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

God’s special people were often threatened and assaulted by surrounding nations. When the Southern kingdom of Israel was in danger of an invasion by Assyria, God promised that he himself would deliver them from the conflict. He would assure them of their coming victory by giving them a sign: a virgin would give birth to a child and would name him “Immanuel,” which means “God is with us.” The child’s name meant that God would be present with them in their battle to achieve victory on their behalf.

The child was born and they were indeed delivered from the Assyrians. This episode in Israel’s history anticipated a much greater deliverance. Matthew 1:18-23 says that Jesus is the ultimate fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy about the birth of a child to a virgin. It was surely an act of mercy that Judah was delivered from Assyria. But oh, what grace and mercy to think about Christ’s birth. Jesus, the second person of the Trinity, became flesh and dwelt among us. He was born to eternally set his people free from sin, death, and the devil.

Our only hope of salvation is God himself. We could never be redeemed from our misery by our own strength. We must be delivered by the mighty hand of the LORD. He stepped into creation to be with us, achieving our victory in our greatest battle.

Song: For Unto Us a Child Is Born