Immanuel – God With Us

3rd December

Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a Son and they will call Him Immanuel, which means “God is with us.”

Matthew 1:23

Today’s verse is probably one of the most famous ‘Christmas’ verses quoted throughout the world at many carol services. It provides us with a living truth that Mary truly was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, gave birth to a child, who was called ‘God with us’ or ‘Immanuel’.

It is interesting to note however, that this verse was spoken by Isaiah as a prophetic word to King Ahaz hundreds of years before Christ’s birth actually took place. King Ahaz was filled with fear after finding out that Israel and Syria had formed an alliance and were about to attack Judah, of which King Ahab ruled over. Isaiah 7 verse 2 tells us that ‘The hearts of the king and his people trembled with fear, like trees shaking in a storm.” Rather than trusting in God, King Ahaz disobediently formed an alliance with Assyria to protect himself from Israel and Syria’s attack. God warned King Ahaz to not form an alliance with Assyria and sent Isaiah the prophet to proclaim this prophecy (today’s verse) as a confirmation that God Himself would be with them. Sadly King Ahaz did not listen and Assyria broke their alliance with Judah and did much damage to them.

In summary, the context of the verse that we read every year, is God, even in the Old Testament, promising to be with humanity in their time of need. He is God with us. He is Immanuel. Christ eventually was born, lived a human life and really did live as ‘God with us’. The question we must challenge ourself with is this: Will you accept that God became flesh and is still with us even today, or will join King Ahaz and reject the comfort, love and protection that ‘Immanuel’ gives? The choice is yours.