The Given Children Trust In Him
And again,”I will put My trust in Him.” And again,”Behold, I and the children whom God has given Me.” Hebrews 2:13
Isaiah’s sign-faithful disciples
In our text for today, the writer of Hebrews continues to build upon the theme of brotherhood and family as the Holy Spirit had moved him to introduce, and we had considered in last week’s quote of the Old Testament passage from Psalm 22 as contained in Hebrews 2:11-12. The penman is now moved to quote from Isaiah eight concerning the faithful disciples who would be a sign to the disobedient houses of Israel and Judah of the LORD’s ability to bring about what has been prophesied, and as a type of the church. In the NASB it reads, “Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples. And I will wait for the LORD who is hiding His face from the house of Jacob; I will even look eagerly for Him. Behold, I and the children whom the LORD has given me are for signs and wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion.” (Isa. 8:16-18)
Let’s consider the context in Isaiah chapters seven and eight preceding our text, where the pivotal event is the rise of the Assyrian empire, her military intentions, and how Israel and Judah respond to it.
– Israel aligns itself with Syria and seeks to attack Judah to depose Ahaz and set up Tabeel as king and an ally to resist the Assyrians.
– Meanwhile, Ahaz is forming an alliance with Assyria, rather than turning to God, to repel the Syro-Ephraimitic (Syria-Israel) union. The LORD, through Isaiah, lets Ahaz know their plans are delusional and won’t succeed.
– Isaiah is then told to offer Ahaz a sign of his choosing that is designed to strengthen his faith and trust in God. If he does so, he will be established upon the throne. If not, there’s trouble ahead. Instead Ahaz rejects the offer feigning piety and humility. In response the LORD through Isaiah prophesies the virgin birth of Immanuel (God with us) in Isa. 7:14 as a sign of His power to deliver Judah from Israel and Syria.
– Ahaz has already decided to seek a political solution so Isaiah moves quickly through the prophesies of the chastening of Judah to come at the hands of the Assyrians, in conjunction with the destruction of Damascus and Samaria. All these prophecies are buttressed by faithful witnesses (disciples) who will eagerly offer their lives as testimony to what Isaiah had spoken.
The final warning is issued to Isaiah’s disciples, his children, not to fear the plots, plans, proposals or conspiracies of men, but to fear the LORD and turn to Him. All the prophecies in chapters 7-9 are designed to build confidence, faith and trust in the LORD.
The true given children who trust in Him
Isaiah was a prophet whom the LORD used as a type or shadow of Jesus Christ. If you take a look at their ministries, you’ll note some obvious similarities. Both had come to the physical nation of Israel with a message exhorting them to turn back to God and trust in Him alone in the face of difficult political conditions. The overall result for both, with the exception of a small cadre of believers, was rejection. They were both ultimately disregarded, humiliated and suffered horrible deaths. (Tradition has Isaiah being sawed in two).
Let’s backtrack and consider the children given Isaiah, and particularly, their given names which were intended also as attesting signs of events the LORD had prophesied that would be brought about.
Shear-jashub, the first born son, his name means literally, “a remnant shall return.” Isaiah introduced the concept of the faithful remnant that would return to God after the prophesied judgment to come upon the physical nation of Judah (Isa. 6:10-13). The book of Romans makes it clear that the remnant Isaiah prophesied about is the church, comprised of Jews and Gentiles. (Rom. 9:23-29) Of this prophesied remnant (the church), Isaiah later said, “And the surviving remnant of the house of Judah shall again take root downward and bear fruit upward. For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and out of Mount Zion survivors. The zeal of the LORD of hosts shall perform this.” (Isa. 37:31-32). These were the children the Father was going to give the Son.
Maher-shalal-hash-baz, the second son’s name, means “plunder speeds, spoil hastens”. His name conveyed a prophecy of the destruction of Israel and Syria at the hands of the Assyrians. Ultimately Assyria would be destroyed as well for her evil designs against Judah, because Judah was Immanuel’s land, God with us. For the sake of Immanuel, the LORD would stand with her, prophesying the defeat of her enemies.
All of us needed to be shown that we could put our trust in the Lord. How? By the Bible being proven as the word of God via external evidences in history, archeology, and science; our trust in His testimony clinched by the fulfilled internal prophecies concerning Christ, a sign demonstrating that a transcendent hand is involved in human history. We, as the spiritual seed of Christ, are signs and wonders to an unbelieving world of God’s plan prophesied and then brought about. Our conviction of God’s testimony concerning Christ via the prophets (Rev. 19:10b), sends us fearlessly out into the world with the gospel message to bear fruit knowing that Immanuel, God in Christ is with us. (Matt 28:20) The same testimony gives us confidence that Immanuel (Christ Jesus) will yet one final time appear and destroy those who have evil designs against His people. The true children whom God has given Christ, the church, receive the word implanted knowing it saves us if we act upon it. We too, like Christ, execute His plan and say, “I will put my trust in Him.”