Watch the most recent sermon on 9.19.2021 Go Now!
September 19, 2021 | Doug Sauder
Watch our most recent mid-week message here.
“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)
The proceeding passage is one of the most popular that we have in the entire Bible. It’s usually associated with Christmas. But in context, the prophet Isaiah is writing roughly 700 years before Jesus was born during a troublesome time.
The Nation of Judah had just fended off the superpower of that day, Syria, but were bracing for another wave of attack. The odds were stacked against Judah, but God sent Isaiah to King Ahaz to encourage and assure him that He loved Judah and would protect her.
Ahaz wasn’t receptive, but God made a stunning promise anyway: One day, a child would be born who would be called Immanuel.
Here’s the significance of that name “Immanuel.” It literally means “God with us.” Connect the dots and you see that God is telling Ahaz, as the representative of His people, that He loves them, He won’t abandon them, and He will be with them.
The next seven centuries witnessed a lot of spiritual ups and downs for God’s people. The pattern of idolatry, captivity, contrition, devotion, deliverance, prosperity, and idolatry would cycle through time and again. But the promise remained and God remembered. He would personally come to His people, which He eventually did as a babe in Bethlehem.
Our minds are pre-loaded with images of what this was like. However, John shows us the fulfillment of this promise from a unique angle: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14 NKJV).
Remember, John has already established that Jesus is “the Word,” which is another way of referring to Jesus in His eternally pre-incarnate form. Now John tells us that He became “flesh and dwelt among us.” Isaiah’s prophecy couldn’t be fulfilled more clearly. The Son of God took on fleshly body through the process of being conceived by the Holy Spirit, and He lived among His people.
Why? His “with-ness” is the ultimate witness of His love for us. How encouraging to know God Almighty came to Earth for our sake! How assuring to know the Lord loves us so much that He would leave His place of glory on our behalf! If you need encouragement and assurance today, start there . . . it doesn’t get anymore powerful than that.
DIG: What does Isaiah 7:14 signify?
DISCOVER: How was Isaiah 7:14 fulfilled?
DISPLAY: Why does this matter to you today? Write down the reasons this is so significant to you.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.