“What is Christmas All About?”
“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.” Isaiah 9:2 ________________________________
I want to look at the backdrop of this verse in Isaiah 9:2, specifically, “Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death.” ________________________________________________________________
Matthew 1:1,9; Isaiah 7:1-2,10-14
Matthew 1:1,9 “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham; . . . .Uzziah begot Jotham, Jotham begot Ahaz, and Ahaz begot Hezekiah.”
Isaiah 7:1-2, 10-14; “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. 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. . . . . . Moreover the Lord spoke again to Ahaz, saying, ‘Ask a sign for yourself from the Lord your God; ask it either I the depth or in the height above. But Ahaz said, ‘I will not ask, nor will I test the Lord!’ 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? Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign; Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son and shall call His name Immanuel.’”
1. First let’s deal with this short genealogy segment from Matthew 1. ___________________ ______________________________________________________________________________So now we get to Ahaz and the prophesy of Isaiah chapter 7.
2. Ahaz is considered to be the most worldly, even ungodly king in Judah’s history. He sacrificed his children to false gods and his influence damaged the spiritual life of God’s people. Idolatry was the theme under Ahaz. So isn’t it interesting that this is the timing when God gives Isaiah the message for king Ahaz, “the Lord Himself will give you a sign.”
Why would God give such a message to a man like Ahaz? – Isaiah tells Ahaz, “Ask a sign for yourself from the Lord”, but Ahaz responds, “I will not ask, nor will I test the Lord!” ________
______________________________________________________________________________So the sign is given to a most unworthy man just like grace is given to all of us. Christmas is about God coming to earth in the person of Jesus, God’s only Son. This is God’s sign. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
Isaiah told Ahaz the Christmas story. “And you shall call His name Immanuel, God with us!” _____________________________________________________________________________
Ahaz wouldn’t ask and so the next 100 years for Israel was filled with conflict. Ahaz would not believe the Christmas story and it meant destruction for the nation and himself.
Christmas is all about GRACE. G______ R___________ A___________C______E____________
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