Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
Today's Reading: Isaiah 7:14
Devo Author: Tad Moore
Date: November 27, 2022
Nearly 700 years before the birth of Jesus, the great prophet Isaiah was sent by God to deliver a message to Ahaz, King of Judah. Isaiah found the king near a pool where many gathered to wash laundry, and the king was very distressed. Ahaz’s heart was troubled because he had received word that the kings of Syria and the northern Israelite tribes had allied together and were bringing an army to siege Jerusalem.
God’s message to Ahaz, delivered through Isaiah was this: “Do not fear. Don’t lose heart. They will not overtake you.” As a sign of this promise, Isaiah, likely pointing to a young woman nearby at the pool, said, “This virgin (or simply, “young woman”) will have a son and name him Immanuel, meaning God with us. By the time he is a young boy and reaches maturity, those two kings will have come to ruin themselves at the hands of Assyria.” (Isaiah 7, paraphrased.)
The sign of God’s presence and protection will be this young boy. He would be a living reminder to the people of Judah that they could trust God was with them. Centuries later, Matthew would reference Isaiah’s prophecy in relation to the coming Messiah. Penning his account of the life of Jesus, Matthew draws a comparison to Isaiah’s message to king Ahaz. He would say that God gave an even greater promise of His presence in the birth of Jesus. A child would be born to a true virgin, and His life would be a sign that God was with us. That virgin’s son would live an extraordinary life, die a terrible death, but rise again in victory over our great enemies: sin and death.
The sign of our deliverance is that child born to the Virgin Mary. He is the greater Immanuel, God with us. May God comfort us and fill our hearts with courage this Advent season knowing that Immanuel lives.