Advent 1 – King Ahaz had a problem

Written by Dr. Wayne Brouwer /
December 19, 2023


First Sunday in Advent:

King Ahaz had a problem. His country was small, and was about to be gobbled up by war-hungry Assyria, the bully on the block.

Every day the news was the same: no hope; no win; no way out. Neighboring Israel and Syria threatened to annex tiny Judah, if Ahaz did not ally with them, and pay tribute “protection money.” Egypt was willing to help, but only if they became Egyptians and gave up their identity.

“Ask Yahweh for a sign!” said prophet Isaiah.

“No, I wouldn’t do that…” mumbled Ahaz. He had long ago given up on religion. He was modern, contemporary, realistic. Miracles only happened in myths of long ago.

“Then Yahweh will give you a sign, even if you don’t want it,” preached the prophet. “A child will be born. Before he comes of age, everything you fear will be resolved.”

Within a few years, the mighty Assyrians would sneak away from Jerusalem, mysteriously terrified by Israel’s God who scared them in the night. But then would come the Babylonians. And Isaiah would cry out with a loud voice, “Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down!”

The bullies still threaten. Wars wage. Tiny nations are attacked and sometimes overrun by great machines of war.

Will the child come?

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