Watch for this: A girl who is presently a virgin will get pregnant. She’ll bear a son and name him Immanuel (God-With-Us). Isaiah 7:14 (MSG)
“I’ll believe it when I see it.” What snarky words. Do you use this statement? I do; when I truly doubt that something will actually happen. Most often, I use it in reference to a person who has let me down in the past. Once disappointed, I’m a hard sell the second time around. I can imagine Ahaz having that thought while he was king. To Ahaz, God probably seemed far away and not paying very good attention to what was happening.
King Ahaz was worried. Israel was a divided nation and the northern kingdoms were aligning with evil Assyria. In their sites: Jerusalem. King Ahaz had every right to be concerned. Conquering Judah, the southern kingdom, would be no work at all for the formidable Assyrian army. Using Isaiah, God sent word to king Ahaz that God would intervene on Judah’s behalf. Trying to convince the king he could trust God, Isaiah prophesied about the future of Judah in today’s verse.
…She’ll bear a son and name him Immanuel, which means God with us.
The virgin birth is, to say the least, miraculous but that isn’t the point today. You may have heard or read this prophecy many times without ever reading the context. In this Christmas season, let me ask you, are you like King Ahaz and the people of Judah?
Are you faced with an insurmountable situation? Are you facing down a financial foe? Is there an actual attack from which you are defending your family? Do you feel like the people of Judah in the face of your attacker? Isaiah 7:2 says, “…the people were badly shaken. They shook like trees in the wind.” (MSG) The world can be a scary place, full of uncertainty.
If you feel puny in comparison to your problems, let me encourage you; God is with us.
Does that change your outlook? Does your enemy look a bit smaller? Do you feel more at ease? Jesus came to be God with us. At Jesus’ birth, a new door opened. That door allows sinful, flawed mortals direct access to the Heavenly Father. Jesus came to be The Way, The Truth and The Life. Jesus is The Way to the Father. Jesus reveals The Truth about the Father. Jesus offers The Life of the Father; eternal life, abundant life, real life.
That little baby boy changed everything. God is no longer far – – Immanuel – – He’s with us! Through Jesus, you have access to God’s throne. You can be on His side and when you’re on His side, He’ll take care of you!
God offers redemption. God offers humanity a relationship. It all started the night that Immanuel was born. Soak up that promise. Cling to the God who came to be WITH YOU! Let the fact of God’s presence lighten your load, decrease your worry and sweeten your journey.
Immanuel – GOD IS WITH US!
Father, thank you for coming to this world! Thank you for your love. Help me to rest in your love and mercy.