Our Bible passage for today describes a scene that took place inside the palace walls of the king of Judah, Ahaz. Picture, if you can, messengers running into the palace demanding to see the king immediately. When granted an audience, the messengers deliver the worst news possible—their kingdom was going to be attacked by not only one, but two countries! The messengers await the king’s orders to close the gates, hide the women and chil- dren, and ready the army for war. But to their surprise, the king is speechless. He has collapsed onto his throne, and his hand seems to be quivering. At this moment it is announced that the prophet Isaiah has arrived and wishes to see the king.
Isaiah’s message was one of calm confidence and encouragement: “Be careful, keep calm and don’t be afraid. Do not lose heart . . . this is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘It will not take place, it will not happen.’ ” Isaiah was telling Ahaz not to panic, not to feel alone, and not to feel inadequate, because the Almighty God was there to fight for him. Ahaz chose not to believe.
As believers, we worship the same Almighty God that conquered the enemies of the Old Testament. He is still able to conquer our enemy, the Devil. Just as God brought encouragement to Ahaz, He encourages us to be strong and courageous, and to not be terrified, because He is with us (Joshua 1:9). Let’s not be like Ahaz, who did not believe. Instead, let us say with confidence, “In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).
Review: Last week we were introduced to the prophet Isaiah. Isaiah was given a vision by God. He was standing before God seated on His throne. There were angels saying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord almighty; the whole earth is full of His glory.” Isaiah humbled himself, confessed his sin, and was made pure. After Isaiah was cleansed, God spoke to him. God asked, “Whom shall I send and who will go for us?”
Isaiah replied immediately, because his heart was now clean before God. What was his reply to God’s question? “Here am I. Send me!”
Memory Verse: Isaiah 53:6: “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way, and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all”
Ahaz was king to the Southern Kingdom, Judah. He was a wicked king who did not do what was right in the eyes of the Lord.
- In 2 Chronicles 28 we are able to see inside the life of King Ahaz. These verses explain why the country of Judah was in such dire circumstances under Ahaz’s leadership. What do verses 1 and 2 tell us about Ahaz?
- He did not do what was right in the eyes of the Lord. He followed in the ways of the kings of Israel.
- Isaiah was sent by God to give King Ahaz a message. What good news did Isaiah bring to Ahaz?
- Isaiah told Ahaz not to be afraid because Judah was not going to be completely destroyed. For further encouragement, God even had Isaiah bring his son, Shear-Jashub, with him to deliver the message. Shear-Jashub means “a remnant will return.” God was reaffirming the promise that He had made to David many years before.
- What does 2 Chronicles 28:5 say that God did because of Ahaz’s sin?
- God allowed Aram (Syria) and Israel to win the battle, cause severe damage, and take many captive. 2 Chronicles tells us the result of the battle, but Isaiah gives us detail as to what took place behind the scenes.
- How does Isaiah 7:2 describe Judah’s state of mind after hearing that they were going to be attacked?
- Remember that “the house of David” is referring to the Southern Kingdom, Judah. King Ahaz and Judah were terrified. The Bible describes their hearts as “shaken, as the trees of the forest are shaken by the wind.” Kingdoms look to their leaders for support and encouragement. If a king is weak, the result is a weak kingdom. If a king is strong, the result is a strong kingdom.
- Read 2 Chronicles 28:2–4 and talk about specific ways that Ahaz made his kingdom so weak that they were terrified of their enemies. Ahaz made idols of baal, sacrificed his sons in the fire, burned incense at the high places. Ahaz made Judah weak because he did not follow in the ways of the Lord. What sins are causing you to be weak in your walk with the Lord? When Satan tempts you to do wrong, how might your weakness affect you?
- God knew Ahaz was terrified and that his faith was weak, so He was going to allow Ahaz to request a sign as proof of His message. What did Ahaz request as a sign?
- Ahaz refused to request a sign. He did not even have enough faith in God to believe in something he could see. Why do you think Ahaz’s faith was so weak? Think about how Ahaz had been living his life up to this point. What are some things that Ahaz should have been doing to improve his relationship with God? What are some ways we can improve our relationship with God today?
- Ahaz refused to ask for a sign, but God gave him one anyway. Reread Isaiah 7:14 aloud to hear the prophecy. What did God promise?
- To send a son whose name will be Immanuel which means “God with us.” The prophecy was meant to encourage Ahaz to realize God was with him and to encourage future generations about the promised Messiah.
Immanuel means “God with us.” Accepting God’s gift makes several things possible that were not possible before Jesus came to earth:
- We are no longer under the penalty of sin (death) (Romans 6:23). • We are no longer separated from God (Colossians 1:21–22).
- We have forgiveness of sin (2 Corinthians 5:21).
- We have the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).
- We are adopted into God’s family and are children of the King (I John 3:1).
You can come up with others to add to the list. Spend time thanking God for the many gifts you have received because of Immanuel.
Recite todayʼs big picture question and answer (Who is our Immanuel? Jesus is God with us for kids, What does Immanuel mean? Immanuel means “God is with us” for preschoolers) but ask each member of your family to do it in a silly voice. Examples of silly voices could be: robot, alien, an accent of your choosing, and so forth.
Say: “King Ahaz was looking at things going on around him and he became worried. God gave Isaiah an important message for King Ahaz. Isaiah clearly delivered Godʼs message. Isaiah told Ahaz not to worry because God was going to send a Savior.”
Read 2 Corinthians 3:17-18. Remind your family that people take on characteristics of those they live and associate closely with. When we live with Jesus guiding us, we begin to take on Jesusʼ characteristics. King Ahaz was worried about the political situation around him and wasnʼt focused on Godʼs ability to rescue him from danger. God wanted King Ahaz to trust Him and only Him. God wanted Ahaz to worry more about being a follower of God than being a follower of the world.
Sing a praise song of your choosing that helps to focus your family on God.
Pray, thanking God for His ability to rescue people from harm. Ask God to help your family always live in a way that keeps their eyes on Jesus and not on others.
(Vista Dublin lesson: April 12th, Vista Worthington lesson: April 26th)