Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Sign For Your Future

I've been thinking about the preaching opportunity I have coming up Dec. 19 - looking ahead the weather looks favorable - so this time I think I will be able to drive to Wisconsin for my preaching gig.  Last Sunday's got snowed out.  I'm going to use one of the lectionary texts as a launching point - mainly the one from Isaiah 7:10-16 where the Lord commands King Ahaz to ask for a sign.  "Make it as difficult as you want," says the Lord.  "Make it as high as heaven or as deep as the place of the dead." (Isaiah 7:11 NLT).

God wants Ahaz to trust him.  But Ahaz just won't do that, even when God offers him the extraordinary favor of a sign.  Ahaz will not believe.  Ahaz continues to worry and think that he needs to make himself and his country secure by scheming and allying himself with ungodly nations, with nations who think they can make things go their ways with cruelty and manipulation, with nations who sacrifice to false gods. 

Since Ahaz won't trust him, God gives Ahaz a sign anyway: a child will be born--a special child who, in about 720 BC, would be born with a Hebrew name meaning "God Is With Us."  But because Ahaz would not trust God, the giving of that sign would mean that his reign would be spoiled and his country would be destroyed.

God want us to trust Him.  God wants us to understand that He is in control and that we can expect blessings from him.  And God has given us a sign like He gave Ahaz, a sign given whether or not we want it--a child is born--"Immanuel"--God Is With Us--a child born 700 years later named Jesus Christ.

Receive Jesus as a sign for your future.  Expect God to be with you in all things.  Trust Him.  Even ask for a sign that He is with you.  But the truth is that sign has already been given.  We expect to celebrate that sign again soon, at Christmas, when Jesus is born.

Because God has given us that great sign, I expect great things.  I will not worry.  I will trust.  I hope you will too.


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