Virgin Birth – Anticipation – God’s Promises

Isaiah 7:13-17

13 Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of humans? Will you try the patience of my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. 15 He will be eating curds and honey when he knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, 16 for before the boy knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, the land of the two kings you dread will be laid waste.  17 The Lord will bring on you and on your people and on the house of your father a time unlike any since Ephraim broke away from Judah—he will bring the king of Assyria.”

I’m working on a message for this Sunday about how God’s people have always anticipated a savior.  All the way from Genesis 3 right up to the coming of Jesus.  They were anticipating the savior to fulfill a few roles, prophet, priest and king.  So I’m talking about that anticipation.

Now when Jesus was born, he was born to a vigin named Mary.  Growing up I always heard this supported by Isaiah 7:14, which would be read completely out of context.  In the text, God’s people are facing war with some enemies, and they are worried.  And God says, I will give you a sign that you can trust me that I will protect you, “the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”  That’s the sign that God says he will give to his people that they don’t have to worry about the enemy that they are facing.

This text has troubled me because Jesus wasn’t born for many centuries after this.  So how is this sign a comfort for the people back then.  And what does this have to do with Jesus being born to a virgin.  And the whole thing has been very confusing to me.   Is it ok for a pastor to be confused by the Bible some times? I sure hope so.

Anyway, while I was reading this, I read the rest of the context and I wonder if this is what God is saying by giving this sign is this,  ” You will not have to worry about this enemy, because I’m going to defeat them.  I’m the God that can make a virgin conceive a baby.  And before that baby is old enough to eat cottage cheese, your enemy that you’re worried about, is just not going to be your problem anymore. Those kings that you’re worried about, will be laid waste.  So trust me. ”

And then, when Jesus was actually conceived to a virgin, in Nazareth, where were those kings that the people were worried about?  They were long gone and in the history book.  But God’s people, though they had some rough years, were still around.

So in reading this, and processing this  and trying to get a handle on how to talk about it on Sunday, this is how it is all coming together in my brain and in my heart.  God’s promises are always fulfilled.  It might not look the way we think it will look and it might not happen when we want it to happen, but God always fulfills his promises.  he promised that a virgin would conceive, and she did.  And her son was the Son of God, Jesus.

Just some rambling thoughts about the virgin birth.

Merry Christmas!

Calibrate NW session 7 – Judah Smith

Pastor at City Church in Kirkland, WA

Talking about Honor 
Matthew 20:20

If you want to talk about honor you have to start with humility

You can do all kinds of things that are nice to the past generation, but still not honor them.  Honor comes from the heart.

Jesus connects greatness to being a slave.  If you want to be first you need to think about yourself last.

When you are given a platform think first about how you can use that serve others.

We are all in ministry based on someone else’s equity.  We did not get here on our own.  How are we honoring those who brought us here.  

Honor begins with an honest assessment of yourself and on who’s platform you stand.  

We can’t all be Pauls we need people to be Apollos as well. Paul built and Apollos built it up.

Honor is adding value to others. 

A prideful man cannot honor he can only flatter

The reason some of us have a deficient view of who we are is because we don’t have a biblical view of who Jesus is.

Christians are always responders to the grace of God.  We cannot initiate it, we can only respond to it. 

    

Genesis 38

so this Sunday we are talking about one of the weirdest chapters in the entire bible. Judah and Tamar, what a messed up story, and yet through it all God’s plan for the redemption of the world moved forward. Jesus was born centuries later from this point, but this odd and disturbingly human story was the catalyst.

Wow, even when we don’t know what’s going ok in our lives god is still orchestrating the details of our lives. It’s stories like this make me want to be a Calvinist, because it shows how sovereign God really is. But well I haven’t made this jump yet.