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Daily Reading: 22nd December 2015

Isaiah 7.13-15 cont.

[13] Then Isaiah said, “Listen well, you royal family of David! You aren’t satisfied to exhaust My patience. You exhaust the patience of God as well!

[14] All right then, the Lord Himself will choose the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call Him Immanuel—‘God is with us.’

 [15] By the time this child is old enough to eat curds and honey, He will know enough to choose what is right and reject what is wrong.

The Hebrew word for ‘virgin’ is ‘almah’, which the vast majority of versions translate as ‘virgin’.

There are those who make the point that ‘almah’ can be translated in various ways such as: a maid, a young woman of marital age; a bride, a virgin. The name ‘Alma’ is related to this.

It is a word that is used in other parts of the Old Testament.

In Genesis 24.43 we read:

“See, I am standing here beside this spring. This is my request. When a young woman comes to draw water, I will say to her, “Please give me a little drink of water from your jug.”

‘Young woman’ is the same Hebrew word for virgin: ‘almah’. The inference is that the young woman would have been a virgin of marital age.

The occasion was when Abrahams’ servant was looking for a wife (Rebekah) for Isaac (Abrahams’ son).

The Septuagint translates the Hebrew word with the Greek word for virgin: ’parthenos’. This can also mean a maid.

It is only the beginning of October as I write these notes and it seems strange to be writing about Christmas. However, some are already buying presents and Christmas cards; the shops already are gearing up to what they hope will be a big Christmas pay out.

How are we viewing Christmas?

Are you looking forward to it, or are you dreading the invasion of all the implications of Christmas time?

King Ahaz was dreading an invasion from the Kings of Aram and Israel.

God spoke words to re-assure him that it would not happen.

God asked king Ahaz to request a sign from God. However, Ahaz refused to do this, since he saw it as testing God. Perhaps he had in mind Deuteronomy 6.16:

Do not test the LORD your God as you did when you complained at Massah – (NLT). (Jesus quoted this Scripture when He was being tempted by the devil in the wilderness).

However, it was God who had called on Ahaz to ask for a sign. Therefore, He should have done so. When Our Heavenly Father tells us to ask Him for a sign it is because He lovingly wants to open our eyes to see that He His faithful to His promise.

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