Advent 2009 Promises Fulfilled #2
Born of a Virgin
Promises are interesting aren’t they
A Son wanted a new car for graduation. The Dad Promised his son a New Car if he would Read his Bible More Diligently, Bring Up his Grades, and Cut His Hair
The son started reading his Bible every day, He worked on his grades and brought them up … shortly before graduation, he said, “Dad about the grades, I know I said I’d cut my hair, but I’ve been reading my Bible and getting better grades, and you know, I think Jesus and the disciples had long hair” … and Dad said, “Yeah and they walked everywhere they went!
Two guys were shipwrecked for weeks on a raft.
One guy was more scared than the other. He started confessing sins and said “I’ve just been terrible all my life, I’ve been cruel to people. I’ve even gone out of my way to hurt people. Then he paused thoughtfully and said “I Promise …” his buddy said “WAIT WAIT A MINUTE” … don’t go too far, I see smoke from a ship off in the distance”
Well last week we saw the Promise that the Messiah would be Born in Bethlehem and that God moved the World to Keep his Promise, and in the process he Scorns those who think they are prominent that he might Bless the insignificant.
Well let’s look at perhaps the most Audacious of the Promises …
This Promises is Found in the book of Isaiah
Read Isaiah 7:10-14
Let’s Look at this Sign in three ways
1. A Sign Extended / Offered
It is Christmas and we have a gift being given here …
So, when you get a gift in the mail, or a new present shows up under the tree … you Pick the present up and you look to see who it’s from and who it’s for … who is Extending the offer?
A. The Giver – The LORD himself will GIVE you a sign. That’s a pretty good giver of a gift.
Anyone can make promises. Anyone can promise you a gift but the question is can they deliver
The Lord himself will extend, give to you the gift
B. The Gift -
What’s the nature of a gift? A gift is an expression of Love, it is unearned
This was an unearned expression of love from their loving Lord and God
And what was the Purpose in the Gift … It was …
A Sign – "oht" – a sign, military insignia, mark, or banner, miracle - there will be no doubt what the Lord is doing when he does it because the Gift he is giving you not just what is coming but HOW it is coming …
What is the purpose of the miraculous? The purpose of the miraculous was to reveal the Lord
When Moses told Pharaoh that God wanted them to let his people go, Pharaoh said “no” and then followed 10 plaques. Those plaques were progressive and they covered every part of God’s creation. God was Revealing to BOTH Egypt AND the Children of Israel that he was in charge and able to do anything
God parted the Red Sea for Israel, but also so word would get to Jericho and Canaan that God was the only true God.
Jesus made blind see, lame walk, raised the dead, walked on the water, not just as a health plan, He was Revealing who he was and what he could do
The Giver is the Lord and the Gift is a Sign, unearned
But let me say just a thing about
C. Givee – I give to YOU …
Now you should know that the pronoun “you” is plural …
God is speaking through Isaiah to A wicked King, Ahaz. But he is also speaking to all who would hear this message
But to Ahaz in verse 10 the Lord says
“Ask the Lord for a sign” …
And Ahaz swells up spiritually and says “I will not ask the Lord for a sign, I will not put him to the test” – that sounds spiritual but if GOD tells you to ask for a sign, you better ask. Perhaps sometimes we don’t want a sign because we don’t want to be held accountable to respond to the sign. We don’t go to the Word of God because we don’t want the –answer
When God says “test me” you should test him
if the Lord says “ask me” you should ask
God gave a sign then to Ahaz, a wicked King because he is a great God and wants all to be without excuse.
So we have a Sign Extended
And then we have
2. A Sign Explained
Ahaz didn’t want a sign, he could have asked, I guess, for most anything, but of course God knew what he would do and God already knew what HE himself would do. God gave US a sign that none could deny
We need something bigger than us to believe it
Hebrews 6:17 Men swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all arguments
And so God says …
A. A Virgin will Conceive
This SIGN a critical sign to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
If Jesus Christ was born in the normal way, by the normal means with the normal parents then we are hopelessly in the same situation we were before he came
Jesus Christ is FROM Eternity. We read that last week. Jesus Christ was not BORN in the sense that you and I were. And you and I were not born like he is.
Some people think humans are laying around in Heaven somewhere waiting to be born … but that is not TRUE. we all have a beginning when we are “knit together in the Mother’s womb” as Psalm 139 says. And we COME into Being
But Jesus Christ, the Word of God, was with God and was God and all things were made by him and without him nothing was made. And then John 1:14 says That Eternal Word BECAME FLESH. He already existed in ONE Form and He took UP another Form and the sign would be that he would be BORN of a Virgin
This is that his Divine Power might be manifest and
That Divine Purity would exist in the Messiah
John 3:13 speaking of Jesus says no one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came FROM heaven – the Son of Man
Jesus Christ had to be a pure vessel to be our sacrifice
Jesus Christ could not inherit sin from Mary or from Joseph and so he HAD to be born of a virgin
Don’t let anyone tell you that this is NOT an important sign
It is a Crucial Sign
Genetically Speaking a Black Sheep can give birth to a White Lamb if there is a gene in the Black Sheep for a white lamb. So then the rare white sheep could be born.
But folks, we don’t have a sinless gene in our spiritual system
There is none righteous not one
Billions of Babies born since Adam, none sinless … except ONE … Jesus, the Christ, HOW? because he didn’t come from us but he came TO us and became LIKE us.
B. A Child
A Virgin, will have a child. Now that makes news doesn’t it?
When a Virgin, shows up on the scene, verifiable, and she is with child … That’s a good sign if you can pull it off
A Virgin, with Child will
C. Give Birth
Bear a Child … Just like a promise, if the promise isn’t delivered what’s the point
A virgin to present herself and she could pretend or appear to be pregnant but if she doesn’t give birth …
But The Sign was simple to check out
A Virgin – Mary was a Virgin, she was promised to be Married to Joseph
She never would have taken this upon herself.
She was subject to being ostracized at the least and could be stoned at most for the accusation of adultery if she were pregnant outside of her promise. A betrothal was just like a marriage without the consummation. So Joseph could have divorced her as well, leading to a life of public shame and ridicule
But if it were his child, he could have quickly and quietly married her
Yet, a Virgin, with Child, they remained true to their vows, they remained promised not married, until AFTER the child was born
Not only that but that fact that Jesus was born a child shows that while he came from Heaven and he was OF heaven, he also became fully man. He went through the Human Process, he grew in amniotic fluid, he went through the birthing process. He nursed from his mother, he was fed by his parents, not by angels. He lived a Human existence. Verse 15 says he will eat curds and honey or milk and honey, he will grow in the same process of learning.
Now let me just say a word here about this sign.
Often times in the Old Testament, prophesies and instructions had both immediate and eternal messages. And so in this situation we have an immediate fulfillment and an future, eternal fulfillment. In those cases the immediate was a foreshadowing of the future as well as a proof of the future.
So, God had an immediate sign for the unbelieving Ahaz who was trusting in treaties instead of trusting in God.
And that meaning was that a woman who was THEN a Virgin, would then get married, conceive, bear a son, and his name would be Immanuel. And God tells Ahaz in verse 15 that before the child is old enough to know right from wrong, about 3-4 years old some would say, or at least by the age of 12 when Jewish boys were men, Syria and Ephraim would be laid waste and no longer a threat.
This prophesy came in 734 B.C. well, Syria was defeated in 732 B.C. and Ephraim or the Northern Kingdom, Israel, in 722 B.C.
God fulfilled his promise.
Who was the first “Immanuel”? I don’t think we have to look further than Isaiah himself.
Isaiah and his wife had given birth to a First Son, named “Shear-Jashub” meaning “a remnant shall return” … but his wife had died in child birth. He was a single Father. But Isaiah had married again and would have married a Virgin.
Read with me from Chapter 8
READ Isaiah 8:3-4 – sound familiar? Sounds just like the prophesy above, the short time … before Syria would be destroyed by the Assyrians … “But his name isn’t Immanuel” … “It’s that other long name” –
Well remember Immanuel means “God With Us”
well go back there to chapter 8 and hear the rest of what God said, why he was to name the Child … Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz – MEANS – swift to plunder and quick to spoil
If you are under attack, and God says name the boy “swift to plunder and quick to spoil” doesn’t that tell you that God is with you?
But then God says
Twice there the word Immanuel is found, once as a proper name then translated God with us but both are the same Hebrew Word Immanuel.
So there was an immediate fulfillment of the sign showing that God was with them
But There was the Promise of the Messiah coming, not from Ephraim, Israel of the northern Kingdom, but from Judah …
And God has given us a Sign
So we have no doubt
When the Messiah comes it will NOT be in the Natural way that a Virgin becomes with child
A Virgin will be
And thus a Sign Extended
And a Sign Explained
And finally we come back to this word
3. A Sign Experienced
Jesus Christ Born of A Virgin
That we might know Divine Power
That we might know Divine Purity
And He came Immanuel that we might know a Divine Person
Jesus the Christ, the Son of the Living God
Aren’t you glad that the wicked King failing to take God’s invitation for a sign didn’t keep you and I from Getting Immanuel? Hallelujah
Please notice that we are not just having a fulfillment 700 years before Christ … not just A Virgin
But THE Virgin will conceive, give birth to a son, and WILL … meaning SHE will call him Immanuel. The custom was that a woman would name the Child and the Father would give it.
Thanks for the History Lesson but are we talking about Jesus here or Isaiah’s Son?
You ask GREAT Questions
Go to Matthew 1 Mary was promised to be married Joseph, she was FOUND to be with Child. Joseph was going to quietly divorce her.
But an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said …
Remember Isaiah’s son was seen as God with us because he was given a name that stated HOW God was going to be with them, by quickly plundering their enemies
Remember the Angel told Mary, his name will be JESUS … which means “Jehovah Saves” …
God with us … is the ONLY way that God could “Save his people from their sins” would be for GOD to Be WITH US …
Live FOR US
Die For Us
The Purpose All along was that we might KNOW GOD!
Ok Answer the Test Question Now …
What is the Greatest Purpose of the Miraculous Signs of God?
The Greatest purpose of the Miraculous of God is the Revelation of God leading to a Relationship with Jesus Christ!
What a sad thing when God reveals himself and people don’t believe
10 plaques, the Red Sea parted, Manna in the wilderness to feed them every day, Quail to give them meat. They were given the Law by God’s own hand. Their enemies were defeated before them. They were given water straight out of a Rock. And they got to the Jordan River and they were afraid to go into the Promised Land.
What’s the point of the Miraculous if we won’t enter in?
Jesus taught some people on a hillside in John 6 and when they were hungry, he feed Thousands of them by simply using a little boy’s lunch.
You would think that it would be enough … but the next day Jesus was telling them to follow him with their whole heart and lives, and many left and never followed him again.
Jesus raised Lazarus from being dead for 4 days … many were there, and many believed, but the Pharisees responded by working even harder to get Jesus
And after all the Miracles
After all the Signs
After all the Wonders
After all the Teaching
The Crowd in Pilates Courtyard Shouted “Crucify him”
I wonder is there someone here today that God has Revealed himself to you but you have failed to Follow
730 years after this Prophesy, a Virgin was found with Child; and on a night in Bethlehem, she gave birth to him and who was it but God himself, “God With US”, Immanuel.
Have you embraced him as Lord?
Has God provided for you, revealed himself to you in some area, but then when he asks you to trust him and follow him, you have failed to follow?
Are you still asking for a sign?
God Kept His Promise
The Promise to Israel was that the Messiah would come From a Virgin
The Promise to Israel was that God would come in the Flesh to Them
And the Promise to Israel in 734 BC Gave them hope because it told them that they didn’t have to fear being destroyed because the Messiah was going to come from them
The Purpose of the Sign was to Reveal the Almight
And So Israel though attacked by invader after invader trying to annihilate the Israelites and remove them from History but the Messiah was coming through them, by the Miraculous Preservation and Miraculous Progeny of God.
Let me tell you what the Promise says for You
You can Speak to your enemy, satan and all who work with him what is said in Isaiah 8:10
Devise your strategy, but it will be thwarted;
propose your plan, but it will not stand, for God is with us
And You can say with
No Weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.
Because the Promises of God Are SURE
You Can Believe
And when the attack comes
ALL His Promises are Sure
We are MORE than Conquerors
We are Led in Triumph
He Will Come for us
We Will Be Like Him
And we can Live Forgiven, Forever, and Ever in his Presence
Believe Him Today!