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Pause and Consider





Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. (Matthew 1:23)

The name Emmanuel appears four times in the Bible: Isaiah 7:14; 8:8, 10 and Matt 1:23.  The spelling can be either Immanuel as our church (Immanuel Baptist Church) has it, or Emmanuel, as is sometimes used for a ministry, and as a man’s first name.

Both Jesus and Immanuel are names that deeply imply the deity of the Christ-child: Jesus—Jehovah saves; Immanuel—God (is) with us

The immediate context of the name Immanuel in Isaiah’s prophecy is regarding Ahaz, the wicked king of Judah, the Southern Kingdom.  Assyria was on the move against all nations.  It was picking up steam against Israel (the Northern Kingdom) and Syria who were aligned.  These two nations were also wishing to attack Judah (Is 7:1-9).

Through Isaiah, God offered to Ahaz a sign so that he could easily put his faith in Jehovah, who would protect the nation from its enemies. But Ahaz did not want the truth, and he was not a man of faith, so he refused a sign (Is 7:10-13), thus not giving glory to God.

The LORD was not pleased with Ahaz but gave gave him a sign anyway: a son named Immanuel—God could be with His people and deliver them.  The events in the life of this son would picture what would soon happen to Judah—eventual captivity.  But the greater prophecy is Messianic—God would come to His people in the person of His Son.

God was with His people in many ways and times in the OT: in the Garden with our first parents, walking with Enoch and Noah, with Moses at the burning bush and throughout the wilderness journeys, in company with the three Hebrews in the fire, and Daniel in the lion’s den.  But the helpless babe in Bethlehem is the real marvel.  God in the flesh!  The God-man!  As man, He understands all about our human emotions, needs and trials.  As God, He alone can meet every need.

The question you must answer: is He with you?  Jesus said: Behold I stand at the door and knock; if any man hears my voice and will open the door, I will come in. (Revelation 3:20) Have you opened the door to the Son of God, Immanuel?  Why not repent of your sin and place your faith in Him today!

When one accepts the Lord Jesus as Savior and Lord, then for the rest of one’s life it can be said, God is in me.  With the poet you can joyfully say:

“When once I mourned a load of sin; when conscience felt a wound within; when all my works were thrown away; when on my knees I knelt to pray, then, blissful hour, remembered well, I learned Thy love, Immanuel.

When storms of sorrow toss my soul; when waves of care around me roll; when comforts sink, when joys shall flee; when hopeless griefs shall gape for me, one word the tempest’s rage shall quell— that word, Thy name, Immanuel.

When tears are banished from mine eye; when fairer worlds than these are nigh; when heaven shall fill my ravished sight; when I shall bathe in sweet delight, one joy all joys shall far excel, to see Thy face, Immanuel.”

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