About 150 years after Joash’s victory over Athaliah, and during the reign of Ahaz King of Judah, the Prophet Isaiah appeared on the scene, and he had a most extraordinary gift of prophecy, especially in respect of the distant future, and the setting up of God’s Kingdom. But to Isaiah the “distance” was not as it appears to us today, as we read his words. To him the word of the Lord would have seemed imminent.
The best example of this connects with our theme of the PROMISE. We read, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)
The words in bold type must have caused Isaiah excitement. Over 3000 years had passed by, and the PROMISE OF THE COMING SEED had not yet been fulfilled, but here was the word of the Lord spoken very clearly. But there was more. “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. He shall eat curds and honey when he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. For before the boy knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land whose two kings you dread will be deserted.” (Isaiah 7:14-16)
IMMANUEL !!! GOD WITH US !!! How could anyone misunderstand the meaning of this utterance? Isaiah, of the Tribe of Judah, immediately appropriated the word to himself, and taking the virgin prophetess to wife, “went to her, and she conceived and bore a son.” (Isaiah 8:3)
Imagine the excitement of the people when they learned of these prophecies, followed by the birth of the promised son. But then the crash came, leaving Isaiah with problems relating to his own ability to hear God speak. The Lord said, “Call his name Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz; 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.” (Isaiah 8:3-4)
Isaiah’s utter disappointment, accompanied by the doubts of the people, can still be felt as we read his words. But the word of the Lord was sure. Although not to be enacted just then, and indeed not for another 750 years, it was nevertheless a major pronouncement, and Isaiah was the faithful messenger to receive this word. No matter what reverses might befall the Tribe of Judah and the House of David, God will fulfil His PROMISE OF THE COMING SEED.