Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
Matthew 1:22-23 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel (which means “God with us”).
I do not know a lot of Hebrew, but there is one word that I know and love. The word is Immanuel. Immanuel literally means “God with us.” When Jesus was born to Mary, He was called Immanuel. He was born into this world fully God and fully man so that God could walk among His people. He came to be with us so that we could have a way to be with the Father eternally. Our sins made it absolutely impossible for us to come to God, so He came to us.
God took an extraordinary step to come to us because He wanted to have a relationship with us. He came as a baby, and grew up as a man so that He could make us right with the Father. He made himself susceptible to all the things that we are susceptible to daily. He felt sorrow. He was tempted, yet He did not falter. He felt the things we felt. He came to over power the claim that sin had on us, and He cancelled that claim. He came to be with us in the flesh. It is an astonishing, amazing, and wonderful thing to consider. God came to be with us in the flesh so that we may be with Him eternally! Wow!
More than 700 years before the birth of Christ, Isaiah the prophet prophesied the coming of the King. He called Him Immanuel. For 700 long years, the people awaited the promised Messiah. Can you imagine the anticipation? It had to be very hard to wait for this special promise. In Matthew, we see the promise fulfilled as the King was born. Immanuel came to earth in the fleshly form to be with us. And now, 2000 years later, we await His promised return. Oh, the anticipation is almost unbearable at times. I can hardly wait!
The name Immanuel points to the nature of the One who bears the name. He is God incarnate – God coming into human flesh – and dwells by His Spirit in the hearts of His people. He always was, is, and always will be with us! The events of 2020 have overwhelmed us. The things that we have seen and witnessed this year have somewhat dimmed the light within us. We can not give in to the anxiety that fills the air as we hear of tragedy after tragedy. We can’t allow ourselves to be overwhelmed with the things of this world. Why? The answer is Immanuel. God is with us. Don’t forget this very wonderful truth. God is still with us! He watches over us daily. He knows exactly what is going on in our lives…even before we do. He fights battles for us that we do not even realize are ongoing. He sends His angels to protect us. He blazes trails for us, and He defends us. He truly is with us.
This Christmas season as the hustle and bustle exhaust you, and you do not know whether you are coming and going, please remember these words…GOD…IS…WITH…YOU! He is ever present, and He is fighting for you! This is promised in 2 Chronicles 32:8, “but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.” Again, we see this promise in Nehemiah 4:20, “Our God will fight for us!” One of my favorite verses is Isaiah 41:10, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Don’t you see? God is with us. He is fighting for us. He loves us so much.
God didn’t send His Son to be with us the short 33 years that He walked on earth. God sent His Son to make a path for us to have eternal life with Him. He was always here, and He will always be with us. “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:10) As you walk these rough and rocky roads of the present, seek His presence! He is with us! What a glorious feeling it is to know and trust that our loving Savior is with us to the very end…every single step we take…God is with us!