And His Name Shall Be Called: Emmanuel
Tuesday December 10, 2019
“… the Lord Himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call His name Emmanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14) This is a verse from the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah, written about 700 years B.C. Isaiah was speaking with King Ahaz, promising him that God was going to destroy his enemies – and as a sign of the truthfulness of that prophecy, Isaiah also prophesied that sometime in the future a virgin would conceive and give birth to a son whose name would be Emmanuel.
About 700 years later, in the city of Bethlehem in Judah, that prophecy was fulfilled: the virgin Mary conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit upon her, and she gave birth to a son whom she and her husband Joseph called Emmanuel, which translated means: God With Us.
In his account of Jesus’ birth, Matthew quotes Isaiah 7:14 and applies the prophecy to Christ. The name Emmanuel was initially spoken in a very real historic situation where God promised a king that He would be with His people to free them from their current enemies. But Isaiah by divine inspiration also alluded to a future time when God would send His own Son, the true Emmanuel, with much the same purpose: to save God’s people from their strongest enemy, Satan. And again by divine inspiration, Matthew took Isaiah’s prophecy and applied it to the person of Jesus Christ, who was born of a virgin, and who, in a most supreme sense, is God With Us. He is 100% God, but upon incarnating on earth He is also 100% man – He is God among men – He is God With Us – He is Emmanuel.
Many times in God’s walk alongside His creation, He has assured us and confirmed to us His divine presence with us:
When the people of Israel were about to cross the River Jordan with Joshua so that they might finally enter the Promised Land, Moses said to them: “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)
Through the prophet Isaiah, God declared to His people: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
And in the New Testament book of Hebrews, we read: “… [God] has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5-6)
In Emmanuel, God is with us to take away our fears and anxieties – to uphold us and help us – to help us be strong and courageous.
Around 2000 years ago, Jesus Christ lowered Himself to become incarnate as a human being so that He might be truly with us in our humanity, so that He might literally be Emmanuel, God With Us.
Dear friend: do you, today, know Jesus Christ in this dimension of His divine presence right with you? As your Emmanuel, as God With You? I hope and I pray so.
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