Living for Christ

August 2011 Daily Devotion Archive

August 1:
Get Up and Go!

When Jacob saw that there was grain in Egypt, Jacob said to his sons, "Why do you look at one another?" And he said, "Indeed I have heard that there is grain in Egypt; go down to that place and buy for us there, that we may live and not die." - Genesis 42:1-2

Apparently, Jacob's sons were distraught over the drought situation and were just standing around looking at one another, unsure of what to do! It seems that none of them had tried to figure out a solution until their father made a suggestion. This makes me wonder, why weren't they trying to figure out what to do on their own? Why were they just standing around, feeling helpless? Have you ever responded like this to a difficult situation? Sometimes, it can be hard to know what to do. But God doesn't want us to just sit around and do nothing while pouting hopelessly! God always provides for and takes care of His people, just as He did for Jacob and his family in this situation, but as Jacob's sons made the trip to Egypt, sometimes we must put forth some extra effort in order to allow God to provide us with all that He wants to give.

Question to Ponder: How do you respond to a difficult situation--hopefully or hopelessly?

August 2:
Amnon's Lust

[Amnon] took hold of her and said to her, "Come, lie with me, my sister." But she answered him, "No, my brother, do not force me, for no such thing should be done in Israel. Do not do this disgraceful thing! And I, where could I take my shame? And as for you, you would be like one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, please speak to the king; for he will not withhold me from you." However, he would not heed her voice; and being stronger than she, he forced her and lay with her. Then Amnon hated her exceedingly, so that the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her. - 2 Samuel 13:11b-15a

This account is recorded just after the ordeal with David and Bathsheba. Here, we see where uncontrolled lust causes Amnon to commit this act against his sister, Tamar. But what was the result? He wasn't satisfied; instead, he hated her after it was over even though none of this was her fault! That is often the result when someone acts on feelings of lust. Lust can be extremely dangerous, and if you act on those feelings, you will never be truly satisfied. True contentment only comes from Jesus.

Question to Ponder: What can you do to make sure you do not succumb to feelings of lust?

August 3:
Another Warning the United States Should Heed

For You have forsaken Your people, the house of Jacob,
Because they are filled with eastern ways;
They are soothsayers like the Philistines,
And they are pleased with the children of foreigners.
Their land is also full of silver and gold,
And there is no end to their treasures;
Their land is also full of horses,
And there is no end to their chariots.
Their land is also full of idols;
They worship the work of their own hands,
That which their own fingers have made.
The loftiness of man shall be bowed down,
And the haughtiness of men shall be brought low;
The Lord alone will be exalted in that day,
But the idols He shall utterly abolish.
They shall go into the holes of the rocks,
And into the caves of the earth,
From the terror of the Lord
And the glory of His majesty,
When He arises to shake the earth mightily.
- Isaiah 2:6-8, 17-19

August 4:
Jesus Gives Us Rest

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." - Matthew 11:28-30

One explanation that I read for this verse describes how the Jews were so burdened by religious restrictions (primarily due to the Pharisees and their rules), and Jesus came to free them from those restrictions. In spite of what some people will try to tell you, life in Jesus is actually the most freeing thing of all, because He releases us from the bondage of sin. These verses can also be used to illustrate the comfort that Jesus offers to anyone who is hurting or going through a difficult time. We can always come to Him for rest, because He is gentle and loving and can free us from our burdens. If you are weary and in need of rest, don't hesitate to come to Jesus--He is waiting for you with open arms to give you the rest that you need!

Question to Ponder: Do you run to Jesus when you are tired, weary, and in need of rest? Or do you still try to do it all yourself?

August 5:
Shine as Lights in the World

Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain. - Philippians 2:14-16

In this portion of his letter to the people of Philippi, Paul emphasizes how important it is to shine the light of Christ in the dark world around us, setting ourselves apart. Non-believers have to see a difference between themselves and Christians; otherwise, why would they want to become a believer if we don't appear to be any different from anyone else? Paul advises us to do everything without complaining or disputing. Unfortunately, as Christians, we don't always do a very good job of following that advice. We need to work together better in order to try to lead more people to Christ, and we desperately need to shine His light in this dark world by treating one another with love.

Question to Ponder: How well does the light of Christ shine through you?

August 6:
The way of life winds upward for the wise,
That he may turn away from hell below.
The Lord will destroy the house of the proud,
But He will establish the boundary of the widow.
The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord,
But the words of the pure are pleasant.
He who is greedy for gain troubles his own house,
But he who hates bribes will live.
The heart of the righteous studies how to answer,
But the mouth of the wicked pours forth evil.
The Lord is far from the wicked,
But He hears the prayer of the righteous.
He who disdains instruction despises his own soul,
But he who heeds rebuke gets understanding.
The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom,
And before honor is humility.
- Proverbs 15:24-29, 32-33

August 7:
Blessed is he who considers the poor;
The Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.
Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted,
Who ate my bread,
Has lifted up his heel against me.
But You, O Lord, be merciful to me, and raise me up,
That I may repay them.
By this I know that You are well pleased with me,
Because my enemy does not triumph over me.
As for me, You uphold me in my integrity,
And set me before Your face forever.
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel
From everlasting to everlasting!
Amen and Amen.
- Psalm 41:1, 9-13

August 8:
Joseph Meets His Brothers

Now Joseph was governor over the land; and it was he who sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph's brothers came and bowed down before him with their faces to the earth. Joseph saw his brothers and recognized them, but he acted as a stranger to them and spoke roughly to them. Then he said to them, "Where do you come from?" And they said, "From the land of Canaan to buy food." - Genesis 42:6-7

This event fulfills the dream Joseph had many years before, when he dreamed that his brothers would bow down to him (see Genesis 37:1-11). However, it had been a very long time since they had seen Joseph, and he had obviously changed during that period of time, so they didn't even recognize their long-lost brother. This had to be a difficult moment for Joseph, seeing his brothers and remembering how they had sold him into slavery such a long time ago. It's hard to imagine how he must have felt when he first saw them coming; he almost certainly was filled with a variety of mixed emotions at the sight.

Question to Ponder: If you were Joseph, how would you respond to seeing your long-lost brothers?

August 9:
Trusting God For the Good

And David said to Abishai and all his servants, "See how my son who came from my own body seeks my life. How much more now may this Benjamite? Let him alone, and let him curse; for so the Lord has ordered him. It may be that the Lord will look on my affliction, and that the Lord will repay me with good for his cursing this day." And as David and his men went along the road, Shimei went along the hillside opposite him and cursed as he went, threw stones at him and kicked up dust. - 2 Samuel 16:11-13

This passage is about a Benjamite man who started cursing King David, and we can learn several things from David's reaction to this man. First, David did not express anger at this man; he continued to treat him with kindness and respect in spite of the manner in which this man was speaking to him. We should all try to show that kind of love to others. Secondly, David trusted that God would ultimately use this bad experience for good in some way. David used a considerable amount of wisdom in how he responded to this man, and we would all be wise to learn from this example.

Question to Ponder: How would you respond if someone started cursing you in this manner?

August 10:
Woes From the Lord, Part 1 of 2

Woe to those who join house to house;
They add field to field,
Till there is no place
Where they may dwell alone in the midst of the land!
In my hearing the Lord of hosts said,
"Truly, many houses shall be desolate,
Great and beautiful ones, without inhabitant.
For ten acres of vineyard shall yield one bath,
And a homer of seed shall yield one ephah."
Woe to those who rise early in the morning,
That they may follow intoxicating drink;
Who continue until night, till wine inflames them!
The harp and the strings,
The tambourine and flute,
And wine are in their feasts;
But they do not regard the work of the Lord,
Nor consider the operation of His hands.
- Isaiah 5:8-12

August 11:
Refusing to Believe

Then one was brought to Him who was demon-possessed, blind and mute; and He healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw. And all the multitudes were amazed and said, "Could this be the Son of David?" Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, "This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons." But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?" - Matthew 12:22-26

These Pharisees looked for any explanation they could think of in order to avoid the truth of who Jesus is. Here, after Jesus healed a demon-possessed man, the Pharisees accused Him of casting out those demons with the power of Satan. Instead of simply denying the accusation, Jesus explains why that isn't even possible. A house divided against itself cannot stand, so how can Satan drive out Satan? Even though it didn't make sense, these stubborn Pharisees still refused to believe.

Question to Ponder: Do you, or do you know someone who, so stubbornly refuses to believe in Jesus?

August 12:
Which Things Do You Seek?

But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, that I also may be encouraged when I know your state. For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus. But you know his proven character, that as a son with his father he served with me in the gospel. Therefore I hope to send him at once, as soon as I see how it goes with me. But I trust in the Lord that I myself shall also come shortly. - Philippians 2:19-24

As I read this passage, one verse stood out to me--verse 21, which says, "For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus." This is definitely a big problem in today's world, and apparently it also was when Paul wrote this nearly 2,000 years ago. This calls for a very thorough self-examination. Which way do you normally conduct your life? Do you serve your own interests, wants, and desires? Or do you truly seek after the things of Jesus, serving Him with all your heart? The latter is what He wants from us. Unfortunately, the first option is what He most often gets from us.

Question to Ponder: Do you seek to serve your own wants and desires, or do you truly seek the things which are of Jesus?

August 13:
Commit your works to the Lord,
And your thoughts will be established.
The Lord has made all for Himself,
Yes, even the wicked for the day of doom.
Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord;
Though they join forces, none will go unpunished.
In mercy and truth
Atonement is provided for iniquity;
And by the fear of the Lord one departs from evil.
When a man's ways please the Lord,
He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
Better is a little with righteousness,
Than vast revenues without justice.
A man's heart plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps.
- Proverbs 16:3-9

August 14:
As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?
The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime,
And in the night His song shall be with me--
A prayer to the God of my life.
I will say to God my Rock,
"Why have You forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?"
As with a breaking of my bones,
My enemies reproach me,
While they say to me all day long,
"Where is your God?"
Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God;
For I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God.
- Psalm 42:1-2, 8-11

August 15:
Time For Forgiveness

So Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him. Then Joseph remembered the dreams which he had dreamed about them, and said to them, "You are spies! You have come to see the nakedness of the land!" And they said to him, "No, my lord, but your servants have come to buy food. We are all one man's sons; we are honest men; your servants are not spies." But he said to them, "No, but you have come to see the nakedness of the land." And they said, "Your servants are twelve brothers, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan; and in fact, the youngest is with our father today, and one is no more." ... Then they said to one another, "We are truly guilty concerning our brother, for we saw the anguish of his soul when he pleaded with us, and we would not hear; therefore this distress has come upon us." - Genesis 42:8-13, 21

Joseph did all of this to test his brothers, to see if they had changed. It certainly sounds like they had, as they express guilt and remorse over what they did to Joseph so long ago. Now, Joseph has to decide how he will treat his brothers and whether or not to forgive them.

Question to Ponder: If you were Joseph, could you forgive your brothers at this point?

August 16:
A Hard-Working Ruler

And the king said to the people, "I also will surely go out with you myself." But the people answered, "You shall not go out! For if we flee away, they will not care about us; nor if half of us die, will they care about us. But you are worth ten thousand of us now. For you are now more help to us in the city." Then the king said to them, "Whatever seems best to you I will do." So the king stood beside the gate, and all the people went out by hundreds and by thousands. - 2 Samuel 18:2b-4

David wasn't going to just send his people out to fight this battle; he intended to go and fight along with them. Ultimately, he didn't go at the request of his people, but the fact that he was more than willing to go tells us a lot about his character. He wasn't an arrogant king who just sat on the throne and gave orders; he was willing to do the hard work as well. There is an increasing number of people (managers, CEOs, etc.) in the world today, people who like to give out orders but think far too highly of themselves to do any real work, who could greatly benefit from following the example that David sets here.

Question to Ponder: Do you ever feel like you are above doing certain kinds of work? How would Jesus respond to this question?

August 17:
Woes From the Lord, Part 2 of 2

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
And prudent in their own sight!
Woe to men mighty at drinking wine,
Woe to men valiant for mixing intoxicating drink,
Who justify the wicked for a bribe,
And take away justice from the righteous man!
Therefore, as the fire devours the stubble,
And the flame consumes the chaff,
So their root will be as rottenness,
And their blossom will ascend like dust;
Because they have rejected the law of the Lord of hosts,
And despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
- Isaiah 5:20-24

August 18:
A House Divided

Then one was brought to Him who was demon-possessed, blind and mute; and He healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw. And all the multitudes were amazed and said, "Could this be the Son of David?" Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, "This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons." But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?" - Matthew 12:22-26

This is the same passage that we looked at last Thursday, but I want to look at it from a different perspective today. As Jesus Himself says, a house divided against itself cannot stand. Yet in today's society, we have so many houses that appear to be divided in one way or another. What is the solution? Jesus must be at the center of any relationship, marriage, or family. When He is not in the right place, problems (usually induced by selfishness) start to arise and families begin to break apart.

Question to Ponder: Is Christ at the center of your relationship, marriage, or family?

August 19:
The Law Can't Save Us

But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. - Philippians 3:7-11

Remember that, prior to His conversion to a faith in Jesus Christ, Paul was one of the top religious leaders of his day. He was committed to following the law and living a righteous, blameless life. However, once he started to follow Jesus instead, he realized that the law couldn't save him. Following the law so strictly, which used to be very important to Paul, is now unimportant. Basically, this passage of Scripture reinforces the fact that following the law can't save us; only Jesus Christ can do that.

Question to Ponder: Do you try to be a good person, hoping that will get you into heaven? Where is the flaw in that reasoning?

August 20:
How much better to get wisdom than gold!
And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.
The highway of the upright is to depart from evil;
He who keeps his way preserves his soul.
Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before a fall.
Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly,
Than to divide the spoil with the proud.
He who heeds the word wisely will find good,
And whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he.
The wise in heart will be called prudent,
And sweetness of the lips increases learning.
Understanding is a wellspring of life to him who has it.
But the correction of fools is folly.
- Proverbs 16:16-22

August 21:
You are my King, O God;
Command victories for Jacob.
Through You we will push down our enemies;
Through Your name we will trample those who rise up against us.
For I will not trust in my bow,
Nor shall my sword save me.
But You have saved us from our enemies,
And have put to shame those who hated us.
In God we boast all day long,
And praise Your name forever. Selah
- Psalm 44:4-8

August 22:
Joseph Still Cares About His Family

Then [Joseph] asked them about their well-being, and said, "Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?" And they answered, "Your servant our father is in good health; he is still alive." And they bowed their heads down and prostrated themselves. Then he lifted his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother's son, and said, "Is this your younger brother of whom you spoke to me?" And he said, "God be gracious to you, my son." Now his heart yearned for his brother; so Joseph made haste and sought somewhere to weep. And he went into his chamber and wept there. Then he washed his face and came out; and he restrained himself, and said, "Serve the bread." - Genesis 42:27-31

Clearly, Joseph's heart is really beginning to long for his family, now that they have been partially reunited (only partially, since his brothers don't recognize him yet). He cared for his brothers even after the way they had treated him when they were younger, but most of all he cared about his father and his youngest brother, Benjamin. His heart longed for them and he eagerly wanted to learn if they were well.

Question to Ponder: If you were Joseph, how would your feelings be toward your family at this point?

August 23:
Mercy Follows a Sincere Confession

Now Shimei the son of Gera fell down before the king when he had crossed the Jordan. Then he said to the king, "Do not let my lord impute iniquity to me, or remember what wrong your servant did on the day that my lord the king left Jerusalem, that the king should take it to heart. For I, your servant, know that I have sinned. Therefore here I am, the first to come today of all the house of Joseph to go down to meet my lord the king." ... Therefore the king said to Shimei, "You shall not die."- 2 Samuel 19:18b-20, 23a

David showed mercy to this man, forgiving him for what he had done against David. However, I'm sure it was a lot easier for David to show that mercy because of the attitude of this man. He didn't try to cover anything up, make excuses, or pass around the blame. He knew he had done something wrong, and he admitted to it and took the blame himself. That's always the best way to handle a situation. Being honest and taking the blame for something you've done wrong is the right thing to do, regardless of how the other person responds. We all make mistakes, but God doesn't expect us to cover them up after the fact.

Question to Ponder: Do you readily take the blame when something is your fault, or do you try to make excuses?

August 24:
Isaiah's Willingness to Serve

Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:
"Whom shall I send,
And who will go for Us?"
Then I said, "Here am I! Send me."
And He said, "Go, and tell this people:
Keep on hearing, but do not understand;
Keep on seeing, but do not perceive.
"Make the heart of this people dull,
And their ears heavy,
And shut their eyes;
Lest they see with their eyes,
And hear with their ears,
And understand with their heart,
And return and be healed."
Then I said, "Lord, how long?"
- Isaiah 6:8-11

This passage gives an account of Isaiah's call to be a prophet of God. When reading this, I noticed how eager Isaiah is to serve, to do what the Lord commanded of him, and to serve for as long as God desired. Isaiah truly has a servant's heart!

Question to Ponder: Are you this willing and eager to serve the Lord?

August 25:
Are You With Jesus or Against Him?

"He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad." - Matthew 12:30

There is no in between. Either you are with Jesus, or you aren't. You can't have it both ways. Although this seems like a relatively simple idea, it causes problems for a lot of people, many of whom don't even realize it. Here are two examples: People who say that they believe there is some kind of God and hope to get into heaven are not living for Jesus, and therefore are against Him. People who claim that there are many ways to get to heaven are not in agreement with the truth of Jesus, and therefore are against Him. Jesus quite clearly stated that, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6). Is Jesus your Savior and Lord of your life? Have you asked for Him to forgive your sins, and do you live for Him day after day? Don't be fooled into thinking that you can be a "pretty good person" and squeak your way into heaven. God is far more fair and just than that. He has provided a way for us (Jesus); we just have to accept His gift.

Question to Ponder: Are you with Jesus or against Him?

August 26:
Press On Toward the Goal

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 3:12-14

Paul wasn't satisfied or content with the current state of his relationship with Jesus. He always wanted more. He always wanted to accomplish even more for Christ. We can all learn a lot from his attitude. Sometimes, it can be easy to become complacent, satisfied with what we have been able to do for Jesus and unwilling to continue to push ourselves to do even more for Him. But He doesn't want us to become lazy and complacent. He commands us to always serve Him, seeking Him whole-heartedly and following His will in all that we do. Never be satisfied with how things are; there is always more work to do in the name of Jesus Christ.

Question to Ponder: Do you ever become complacent with where things are, unwilling to continue pressing on?

August 27:
The heart of the wise teaches his mouth,
And adds learning to his lips.
Pleasant words are like a honeycomb,
Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.
There is a way that seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death.
The person who labors, labors for himself,
For his hungry mouth drives him on.
An ungodly man digs up evil,
And it is on his lips like a burning fire.
A perverse man sows strife,
And a whisperer separates the best of friends.
A violent man entices his neighbor,
And leads him in a way that is not good.
- Proverbs 16:23-29

August 28:
God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah
There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God,
The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved;
God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.
Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!
The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
- Psalm 46:1-5, 10-11

August 29:
God's Ultimate Plan For Joseph

Then Joseph said to his brothers, "I am Joseph; does my father still live?" But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed in his presence. And Joseph said to his brothers, "Please come near to me." So they came near. Then he said: "I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. For these two years the famine has been in the land, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. And God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt." - Genesis 45:3-8

Joseph never stopped trusting in God's plan throughout this whole ordeal, and at last, he is reunited with his family and is able to reveal God's plan to them. What they intended for evil, God used for good, just as He promises to do for all of us.

Question to Ponder: Can you think of a time in your life when someone intended something for evil, but God used it for good?

August 30:
David Praises the Lord, Part 1 of 5

"The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
The God of my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation,
My stronghold and my refuge;
My Savior, You save me from violence.
I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised;
So shall I be saved from my enemies.
"When the waves of death surrounded me,
The floods of ungodliness made me afraid.
The sorrows of Sheol surrounded me;
The snares of death confronted me.
In my distress I called upon the Lord,
And cried out to my God;
He heard my voice from His temple,
And my cry entered His ears."
- 2 Samuel 22:2b-7

August 31:
The Coming Immanuel

Then [the Lord] said [to King Ahaz], "Hear now, O house of David! Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Curds and honey He shall eat, that He may know to refuse the evil and choose the good. For before the Child shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land that you dread will be forsaken by both her kings. The Lord will bring the king of Assyria upon you and your people and your father's house-days that have not come since the day that Ephraim departed from Judah." - Isaiah 7:13-17

As is the case with many Biblical prophecies, this one likely had an immediate fulfillment (for King Ahaz, related to events that happened with his wife and family), and an ultimate fulfillment later on (with the birth of Jesus, called Immanuel--God with us). Primarily, though, I believe this serves as a prophecy of the coming Savior, written some 700 years before His birth!

Question to Ponder: How much faith do you have in Biblical prophecies?