During the Christmas season, Isaiah 7:14 is often used as a prophecy of Jesus’ birth. However, Isaiah 7:15-17 suggests that the sign Isaiah gave was a warning that would come true in his time and serve as a sign for King Ahaz to serve God and not be afraid. If Isaiah was only speaking about Jesus, then Jesus would have been born long after the time of Isaiah, and King Ahaz would not have seen the sign come true. Do you think God could have given Isaiah a prophecy that came true twice – once in his time with the birth of a child and then later in a greater way with the birth of Jesus? Why or why not? Do you think Christians have taken this passage and made it refer to Jesus? Why or why not? Do you think God sometimes surprises us? Why or why not?
In Amos 9:7, Amos wrote that God had worked with other nations besides Israel, including the Philistines and the Arameans, who were enemies of Israel for centuries. God brought them to the land of Canaan just as he brought the Israelites. Israel would not have liked Amos’ words, nor would they have liked God if Amos was right. Why do you think God gave Israel enemies who would fight them and try to push them out of the land? Do you think God gives us enemies? Why or why not? Do you think we create enemies ourselves?