Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14
At the time that Isaiah spoke this prophecy the nation of Judah was under a large threat from Assyria. Alliances were being pressured and formed. King Ahaz of Judah refused to align himself with the northern tribes because he had secretly made a pact with the Assyrians. He didn’t grab hold of God’s past deliverances and trust God to save him and his people.
Isaiah made his prophesy about the coming savior to the entire House of David as a warning to trust God and no one else. God is with us (“Immanuel”) in so far as we are willing to trust and believe Him.
God is with me. I hold on tightly to the knowledge that His Holy Spirit dwells in my heart, mind and soul. It’s a promise completely fulfilled with Jesus. And yet, I still occasionally fall into the trap of looking for a savior outside that promise. A chance to make more money, a politician who scatters promises like birdseed, a new diet to get me “back on track” or a vaccine that will make the world “normal” again.
My BSGs just finished a section in our study of Everyday Theology. It focused on scripture – its validity, relevance, purpose and origins. We discussed how our modern times reflect Biblical times in so many ways. Warring political factions, the lack of faith, and how the promises of God still stand true for today.
Our world needs to grab on to the truths of scripture. The Bible isn’t just some book some random guys put together. It is what the study author calls, “God-breathed.” There is no other book on the planet that has as much historical evidence to support what it says. I asked the group why did the author choose to start a book about theology with the topic of scripture rather than say, God?
One member responded quite rightly, “Because the Bible gives us the character of God so we can better understand who He is.”
I gave the visual of using an encyclopedia book – yes, the actual book. In the ole timey days we would hear about something and turn to the encyclopedia to learn more about it. We knew what was written in that book was true. No doubts. After reading all about say, Marie Curie, we could be assured we knew just about everything we needed to know.
That’s how we should view the Bible – the true and relevant encyclopedia about God. And know that it’s all true. So, when Isaiah prophesizes the birth of Jesus hundreds of years prior to his birth, we can see it as confirmation of the whole story being true.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
And knowing it is true – that Jesus came to be our savior and the Holy Spirit would dwell in us for all time – should cause us to look toward Him and hold on to Him as our only savior.