“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).
By the time of Isaiah’s prophecy, the northern kingdom of Israel had been captured by Assyria. Judah, the southern kingdom, believed herself invincible. Rather than seek God’s protection, she relied on the strength of her own resources and earthly allies for protection from her invading enemy, Babylon. Isaiah had been sent to warn Judah that she would be conquered just as Israel was. But Isaiah didn’t just bring judgment; he also told God’s promise to restore His people. Judah clung to his hopeful message during captivity.
Isaiah said that Messiah would be born of a virgin and be Immanuel, which means “God with us.” This idea of Messiah being God among us was beyond comprehension for the Israelites. Among them, God dwelt only in the Most Holy Place of the temple, a room only the high priest could enter, and he only once a year on the Day of Atonement. When he did go in, he had to throw incense on the fire so the smoke would cover up the glorious presence of God. He would die if he saw God face to face. But when Messiah comes, God promises we will see Him up close. God’s best is yet to come!
Prayer: Thank You for giving us Your best in Your Son Jesus. In Him we pray. Amen.
As We Wait: Read Isaiah 53 to learn more of God’s promises about Messiah.