Stories from the Old Testament for coping with 2023 

Part 7, King Ahaz (Part 6, Feb 10)

So what was the point of God offering amazing signs and promises to Ahaz to boost his faith, if none of them meant anything to Ahaz himself, and they did nothing for his faith either? Instead, Ahaz went in the opposite direction and put all his trust in pagan gods and pagan practices. 

But God didn’t remove this dismal story of Ahaz from Scripture. So there must be some good purpose to it, and relevance too, that would carry through to anyone reading it in the future, including us trying to cope with the pressures of our world in 2023. God drops these clues on us, but leaves it up to us to figure them out.    

There’s that intriguing clue, for instance, in the name of the second boy sent to Ahaz, the boy named Immanuel, because that name would appear again in Scripture. It’s mentioned in Matthew 1:22-23, that “All this (the story of Mary giving birth to Jesus in verses 20-21) took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet, ‘The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means God with us.’” 

That’s a direct quote out of this story of Ahaz in Isaiah 7:14, so whatever is happening to Ahaz has major significance for the whole human race as well. But why on earth would God drop this clue about Jesus in the middle of a story about Ahaz?  

Well, for those like me who like to take a hammer to rocks to split them open to find out what they contain inside, God offers us a hammer to split this story open for what else it contains too – with another intriguing clue: this time in the location where God had Isaiah meet Ahaz.

And it’s so specific in its detail that it has to be another clue. Because in Isaiah 7:3,God told Isaiah to meet Ahaz “at the end of the aqueduct of the Upper Pool, on the road to the Fuller’s Field.” So why meet at that spot in particular?

Again, are there messages in the names of the places, just like there were messages in the names of the three little boys? Because “Upper Pool” in Hebrew also means The blessing of the Most High – ‘Upper’ meaning ‘most high’, and ‘Pool’ meaning ‘blessing’. 

So what we’ve got now is Ahaz meeting Isaiah at the end of an aqueduct, or channel, down which ‘The blessing of the Most High’ is flowing. Which has to mean something, surely, but what? And is it significant for us now too?…. (part 8, Feb 24) 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s