· The nation of Israel was divided into two kingdoms: Israel in the north and Judah in the South.
· The Northern Kingdom of Israel and Aram formed an alliance and wanted Judah to join them so that together the three could stand up to Assyria, the Evil Empire of the day.
· Ahaz, the king of Judah, said no. He would rather make an alliance with the Assyrians themselves.
· Aram and Israel planned to invade Judah and force them to join them.
· God told Isaiah to go to Ahaz, the king of Judah and say, ‘Stand firm in faith. Trust God. Don’t make any coalitions with other countries, whether it be Aram, Israel, or Assyria. Be assured, God will provide the protection you need. Do you want proof that this will happen? A child will be born and he will be called Immanuel – God with us.’
· Isaiah was a prophet in the 8th century BCE.
· At that time, ‘kings and rulers wielded almost unlimited power over the lands, lives, and livelihoods of conquered peoples.
· The people of Judah, Israel and Aram were under the oppression of the Assyrian Empire and under constant threat of hunger and deportation.
· As a conquered people, every crop could be harvested by the conquerors, every asset could be claimed by the authorities, every child could be taken and told to serve the more powerful.
· God gives Isaiah a message of hope for the people.
· Israel and Judah knew what it was like to live in fear of the powerful presence of their oppressor. In turn, the people of Israel and Judah succumbed to corruption and themselves became oppressive and unjust.
· In our day, there are people who know what it is like to live in fear of their lives and their livelihoods because of the presence of a powerful oppressor.
- Refugees from Syria
- Inhabitants of North Korea
- Children and young people who are trafficked
- Men, woman and children in domestic abuse situations
· God gives a message of hope.
· Verse 4 references Judges 6, when Gideon defeated the Midian army. A victory attributed to God.
· In the past God has demonstrated his sovereignty by setting the Israelites free from captivity in Egypt, by delivering them from the hands of the Midianites, and God will do so again.
· The people will rejoice before God, the one responsible for their redemption.
· A coronation hymn.
· Hostility and oppression will be replaced by peace, justice and righteousness.
· God will appoint a good king. The king will be a sign of God’s initiative and God’s action.
· The child-king will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom forever.
· Messianic expectation.
· When we see Jesus as the new born king we come to understand that no longer does the king point to God, but that now the king is God.
· As King, Jesus truly establishes and upholds justice and righteousness.
 Amy Oden workingpreacher.org