This past Sunday I preached on chapter 7 of Isaiah, which includes the promise of the birth of Christ: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (v.1). Isaiah delivers this prophecy in the context of his interaction with Ahaz, the king of Judah. The question he puts before Ahaz is: will he trust in the Lord to deliver him from his enemies, Syria and the northern kingdom of Israel, or will he trust in his own devices? The Lord, speaking through Isaiah, gave Ahaz every reason why he should trust in him to protect Judah. But in his unbelief, Ahaz instead put his hope in the king of Assyria to save him. The result was disastrous; Assyria would be no savior for Judah but rather a destroyer. Ahaz shows us the folly of rejecting the Word of God and of entrusting ourselves to anything other than him for our salvation.
But the sign of the virgin birth was not only, or even primarily, a sign for Ahaz but it is a sign for all of us. In the miraculous conception of Jesus Christ, God has given us a sign that we must trust in him for our redemption. He is the Son of God who became man, and as a man he lived the righteous life we have failed to live and he died the cursed death we deserve to die. For all who respond in faith to coming of the Christ, and trust in him for the forgiveness of sins, he is Immanuel, “God with us.”
Soli Deo Gloria!