Summary: Though we often trust in other things to save ourselves, what we have & our hopes and dreams for the future, God sends us signs, large and small, to invite us into a deeper relationship with him. Because of his greatest sign, the gift of Jesus, we can trust that God loves and accepts us just as we are.
Big Idea: God gives us signs of His faithful love toward us, signs which invite us into a deeper relationship with Him where we love and trust in Him.
Background to Isaiah 7:1-17
- Isaiah was a prophet to the southern kingdom of Judah. The king of Judah at this time is Ahaz.
- In response to the threats of the war-loving superpower Assyria, Judah’s neighbors, the northern kingdom of Israel (referred to here in some translations as Ephraim) and Aram (or Syria) formed an alliance and attacked Judah to force her to join their alliance. Though they were not able to defeat Judah, her people were shaken by the attack.
- The house of David refers to the royal descendants of David and the present king (Ahaz) in particular.
- God sent Isaiah to encourage King Ahaz and to tell him that not only would Israel and Aram/Syria fail to defeat Judah, within a few decades those countries would cease to exist.
- Through Isaiah, God then tells Ahaz to ask for a sign to indicate that these things would happen as prophesied.
Background to Luke 1:26-38
- Both Mary and Joseph were descendants of David.
- Nazareth was Mary’s hometown and where both Mary and Joseph lived.
- Though Mary and Joseph were betrothed to each other, which was a legally binding covenant, they were not yet married, and they did not live together. Their relationship had not been consummated and Mary was still a virgin.
- Mary’s virginity meant that her pregnancy was a miracle of God.
- As a young woman, likely still a teenager, Mary lived in her parents’ home.
Opening Question: Have you ever had a time that was so troubling that you wanted to have some indication from God that He still loved you and that everything was going to be okay?
Read: Isaiah 7:1-17
1. How afraid were Ahaz and his people when they heard that the armies of Syria and Israel were marching toward Jerusalem?
2. What did God tell Isaiah to do?
3.In the message God gave to Ahaz through Isaiah, what did he tell Ahaz to do?
4.God described Israel and Syria as “two smoldering stubs of firewood.” What is he saying about those two kingdoms?
5.What did God say will happen (vv. 7-9)?
6.God tells Ahaz to ask for a confirming sign that the prophecy will happen, but Ahaz refuses. What are some possible reasons why he refused?
7.God says that he is going to give Ahaz a sign anyway. What is the sign?
8.What will happen before the son reaches the age of accountability (12 to 14 years old)?
9.Have there ever been times when you were very afraid?
10.How did the Lord comfort you and get you through that time?
Read: Luke 1:26-38
11.What did the angel Gabriel say to Mary?
12.Why was Mary greatly troubled when Gabriel spoke to her?
13.Gabriel give Mary some words of comfort and then tells her what is going to happen in the future (vv. 30-33). In your own words, what did Gabriel say to Mary?
14.Mary asks, “How will this be since I am a virgin?” How does Gabriel answer her?
15.What is Mary’s response to Gabriel’s answer?
16.Have you ever felt like God was asking you to do something that was beyond your ability to do?
17.If a moment like that arose in the future, what would have to change in your life to enable you to say, “I am the Lord’s servant, may your world to be fulfilled”?
This Bible Study focuses on the same passage as the sermon on Dec 22/19 from Walnut Grove Lutheran Church, Langley BC.