Advent Devotion for Friday, December 20

By Eric Glenn

Read Isaiah 7:10-14

God Himself was willing to strengthen Ahaz’s faith through a sign (verse 14).  It is noteworthy that Ahaz was the son of the God-fearing King Jotham who during his own reign had enjoyed God’s favor and was a successful ruler and military leader. Ahaz, however, because of his human weakness and lack of faith in God, relied heavily on the worldly things he could touch, see, and manipulate. In his weakness he even succumbed to idolatry to the point of setting up a pagan altar in the Holy Temple.

When Ahaz felt he was unable to defend his own kingdom from his enemies, he as much as indentured himself to king Tiglath-Pileser of Assyria in his desperate cry for help. Ahaz plundered not only the wealth of his palace for payment but the temple as well.

How many times in our daily lives do we refuse to listen to the calling of God to be our aid in good times and in bad? How often out of fear and our own worldly understanding are we willing to unnecessarily sacrifice ourselves, our integrity, our well-being?

Ahaz was told that “the Lord himself will give you a sign: the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son and will call him Emmanuel (God is with us)”. This promise has been fulfilled for us through the birth, life, death, and resurrection of His Son Jesus, yet even today we struggle with our faith in believing that God will deliver us and take care of His flock.

Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us in a few simple words: Trust in the Lord with all thine heart;  and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy path.

It doesn’t get any easier than that … Emmanuel, God IS with us.