Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Immanuel, God With Us

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14 (NKJV)
Immanuel means God with us. The promise of God with us was fulfilled in the birth of Christ as told in Matthew 1:18-25. But what did Isaiah’s prophecy mean at the time it was given and what does it mean for us now, some two thousand years after the birth of Christ?
Initially, Isaiah’s prophecy about Immanuel was given to King Ahaz of Judah. Rezin the king of Syria and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, wanted to make war against Jerusalem, the house of David (Isaiah 7). Can you imagine the fear that grew in Judah from the threats of their enemies? But within the very same verse (vs. 1) about war are the words ‘but could not prevail against it’. Why couldn’t their enemies prevail? Because God’s covenant with David promised an eternal kingdom and God’s plans would not be disturbed by the fruitless plans of mankind. The Lord sent Isaiah to King Ahaz to say, ‘Take heed, and be quiet; do not fear or be fainthearted for these two stubs of smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin and Syria, and the son of Remaliah...’ (vs. 4). In other words, don’t be afraid because your enemies will not conquer you.
What threats are coming at you from your enemies? What fears are paralyzing you? Can you hear God saying, ‘Take heed, (your name), and be not be afraid (Is.7:4)....Be still, and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10). Can you hear Him saying, “Your enemies will not prevail!”
Christmas is past and Immanuel has come. He came over two thousand years ago. His name is Jesus and He is with us. Do we daily live with the expectancy of a ‘God with us’ or are we still waiting for the coming of our Savior?
Luke 2:25-35 tells us about an ordinary man named Simeon who waited for the coming deliverance of Israel. Because he believed in God and listened to the Holy Spirit, he went to the temple at the same time that Mary and Joseph brought the Child Jesus to the temple. God allowed Simeon to literally see the promised Comforter of Israel, the Light to the Gentiles, Jesus the Savior of all people. Simeon blessed the Lord with all his heart for a promise fulfilled in his lifetime.
Are you still waiting for the fulfillment of a promise or can you declare with Simeon that your eyes have seen the salvation of the Lord? Can you proclaim with faith that come what may, God is with you? Do you believe God’s Word? Listen to Him:
...thus says the Lord GOD:

“ It shall not stand,
Nor shall it come to pass.
For the head of Syria is Damascus,
And the head of Damascus is Rezin.
Within sixty-five years Ephraim will be broken,
So that it will not be a people.
The head of Ephraim is Samaria,
And the head of Samaria is Remaliah’s son.
If you will not believe,
Surely you shall not be established.”
Isaiah 7:7-9 (NKJV)
God was with His people in Jerusalem. He promised that the enemy would not prevail over them; they only needed to believe in God’s word. He then gave them a prophecy through Isaiah that there would be a Son born of a virgin and His name would be called Immanuel. This prophecy concludes with a promise about the demise of the enemy’s plans. It says in Isaiah 8:10...“Take counsel together, but it will come to nothing; speak the word, but it will not stand, for God is with us.” These words were for King Ahaz of Judah and they are for us.
Do you believe the word of God? Do you believe His word is truth? Do you trust in the Son of God? Do you believe that God is with you? Believing the Lord is crucial to receiving His promises, and God’s people desire to receive His promises.
Today is the first day of the year 2012. Let’s resolve to believe God and His Word with our hearts as well as our minds. Instead of waiting for God to show up, let’s believe that Immanuel is ALREADY with us, just as He says. The great I AM has been with us in our past, is with us in our present, and will be with us in our future. Hear Him speaking to you:
Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.‘
Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV)
Whatever you are facing, begin the new year with a firm belief in Immanuel who is Jesus Christ. He is God and He is with us ALWAYS. He said so....and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matthew 28:20b (NKJV)

1 comment:

  1. Another good one. Helps knowing that God is with us and protecting us!