Immanuel, God with Us!

We learned that in Isaiah 7 the enemies of Judah were marching towards Jerusalem. Isaiah had prophesied before King Ahaz that the enemy would not be victorious. They were to stand firm in faith and believe and trust God for this victory. Isaiah then told Ahaz to ask God for a confirmation sign. Ahaz refused to ask God saying he did not want to test God. Isaiah chastized Ahaz for not wanting a word of prophecy from the Lord. This prophesy was meant to convince Ahaz that God could indeed rescue him from his enemies and to grow his faith. The prophesy is one of the major prophesies about Jesus and what would happen to Ahaz and Judah in their near future. Isaiah 7:14-17

14 All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’). 

This prophecy of Jesus was fulfilled in Matthew 1:20-23 which was given to Joseph.

 As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet:

23 “Look! The virgin will conceive a child!
    She will give birth to a son,
and they will call him Immanuel,
    which means ‘God is with us.’”

I was also fulfilled in Luke 1:26-31 which was given to Mary:

 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, 27 to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. 28 Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!” 29 Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. 30 “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus.

Scripture records the actual birth of Mary’s baby in Luke 2: 4-7 in the ‘Christmas Story’.

 And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, to whom he was engaged, who was now expecting a child. And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.

Isaiah’s prophecy contained both events near to their present time and one that would not occur for another 600 years! Prophecy is often given this way and time alone helps us to discern what is close and what is far away. However, whether it is near or far, all of it is absolutely true. Here is the remainder of the prophecy from verses 15-17 that tell of the coming destruction of the land by Israel’s enemies. This destruction of the kings mentioned was also foretold in Amos 1:3-5 and Jeramiah 7:15.

15 By the time this child is old enough to choose what is right and reject what is wrong, he will be eating yogurt and honey. 16 For before the child is that old, the lands of the two kings you fear so much will both be deserted. 17 “Then the Lord will bring things on you, your nation, and your family unlike anything since Israel broke away from Judah. He will bring the king of Assyria upon you!”

The prophecy that Isaiah gave from God about the coming Messiah was to bring hope to all Israelites. It was show that there would be a miraculous coming of ‘God with us’. This child would be a miracle of birth sent by God. Since the only God with us the Israelites were familiar with was God’s indwelling of the temple and the tabernacle before that, this would have been a gigantic revelation. It was to change the course of human history. Never before had God dwelt with his believers in bodily form. Ahaz did not want a sign from God but the sign God gave was definitely one we would not want to turn down. It was a sign that would change the course of history.

As I close this section of prophecy from Isaiah, I am blessed by God’s words of hope and deliverance that Messiah would bring. On this side of the cross, we see the effect Jesus had on humanity and how he was indeed God with us! My faith is strengthened in that God knew what his plan was to save all mankind through Jesus the Son and he gave us this prophecy to help us see that He is indeed Sovereign and Omniscient. He is the one that has a plan that will not be thwarted by the events of any age and His will will prevail. I pray that seeing the prophecy fulfilled from verse 14 increases your faith.

One other thought, Ahaz did not want a word from God for whatever reason. I can’t imagine anyone would not want to hear something from God. I had to ask myself though, am I listening to God and hearing His messages to me? Do I welcome His revelations? Do I treat God’s Word with reverence and respect? When I study and read God’s Word, am I looking for His messages to me? His whole book is a love story to me and for me, do I see that? May you look with fresh eyes as you read and study His Word during this Lenten Season.

Meditating on verse 14, may you welcome Jesus into your life today and let Him be ‘God with you’. You will be blessed.


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