Wednesday, December 23, 2015

LSB 357 O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,        Click Here For Music
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!
Public domain

Isaiah 7:10-14

Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz, 
“Ask a sign of the LORD your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.” 
But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I will not put the LORD to the test.” 
And he said, “Hear then, O house of David! 
Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also? 
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. 
Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Matthew 1:21, 23

"She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins...
Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).

Isaiah gives comfort to God's people in Jerusalem promising them that God is with them. The Immanuel promise affirms that God will not leave them even while other kings and nations would like to overthrow Judah's armies. The Syrian military threat to Jerusalem was real. If God were to remove His protection, Jerusalem would not be able to stand. King Ahaz was not counting on the LORD's protection; Ahaz was looking for help from Egypt. Ahaz hoped that if Egypt were on his side he would have a better “Master” than with Syria.
Isaiah points Ahaz to the LORD. The LORD is faithful. The LORD will have compassion on His people. The LORD will save them from Syria. Ahaz does not need to be afraid. He does not need to go running to Egypt for help, but to the LORD. 
The Immanuel promise affirms that God remains – always. Enemies will rise up against His servants to knock them down, and drag them off to death and hell if they can. God affirms that He will be with us to save us from our enemy. Ahaz was worried about Syria and his fear paralyzed his faith. Jesus' promise in the face of fear? “Behold, I am with you always. Even to the end of the age.”