Today's devotion from Isaiah 7 and 8. In the verses containing the message, God reveals the inner workings of His plan, and then states through the prophet, "If you do not stand from in your faith, then you will not stand at all." (Isaiah 7:9, CSB) Then, apparently to speak to his faith, God commands Ahaz to do the unthinkable. God commands him to ask for a sign.
I often think it would be wonderful to have a sure sign from God when I am trying to discern His will or follow Him closely. However, in the context, His invitation to Ahaz to ask for a sign seems almost confrontational. He had just challenged Ahaz's faith, and now provides Ahaz the means to see that faith strengthened in a sign. Yet, for Ahaz to ask for a sign would almost indict his lack of faith.
God uses Ahaz's moment of uncertain fear to do more than any could have imagined. God had essentially given Ahaz a blank check, but could any of us have seen it as such when facing such political tensions. We, like Ahaz, would have probably been so fixated on the present problem that we couldn't have imagined anything beyond this particular moment in time.
It is a good thing God is not one of us. He sees a longer term situation and says, "Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign: See, the virgin will conceive, have a son, and name him Immanuel." (Isaiah 7:14, CSB) God's solution went well beyond the symptom and addressed the root problem. There would be no peace until the Prince of Peace had come.
We, too, often miss the forest for the trees towering in front of us. Like Ahaz, our real issue is often not the one we see directly in front of us. God, through Christ, is addressing much more than we could have ever imagined. You may not see the way forward, but God has already overcome every obstacle this life might throw at you. He is Immanuel, the ultimate sign of God's deliverance.