Sunday rest and reflection: Immanuel

Greetings!  God bless your day of rest!  God is with us and we are safe and secure in His amazing love!

As we have read through the books of Solomon and now are beginning Isaiah, there are many topics that we could reflect on.  We could reflect on the life of Solomon who began so well.  He was visited by the Lord and was told that he could ask the Lord for anything.  Solomon wisely chose to ask for wisdom to govern the people of God.  God gave him wisdom and riches and honor as well.  (1st Kings 3:5-12)  He had this wisdom and wrote it down for us in the book of Proverbs.  He later violated the Word of God and took many wives from many lands.  These women corrupted him and led him into idolatry.  The book of Ecclesiastes is written later in his life and is a depressing account of his quest to find meaning in life under the sun!  The Song of Songs was probably written early in his life when he was close to God.

Even wise men go astray and God knew that man needed something more than a temple and animal sacrifices.  Just seeing God in a vision or having a Word from Him failed to prevent a man’s downfall.  Isaiah was given the task of telling God’s backslidden people, these descendants of David and Solomon, about God’s plan.  About 700 years before Christ, Isaiah spoke a word from the Lord which was written down for us.  “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign:  The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”  (Isaiah 7:14)  (Matthew 1:20-23) Matthew quoted this verse in his recounting of the birth of Jesus Christ, saying that Jesus’ birth was a fulfillment of what the Lord had spoken through the prophet Isaiah!

Mankind experienced “God with us” in the physical person of Jesus Christ for 33 years.  He lived among His people, the Jews.  They saw Him and heard His authoritative teaching and experienced His miraculous works.  His bigger goal was to have each of His followers throughout history to be indwelled with the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit would be “God with us” to each individual as well as to His people when they gathered together in His name.  For nearly 2000 years this special empowerment has been available to believers everywhere who have asked for it.  ‘God with us’ is the mark of the New Testament Christian.  ‘God with us’ keeps us fresh and moving towards the goal of seeing the Lord.  We are so blessed to live in the wonderful dispensation of “Immanuel”!

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