Happy Sunday, everyone!
Today we are doing a word study on the most requested Christmas-related word: Emmanuel.
First off, we know from Matthew 1:23 that Emmanuel means “God with us.”
“Behold, the virgin will conceive and give birth to a Son, and they shall name Him Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.”
The Hebrew word for Emmanuel is “Immanuel,” which directly translated means “with us is God.”
The word Immanuel comes from the Hebrew words “im” and “el“. Im means beside or with and El means God (kind of like Elohim I think).
Immanuel is used twice in the Old Testament, once in Isaiah 7 and once in Isaiah 8.
In the first instance, God is talking to Ahaz (through Isaiah) telling him “not [to] be fainthearted” and telling him of what is going to happen (Isaiah 7:4). If you’d like more context I suggest reading Isaiah 7 for yourself and maybe look at something like this to understand the greater context.
After emphasizing the need for Ahaz to wholeheartedly believe what He is telling him, the LORD tells Ahaz to ask for a sign and to “make it deep as Sheol or high as heaven” (Isaiah 7:11), Ahaz refuses and claims he will not “put the Lord to the test” (Isaiah 7:12).
The LORD rebukes him for his arrogance and says that the Lord himself will give Ahaz a sign. The sign of Immanuel, conceived by a virgin.
“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and she will name Him Immanuel. He will eat curds and honey at the time He knows enough to refuse evil and choose good. For before the boy knows enough to refuse evil and choose good, the land whose two kings you dread will be abandoned.”
It seems in this case that there were multiple fulfillments of the prophecy, one right then, and one later, when Christ was born. Because while this is the very prophecy quoted by Matthew in reference to Jesus’ birth, it was also fulfilled in Ahaz’s lifetime (before the boy conceived knew enough to refuse evil and choose good).
The Greek word used by Matthew in Matthew 1:23 to refer to Jesus’ virgin birth is “Emmanouél” which is a messianic title that means, as does the Hebrew word, God with us.
Whenever I think of “God with us” I think of the last part of Hebrews 13:5 where it quotes from the Old Testament and reminds us that “He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (ESV).
God is with us always and will never forsake us. He is always there for us to turn to and one day he will take us to be with Him forever. Never fear! He is there for you.
“Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or in dread of them, for the Lord your God is the One who is going with you. He will not desert you or abandon you.”
Another verse I think of when I think of God with us is Ezekiel 37:27 and the verses surrounding.
“I will make a covenant of peace with them. It shall be an everlasting covenant with them.
And I will set them in their land and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in their midst forevermore.
My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Then the nations will know that I am the Lord who sanctifies Israel, when my sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.”
-Ezekial 37:26-28 (ESV)
Something about that verse “my dwelling place shall be with them…I will be their God…they shall be my people” makes me a little homesick for heaven.
God is with us indeed. But I simply can’t wait to truly see Him face to face and sit at his feet and worship him! I can hardly even imagine a glimpse of what it will be like. Won’t it be glorious, when we are truly His people and He is truly our God? Then we’ll be truly with him forever and ever.
I hope you enjoyed and were encouraged by this post! I’m a little later in the day than I was planning on being but oh well! I think I needed a little more time on this post, as short as it is.
Thanks for reading! See y’all tomorrow for Day 8. Can you believe it’s only 5 more days until Christmas????!?
Song of the Day: O Come O Come Emmanuel by Joshua Aaron
O Come O Come Emmanuel was a pretty intuitive choice for today, but what’s even cooler is the version I chose! It’s sung with more traditional Hebrew pronunciation and has sections that are actually sung in Hebrew!!! It’s so cool. Plus it’s sung live from the Tower of David.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.”
“And they will fight against you but they will not overcome you, for I am with you to save you,” declares the Lord.”
“In My Father’s house are many rooms; if that were not so, I would have told you, because I am going there to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I am coming again and will take you to Myself, so that where I am, there you also will be.”
*All scripture quotations are from the NASB translation unless otherwise noted