Isaiah 7:12 MEANING

Isaiah 7:12
(12) I will not ask . . .--The king speaks as in the very accents of faith. He will not put Jehovah to any such test. Not, perhaps, without a sneer, he quotes almost the very formula of the Law: "Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God" (Exodus 17:2; Deuteronomy 6:16). Was the prophet going to forget his own teaching, and become a tempter to that sin? That which lay beneath this show of humble trust was simply self-will and utter unfaith. He had already made up his mind to the Assyrian alliance, against which he knew Isaiah was certain to protest. The fact that the words that follow are spoken to the whole house of David, may, perhaps, imply that the older members of the royal family were encouraging the king in his Assyrian projects, and had, perhaps, suggested his hypocritical answer.

Verse 12. - I will not ask, neither will I tempt the Lord. Ahaz, who has no wish for a sign, because he has no wish to believe in any other salvation than flint which will follow from the realization of his own schemes, finds a plausible reason for declining to ask for one in those passages of the Law which forbade men to" tempt God" (Exodus 17:7; Deuteronomy 6:16). But it could not be "tempt-tug God" to comply with a Divine invitation; rather it was tempting him to refuse compliance.

7:10-16 Secret disaffection to God is often disguised with the colour of respect to him; and those who are resolved that they will not trust God, yet pretend they will not tempt him. The prophet reproved Ahaz and his court, for the little value they had for Divine revelation. Nothing is more grievous to God than distrust, but the unbelief of man shall not make the promise of God of no effect; the Lord himself shall give a sign. How great soever your distress and danger, of you the Messiah is to be born, and you cannot be destroyed while that blessing is in you. It shall be brought to pass in a glorious manner; and the strongest consolations in time of trouble are derived from Christ, our relation to him, our interest in him, our expectations of him and from him. He would grow up like other children, by the use of the diet of those countries; but he would, unlike other children, uniformly refuse the evil and choose the good. And although his birth would be by the power of the Holy Ghost, yet he should not be fed with angels' food. Then follows a sign of the speedy destruction of the princes, now a terror to Judah. Before this child, so it may be read; this child which I have now in my arms, (Shear-jashub, the prophet's own son, ver. 3,) shall be three or four years older, these enemies' forces shall be forsaken of both their kings. The prophecy is so solemn, the sign is so marked, as given by God himself after Ahaz rejected the offer, that it must have raised hopes far beyond what the present occasion suggested. And, if the prospect of the coming of the Divine Saviour was a never-failing support to the hopes of ancient believers, what cause have we to be thankful that the Word was made flesh! May we trust in and love Him, and copy his example.But Ahaz said, I will not ask,.... That is, a sign or miracle to be wrought; being unwilling to take the advice to be still and quiet, and make no preparation for war, or seek out for help from the Assyrians, and to rely upon the promise and power of God, and therefore chose not to have it confirmed by a sign; adding as an excuse,

neither will I tempt the Lord, by asking a sign; suggesting that this was contrary to the command of God, Deuteronomy 6:16 so pretending religion and reverence of God; whereas, to ask a sign of God, when it was offered, could not be reckoned a tempting him; but, on the contrary, to refuse one; when offered, argued great stubbornness and ingratitude, as Calvin well observes.

Courtesy of Open Bible