Isaiah 7 and 8 include references to Jesus. In 7:14, Isaiah (now famously) prophecies that a virgin will give birth to Immanuel. In 8:14, he talks about a rock that causes men to stumble. Peter indicates that the rock is Christ (1 Peter 3:15).
When I started to read today’s passage, as far as I could tell, Isaiah was challenging Ahaz to believe that God would protect Judah from Syria and Israel. And smack in the middle of this, I find the virgin birth prophecy – a sign for Ahaz that God would protect Judah.
I had heard about prophecies having double fulfillment (maybe more?): near and far away. And here I was reading one. Then I came up0n several double references as I read on – one fulfillment in the context of Judah’s situation (ally Assyria turning on them, then God’s protection); another fulfillment in the far future, through Christ.
It makes for rather confusing reading!
And it affirms again what I think about those who attempt to decipher as yet unfulfilled Biblical prophecies today: it’s a hard, if not impossible, task!
Who in Ahaz’s day would have figured that some of these “near term” prophecies would also point to a far away (in time) suffering servant Messiah?
I do look forward to the day when we can all look back and finally understand what God meant in so many passages in both the Old and New Testaments.
Til then, I love that we know the end of all prophecy: God wins!!
Today’s Readings: Isaiah 7:1-8:22, Psalm 105:37-45, Proverbs 24:30-34, 1 Corinthians 16:1-24. See About for what I’m up to with these daily posts. Your daily blogger, Holiday Longing (Reproduce with permission only)