Electronic Prayer Book

The Saviour’s Birth from a Virgin

 

Reading Isaiah 7: 10—15

In those days the Lord spoke to Ahaz, saying, “Ask a sign of the Lord your God, either to the depth of hell, or to the height above”. And Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I will not tempt the Lord”. And he said, “Hear therefore O house of David: Is it a small thing for you to be grievous to men, that you are grievous to my God also? Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and His name shall be called Emmanuel. He shall eat butter and honey, that He may know to refuse the evil and to choose the good.”

Commentary by Father Leonard Goffine

In this Epistle is contained the important prophecy of the Saviour’s birth from a virgin. War was declared by the kings of Israel and Syria aginst Ahaz, king of Judah, who at their approach was overpowered with fear, and thought of seeking aid from the Assyrians instead of looking to Almighty God for help; and for this lack of confidence in God, the prophet Isaiah was sent to announce to him the destruction of both kings, and his own preservation. The prophet, wishing Ahaz to prove his assertion, requested the king to demand a sign from God; but he, being given to idolatry, did not wish to ask a sign from heaven, for he had more faith in the assistance of demons and of the Assyrians. He offended God by his refusal and the prophet rebuked him, saying, The Lord Himself will give you (that is posterity) a sign, for the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and He shall be called Emmanuel, that is — God with us. By these words Isaiah desired to impress the king, that as surely as he should be preserved from his enemies, so surely this Emmanuel, the Son of the Virgin, would appear to redeem the world from Satan’s power. Let us learn from this lesson always to trust in God, who can deliver us from all danger, and let us also be grateful to Him, who, seven hundred and forty-three years before the time, permitted, for our consolation, the announcement of the coming of His Son, our Saviour.