseph?
  • How do you think Joseph’s character influenced Jesus’ upbringing?
  • How does someone’s genealogy help us with our opinions about them?
  • How does it help the person to know their genealogy?

Discussion Challenge

  • Why is it important focus on Christ’s humanity during this holy season and accept Him as Scripture defines Him?
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