1 Now it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin king of Syria and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up to Jerusalem to make war against it, but could not prevail against it.
I know that you can tell already that tonight is going to be a fascinating study! Our Wednesday evening studies are different that Sunday morning in that both contain teaching, but Sunday’s are more preaching, and Wednesdays more teaching. So, it’s more like OTCF college of the Bible, for our midweek study. I do encourage you to take notes, anticipating that the Lord has not just something for you to learn, but something for you personally.
Now how many of you remember me giving you the Scripture passages that give us the history and context of the book of Isaiah? How many of you remember me encouraging you to read it? For those of you that were well intended but didn’t get it done yet, lets look at 2 Chronicles 28:1-4
1 Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem; and he did not do what was right in the sight of the Lord, as his father David had done. 2 For he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and made molded images for the Baals. 3 He burned incense in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, and burned his children in the fire, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord had cast out before the children of Israel. 4 And he sacrificed and burned incense on the high places, on the hills, and under every green tree.
So we learn right off that Ahaz was not a good king, in fact, he was an evil king, a wicked king, I can’t think of a strong enough term as it says that he burned his children in the fire. In this context, in our culture, you might be thinking like he burned them with a lit cigarette, or touched their hand to a hot stove. That too is wicked, but Ahaz burned them alive to a false god.
2 Chronicles 28:5 (NKJV)
5 Therefore the Lord his God delivered him into the hand of the king of Syria...
Notice who it was that delivered him into the hand of his enemy! Who was it? Why would his own God do that? Discipline, judgement. Some of you guys have experienced this yourselves. You start rebelling against the Lord, or perhaps what many call backslidding as a Christian, slidding back to who and what you used to be…and the Lord will whisper to you to stop that. If you act like you didn’t hear, then that voice may get louder, the correction might get stronger, he may discipling you. FI you still don’t listen it can get more and more severe. Some of you have experience the master class of stubborn discipline....lets keep going. 2 Chr 28:5
5 Therefore the Lord his God delivered him into the hand of the king of Syria. They defeated him, and carried away a great multitude of them as captives, and brought them to Damascus. Then he was also delivered into the hand of the king of Israel, who defeated him with a great slaughter.
6 For Pekah the son of Remaliah killed one hundred and twenty thousand in Judah in one day, all valiant men, because they had forsaken the Lord God of their fathers. 7 Zichri, a mighty man of Ephraim, killed Maaseiah the king’s son, Azrikam the officer over the house, and Elkanah who was second to the king. 8 And the children of Israel carried away captive of their brethren two hundred thousand women, sons, and daughters; and they also took away much spoil from them, and brought the spoil to Samaria.
If you read through the rest of the chapter, you’ll see how God dealt with Israel. This next section in my Bible has the heading Israel returns the captives. This was one fo the few times that they actually listened to God and did what He said, so they sent them back…look now with me down to verse 16. 2 Chr 28:16
16 At the same time King Ahaz sent to the kings of Assyria to help him.
Rather than turn to God, King Ahaz came up with his own solution to turn to the pagan nations around him.
17 For again the Edomites had come, attacked Judah, and carried away captives.
Coming from the South.
18 The Philistines also had invaded the cities of the lowland and of the South of Judah, and had taken Beth Shemesh, Aijalon, Gederoth, Sochoh with its villages, Timnah with its villages, and Gimzo with its villages; and they dwelt there.
Philistines from the west.
19 For the Lord brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of Israel, for he had encouraged moral decline in Judah and had been continually unfaithful to the Lord. 20 Also Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria came to him and distressed him, and did not assist him. 21 For Ahaz took part of the treasures from the house of the Lord, from the house of the king, and from the leaders, and he gave it to the king of Assyria; but he did not help him.
What he thought would help, didn’t help. Turn to the book of 2 Kings.
2 Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem; and he did not do what was right in the sight of the Lord his God, as his father David had done. 3 But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel; indeed he made his son pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord had cast out from before the children of Israel.
Here is says his son, in Chronicles it said his children, so probably speaking of a son of significance here, like his firstborn, or the one who was in line to take the throne. 2 Kin 16:4-5
4 And he sacrificed and burned incense on the high places, on the hills, and under every green tree. 5 Then Rezin king of Syria and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, came up to Jerusalem to make war; and they besieged Ahaz but could not overcome him.
2 Chronicles gives us the details that are left out here. Here we have that they came to take Jerusalem but couldn’t but they did take all the cities leading up to Jerusalem and had everyone in the land terrified that they were next, including the city of Jerusalem. 2 Kings 16:6-9
6 At that time Rezin king of Syria captured Elath for Syria, and drove the men of Judah from Elath. Then the Edomites went to Elath, and dwell there to this day. 7 So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria, saying, “I am your servant and your son. Come up and save me from the hand of the king of Syria and from the hand of the king of Israel, who rise up against me.” 8 And Ahaz took the silver and gold that was found in the house of the Lord, and in the treasuries of the king’s house, and sent it as a present to the king of Assyria. 9 So the king of Assyria heeded him; for the king of Assyria went up against Damascus and took it, carried its people captive to Kir, and killed Rezin.
Damascus was the capital of Syria. 2 Kings 16:10
10 Now King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria, and saw an altar that was at Damascus; and King Ahaz sent to Urijah the priest the design of the altar and its pattern, according to all its workmanship.
He saw this alter, ends up bringing it back.
So this gives us a little more detail the Assyrians came, they go up to Damascus, they took it, they killed the king. They were a force to be reckoned with. They took out Syria, Israel to the north, and now they were coming to Judah. Compromise never works in our favor. They asked for the Assyrians to come, and they got what they asked for…so the history is important for us to understand the prophecy, back to Isaiah 7
1 Now it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin king of Syria and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up to Jerusalem to make war against it, but could not prevail against it. 2 And it was told to the house of David, saying, “Syria’s forces are deployed in Ephraim.” So his heart and the heart of his people were moved as the trees of the woods are moved with the wind.
So when they had heard that these kings had joined forces together, terror struck their hearts, there was no peace. Isa 7:3
3 Then the Lord said to Isaiah, “Go out now to meet Ahaz, you and Shear-Jashub your son, at the end of the aqueduct from the upper pool, on the highway to the Fuller’s Field,
A remnant shall return
4 and say to him: ‘Take heed, and be quiet; do not fear or be fainthearted for these two stubs of smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin and Syria, and the son of Remaliah. 5 Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah have plotted evil against you, saying, 6 “Let us go up against Judah and trouble it, and let us make a gap in its wall for ourselves, and set a king over them, the son of Tabel”—
a puppet king
7 thus says the Lord God: “It shall not stand, Nor shall it come to pass.
So even though Ahaz is a wicked King, discipline has been metered out, cities have been overtaken, people have been taken captive, yet the prophet comes and says, God is trying to get your attention and speak with you. Don’t be afraid, God is going to protect you. Isa 7:8-9
8 For the head of Syria is Damascus, And the head of Damascus is Rezin. Within sixty-five years Ephraim will be broken, So that it will not be a people. 9 The head of Ephraim is Samaria, And the head of Samaria is Remaliah’s son. If you will not believe, Surely you shall not be established.” ’ ”
In just a little while they will be no more, Remaliah’s son, Pekah the King, you don’t have to worry, but then the warning....about if he doesn’t believe....Does he believe?
No! We just read the history right, the outcome of this prophecy. He failed to believe God and sent off a bunch of money to this Assyrian King, brought this evil wicked people into the land. Isa 7:10-11
10 Moreover the Lord spoke again to Ahaz, saying, 11 “Ask a sign for yourself from the Lord your God; ask it either in the depth or in the height above.”
God gives a gracious invitation to him to ask for a sign…It is not common, What did Jesus say about those seeking signs in the new testament? You wicked and adulterous generation seeking after a sign. You don’t get a sign other than the resurrection. Now verse 12 and this was another reason I wanted to read to you the history so you would get a feel for the character of King Ahaz that he sacrificed and burned his own children…Isa 7:12
12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, nor will I test the Lord!”
What a hypocrite! I will not test the Lord? This is false righteousness, or self righteousness, it sounds like he tested the Lord ever single day putting false gods before Him. Isa 7:13-14
13 Then he said, “Hear now, O house of David! Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.
This is a prophecy concerning who? Jesus yes, there is also a near fulfillment of a sign in Isaiah’s time to King Ahaz concerning timing, that it would be soon, some history shows that there may have been a woman in the royal household that gave birth to a son and unknowingly named him Immanuel, and before he reached the age of knowing right from wrong, Israel and Syria would be defeated.
The far fulfillment is the virgin birth of Christ Jesus, and we are told so in the Gospel of Matthew. You guys remember the Angel coming to Mary and telling her that she was going to have a child and she was to name him Jesus. Joseph, who she was engaged to found out that she was will child and knew that it wasn’t his. I sure he was broken hearted, couldn’t believe that Mary, sweet Mary of all people would ever betray him, but there was no other explanation.
The Bible tells us that Joseph had considered putting her away quietly. See she was engaged, so under Jewish law the punishment for adultery was stoning. Although wounded severely, he loved Mary and didn’t want to see here killed. There would be enough shame for her if she went to live with a relative or a friend and had a baby without a husband. Matt 1:20-24
20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” 22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” 24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife,
So the Bible being the best interpretation of the Bible, tells us that this is the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy, then back in Isaiah we see the near or the local fulfillment of it verse 15.
15 Curds and honey He shall eat, that He may know to refuse the evil and choose the good. 16 For before the Child shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land that you dread will be forsaken by both her kings.
17 The Lord will bring the king of Assyria upon you and your people and your father’s house—days that have not come since the day that Ephraim departed from Judah.”
Again Assyria was a brutal people! They come down from the north and first destroy Syria, then Ephraim or Israel to the north, and then they come into Judah. Now remember in the history that we read. God is warning here, but then who does Ahaz reach out to for help rather than to God, to Assyria, the very ones coming to destroy them, the one God warned them about. Isa 7:18-19
18 And it shall come to pass in that day That the Lord will whistle for the fly That is in the farthest part of the rivers of Egypt, And for the bee that is in the land of Assyria. 19 They will come, and all of them will rest In the desolate valleys and in the clefts of the rocks, And on all thorns and in all pastures.
So the Egyptians will be coming up, the Assyrians are coming down and these two superpowers are going to be fighting each other and who’s stuck in the middle? Israel. Isa 7:20
20 In the same day the Lord will shave with a hired razor, With those from beyond the River, with the king of Assyria, The head and the hair of the legs, And will also remove the beard.
Israelites like hair, but they are going to be taken slaves. If you look into history and some of the history depictions. Heads shaved, hooks through their faces chaining them together. Isa 7:21-25
21 It shall be in that day That a man will keep alive a young cow and two sheep; 22 So it shall be, from the abundance of milk they give, That he will eat curds; For curds and honey everyone will eat who is left in the land. 23 It shall happen in that day, That wherever there could be a thousand vines Worth a thousand shekels of silver, It will be for briers and thorns. 24 With arrows and bows men will come there, Because all the land will become briers and thorns. 25 And to any hill which could be dug with the hoe, You will not go there for fear of briers and thorns; But it will become a range for oxen And a place for sheep to roam.
1 Moreover the Lord said to me, “Take a large scroll, and write on it with a man’s pen concerning Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz.
Get ready, your judgement is here…literally Speed the Spoil, Hasten the Booty “contraband” bounty
2 And I will take for Myself faithful witnesses to record, Uriah the priest and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah.” 3 Then I went to the prophetess, and she conceived and bore a son. Then the Lord said to me, “Call his name Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz; 4 for before the child shall have knowledge to cry ‘My father’ and ‘My mother,’ the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria will be taken away before the king of Assyria.”
Damascus capital of Syria, Samaria capital of Israel. This is probably linked to the prophecy in verse 14 of the last chapter. I think it’s the same. Isa 8:5-7
5 The Lord also spoke to me again, saying: 6 “Inasmuch as these people refused The waters of Shiloah that flow softly, And rejoice in Rezin and in Remaliah’s son; 7 Now therefore, behold, the Lord brings up over them The waters of the River, strong and mighty— The king of Assyria and all his glory; He will go up over all his channels And go over all his banks.
Euphrates -those powerful enemies were on this river, these powerhouses that you were trusting in are going to overflow. Isa 8:8
8 He will pass through Judah, He will overflow and pass over, He will reach up to the neck; And the stretching out of his wings Will fill the breadth of Your land, O Immanuel.
This fulfilled with northern Israel and essentially all of Judah except for Jerusalem being overtaken. Isa 8:9-10
9 “Be shattered, O you peoples, and be broken in pieces! Give ear, all you from far countries. Gird yourselves, but be broken in pieces; Gird yourselves, but be broken in pieces. 10 Take counsel together, but it will come to nothing; Speak the word, but it will not stand, For God is with us.”
11 For the Lord spoke thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying: 12 “Do not say, ‘A conspiracy,’ Concerning all that this people call a conspiracy, Nor be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled. 13 The Lord of hosts, Him you shall hallow; Let Him be your fear, And let Him be your dread. 14 He will be as a sanctuary, But a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense To both the houses of Israel, As a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
So God is saying this judgement is coming, but turn to Me and I am going to deliver you. We certainly see that in King Hezekiah's day, but even in Ahaz’s day, there is punishment, but God does not let them be completely overcome, He delivers them. God is not done with the Kingdom of David and his line.
A sanctuary, a place of peace but also a stumbling block, that is what the cross is today to the house of Israel. Isa 8:15-19
15 And many among them shall stumble; They shall fall and be broken, Be snared and taken.” 16 Bind up the testimony, Seal the law among my disciples. 17 And I will wait on the Lord, Who hides His face from the house of Jacob; And I will hope in Him. 18 Here am I and the children whom the Lord has given me! We are for signs and wonders in Israel From the Lord of hosts, Who dwells in Mount Zion. 19 And when they say to you, “Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter,” should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living?
20 To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. 21 They will pass through it hard-pressed and hungry; and it shall happen, when they are hungry, that they will be enraged and curse their king and their God, and look upward. 22 Then they will look to the earth, and see trouble and darkness, gloom of anguish; and they will be driven into darkness.
The promise of the Word and the hope that it offers, but the people reject it, ....
1 Nevertheless the gloom will not be upon her who is distressed, As when at first He lightly esteemed The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, And afterward more heavily oppressed her, By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, In Galilee of the Gentiles.
Northern most cities, hammered first…however…Isa 9:2
2 The people who walked in darkness Have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, Upon them a light has shined.
This verse is quoted in the new testament referring to the ministry of Jesus, Matthew 4:16, we won’t go there, but it’s worth jotting down for your notes. This about where Jesus went, to these northern areas, He was a Galilean. So there is a great darkness, they are going to see a great light. verse 3 Isa 9:3-5
3 You have multiplied the nation And increased its joy; They rejoice before You According to the joy of harvest, As men rejoice when they divide the spoil. 4 For You have broken the yoke of his burden And the staff of his shoulder, The rod of his oppressor, As in the day of Midian. 5 For every warrior’s sandal from the noisy battle, And garments rolled in blood, Will be used for burning and fuel of fire.
He is how the deliverance is going to come. Isa 9:6-7
6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
8 The Lord sent a word against Jacob, And it has fallen on Israel. 9 All the people will know— Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria— Who say in pride and arrogance of heart: 10 “The bricks have fallen down, But we will rebuild with hewn stones; The sycamores are cut down, But we will replace them with cedars.” 11 Therefore the Lord shall set up The adversaries of Rezin against him, And spur his enemies on, 12 The Syrians before and the Philistines behind; And they shall devour Israel with an open mouth. For all this His anger is not turned away, But His hand is stretched out still. 13 For the people do not turn to Him who strikes them, Nor do they seek the Lord of hosts. 14 Therefore the Lord will cut off head and tail from Israel, Palm branch and bulrush in one day. 15 The elder and honorable, he is the head; The prophet who teaches lies, he is the tail. 16 For the leaders of this people cause them to err, And those who are led by them are destroyed. 17 Therefore the Lord will have no joy in their young men, Nor have mercy on their fatherless and widows; For everyone is a hypocrite and an evildoer, And every mouth speaks folly. For all this His anger is not turned away, But His hand is stretched out still. 18 For wickedness burns as the fire; It shall devour the briers and thorns, And kindle in the thickets of the forest; They shall mount up like rising smoke. 19 Through the wrath of the Lord of hosts The land is burned up, And the people shall be as fuel for the fire; No man shall spare his brother. 20 And he shall snatch on the right hand And be hungry; He shall devour on the left hand And not be satisfied; Every man shall eat the flesh of his own arm. 21 Manasseh shall devour Ephraim, and Ephraim Manasseh; Together they shall be against Judah. For all this His anger is not turned away, But His hand is stretched out still.