A popular Nigerian Tele-evangelist is almost becoming popularly unpopular because he is now challenging the very doctrines and concepts he was ready to die for. There is nothing wrong in challenging yourself through spiritual enlightenment. It is a sign of remarkable growth. The problem is that such self opposition rocks the boat in which you are sailing, thus risking everyone who is in the boat and the boat itself.
A danger of prooftexting is imposing an interpretation upon a text – even when the context of the text is self-explanatory.
The king’s of Israel and Syria wanted king Ahaz of Judah to join a coalition against Assyria. Ahaz had earlier on been defeated by these two. Prophet Isaiah who was actively concerned with the politics of the time feared that Ahaz may want to make an alliance with Assyria.
Isaiah told Ahaz that God had his back. Ahaz had the LORD’S backing to stand on his own. Isaiah told him to ask God for a sign. Ahaz refused to ask God for a sign that assured him of God’s backing. He said he will not put God to a test. All the same, Isaiah gave Ahaz a sign: “The Virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”
Immanuel – “God is with us” was to give Ahaz assurance that God was with him to fight his battles and to defend him against his enemies.
Ahaz was of the house of David whose bloodline was to produce the Messiah. It is in this sense that we can accept that the sign that was given to Ahaz in a specific context becomes a prophetic heralding for the Christ.
It is said that “one with God is majority.” Christ has been born like a child. His human presence is an assurance to those who believe and obey that “God is with them.”
We are told that the Pope is infallible when he speaks “Ex Cathedra.” Recently this papal infallibility has been highly and hugely challenged with such great vehemence, shaking the firm foundation of the Vatican.
An August visitor that I received few days to Christmas was Rev Che Wara Solomon. Our discussions led us to a forward I wrote for his first book. He told me how the prophetic words of Gamaliel that I quoted in the book has been a great motivation for him.
Gamaliel had told the Sanhedrin: “…Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God”(Acts5:38-39).
Yes, God is with us if we act in obedience to his commands; but if our words and actions are of human origin, it will fail.
Trust and obey God and whatever is your situation or condition, he will be with you.
Prayer: Holy Spirit help me to speak and act as knowing Immanuel. Amen!
Have a blessed day! Peace be with you!
Rev Babila Fochang.