Friday, 23 December 2022
“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
The prophet Isaiah had two sons, one of them named Maher-Shala-Hash-Baz (8:3 – meaning “Speed the Spoil,” “Hasten the Booty”) and the other Shear-Jashub (7:3-meaning “A Remnant will Return”). Isaiah himself described his children as “signs” to the nation (8:18). But, there is a third child in Isa.7:14, whose name is Immanuel. However, when we read 7:15 & 16 we see that this child is presented as a sign to the king Ahaz, who is facing the attack from Rezin the king of Aram (Syria) and Pekah, the king of Israel. Ahaz the King of Judah was trying to trust Assyria for help and deliverance.
God speaks to Ahaz through Isaiah, that the plans of those attacking kings “…shall not stand nor shall it come to pass”(Isa. 7:7). In verse 11 God was prompting Ahaz to ask for a sign in conformation of the fulfillment of the above prophecy of God. As Ahaz was unwilling to ask for the sign (V.12) the Lord says the He Himself will give a sign (V.14). After speaking about the birth of Immanuel – whose meaning is – “God with us”, God unfolds the exact details of His plan. Until this child attains the age of knowing good and evil, he will eat curds and honey, which contrasts with “bread and wine” from cultivated lands. This tells us the land will remain uncultivated and waste and they had to live with diary products. The prophecy given by God is that before Immanuel reaches the age of discerning good and evil, (age before the boy is 12 or 13) the land of those two kings will be forsaken. This was fulfilled in BC 732 when the boy was about two years old.
We can even understand that Immanuel is also another name for the second son of Isaiah. This means that the same name has two meanings, Salvation and Judgement! The prophecy in Isa.7:14 was directly quoted by Mathew in 1:23 to state that the final fulfilment of this prophetic word of God was in Christ Jesus. Though the immediate realization of the prophecy happened centuries ago, at the birth of Jesus the Messiah, God’s promise to be with man (Immanuel = God-with-us) was fulfilled.
Like the barren fields of Judah in those days, are the lives of many people these days. But God’s plan is the same even today – that He will be with us to give us victory from the attacking power of the enemy. Although God permitted enemy kings to invade the land of Judah because of their departure from His principles, God always punished those kings and saved His people, whenever they repented and returned to God.
Can you look to your life?-May be your life is a mess today. May be your past life was the cause of it, but today if you repent and call on Jesus, He will truly come to your rescue as He is the Immanuel (God with us). When Peter was going to drown, Immanuel lifted him up; when the boat with the disciples was going to sink, Immanuel rescued them by calming the storm; when 38 years of severe sickness could not be cured by anybody, Immanuel came to help!! When 12 years of sickness became a burden in life, Immanuel came and healed! When the wine and the joy in a family was drained off, Immanuel was there too, to replenish it and reinstate the joy!!
He is there for you too – He will help; He will rescue; He will heal; He will deliver; He will save. His name is Jesus!! He will give you a life even after death – in heaven forever to be with Him. HE is IMMANUEL!
Christ, by highest heaven adored,
Christ, the everlasting Lord,
Late in time behold him come,
Offspring of the Virgin's womb:
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail th'incarnate Deity,
Pleased with us in flesh to dwell,
Jesus, our Immanuel.