Sunday School Material: The Foreshadowing of Messiah's Birth

(Isaiah 7:13-17; Luke 1:30-38; 12/13/09)

Introduction: A key idea in today's Sunday School material is that God promised a messiah, and He keeps His promises. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to live like we trust the promises of God.

Body:
Read Isaiah 7:13-17
I. A Prophecy Through Isaiah.
In frustration, a prophetic word is sent to the house of David (i.e., King Ahaz, the king of the southern kingdom Judah), in this first section of the Sunday School material. A son shall be born of a virgin, as a sign.

Before the child gets of age, both kings (i.e., the king of Israel and of Syria) shall be gone. Ahaz feared these kings would conspire against him. However, Assyria would destroy both of them and eventually destroy Judah as well.

Applications –
- Living like the Bible is authoritative truth. Notice in vs. 14 that God provides a sign to give weight to His word being true. We should trust that the Bible is authoritative truth, with or without signs. God doesn't always give us signs today.

However, His word is true today. His word teaches that He blesses those who obey Him and punishes those who don't. Let's live like we believe in the authority of God's word, by obeying it.

Read Luke 1:30-38
II. A Prophecy Through Gabriel.
In this second section of the Sunday School material, there is an exchange between Mary and the angel. The angel has her to know that she will bear a son who shall be called Jesus. After some hesitation and news that her cousin would bear a son, in her old age, Mary submits to what the angels is saying to her.

Applications –
- Conquering our fears. Notice in vs. 30 that the angle urges Mary to not fear. Fear and faith cannot dominate the same personality. Since God wants His people to live by faith in Him, instead of fear of something bad happening to them, we should strive to develop our faith and starve our fears.

Whatever circumstance we are in, God can handle it. Let's work on having more faith than fear. Prayerfully study and obedience with the support of other believers will help us with faith development.

- Living like we appreciate God's favor. Notice in vs. 30 that the angel has Mary to think about how she has found favor with God. If we stop for just a little while, we must all agree that we have found favor with God. Even though things are not as well as we want them to be, things are better than we deserve.

If justice had its way, we have been dead along time ago. Let's live like we are appreciative of God's favor and grace in our lives. Such living should be known for obeying God's commandments to love Him, ourselves, and others.

- Living like Jesus is great. Notice in vs. 32 that Jesus shall be great. Every saved person should be able to say "amen" to that statement. Jesus is our great savior. Jesus provides for us to have great joy, peace, and hope. Jesus shall be our great judge, when this life is over.

Let's live like Jesus is great in our lives. Again, this type of living is noted for obedience. We should obey God's will for us to witness to others, to love our sisters and brothers, and to give to God as He has prospered us, among other things.

- Living like we trust our mysterious God. Notice in vs. 35 of our Sunday School material that God works in mysterious and strange ways. No matter how many times we study the virgin birth, it comes back as a strange story. Somehow the Holy Spirit interacted with Mary, and the product was that Mary was pregnant.

And after the Holy Spirit got Mary pregnant, Joseph had to pay the cost of raising the son. This is strange and mysterious stuff. However, even when we don't understand, we must believe in God. We must believe that there is nothing too hard for Him. We must believe that he can take care of our enemies as suggested in the earlier text.

Our belief and trust is demonstrated by our obedience. Let's work on trusting our mysterious God. Such trust should be known for our giving our best in serving the Lord and worshiping Him with enthusiasm, among other things.

- Being servants of the Lord. Notice in vs. 38 that Mary submitted to God's will being done as announced by the angel. We all must come to a point where we stop questioning and just obey God's will for our lives.

There will always be things we don't understand about God. However, we must develop the faith to give ourselves to Him anyway. Let's work on being servants (i.e., handmaids) of the Lord. This is made easier, when we believe that serving the Lord will pay off.

Conclusion: Based on this Sunday School material, let's live like we trust the promises of God. God has much for those who obey His will.

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