God is With Us

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 ESV

King Ahaz of Judah was terrified. His two northern neighbors were attacking Judah intending to get rid of Ahaz and put their own man on the throne. Isaiah showed up and told Ahaz not to worry because Yahweh had everything under control. All Ahaz had to do was to trust God. Then Isaiah told the king that Yahweh would give him a sign that Ahaz could stand on. A little boy named “God with us” would be born.

We’re not told what Ahaz’s response was, but I think it might have been, “Is that all? I don’t need a baby. I need a monster-man!” But there it is. A baby named “God with us.” First of all, what does that name mean? It means that somehow, some way, God, the eternal, transcendent God, wants to share our lives. He wants to come alongside us in joy, in sorrow, in trouble, in excitement. He does not want to live in the lonely isolation of his holiness, watching us from far off. He wants to walk hand in hand with each of us. You are not alone.

But second, a baby? Yes, here is where Isaiah was probably speaking more than he knew. Is God’s being with us just a metaphor, a figure of speech, or is it a fact? It is a fact. God has found a way to enter into our human experience, and he has taken our humanness right from the outset. Like us, he entered the world as a baby. God knows every human experience, from birth to death, intimately, personally. There is nothing you can go through that he has not. You are not alone. He is with you. Walk into today with that confidence.

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