all this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:“behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel”  (which means, God with us.)  [matthew 1:22-23]


the prophet isaiah was a man who saw so much of things to come. he was at times overwhelmed by the word the Lord gave him to give to the people of israel. at times, he felt unworthy to behold the things the Lord allowed him to see and unworthy to deliver them to others. yet, the Lord had this word for king ahaz, the ruler of judah at the time of the prophecy. he was about to come under attack. he knew of the plans, and instead of turning to the Lord, placing his faith in an Almighty King who had promised to be with them and deliver them from their enemies if they would follow him, king ahaz placed his faith in alliances, political safety in other rulers, paying them off with the riches that the Lord had blessed them with to buy their power and friendship. (isaiah 7:1-14)

God invited the king to ask for a sign to be reminded of God’s power and faithfulness. when the king brushed off the invitation, God initiated a sign anyway; this prophecy, through isaiah. he tells him that not only is he with his people through the hardships, faithfully holding them through national trials, but that through a miraculous act, he would provide the ultimate nearness to his people through the divine birth of Jesus Christ. he would be born to a young woman of whom it would have been impossible to conceive a child, as proof that he was God made man in the flesh. (john 1:1-5)

God had spent centuries showing his people that they could live out their purpose of dwelling with him and worshipping him. he went to such great lengths to show them their need for his presence, and their inability to gain it for themselves. and here, in matthew’s gospel, in the glorious face of Jesus Christ, we see all the promises of God as “yes and amen.” God with us. (2 corinthians 1:20)

just like king ahaz needed to turn to the presence of God when he saw the brokenness of the world around him, we need to turn to the presence of God found in Jesus Christ his Son, when we see the brokenness of our own hearts before him. God with us. it’s what we were created for. dwelling in community with our Maker, delighting in His presence, standing in awe of his glory. 

maybe today, you feel like this is the furthest thing from your reality. take heart, you can have all of this through the grace and forgiveness of Jesus. turn to him. cling to him. believe he is God with us, and that no one comes to the Father but through him. (john 14:6)

maybe today, you just need the reminder that God is with you. maybe, life seems overwhelming and you feel alone. cling to this fulfilled prophecy. spend time in the presence of God, asking him to overwhelm you with his glory and to allow the brokenness of this world to fade in the light of it. God is with us, now and for eternity! praise the Lord!


~arwen eastman