Friday, December 24, 2010

Immanuel, the Warrior-With-Us

Just a short post for Christmas Eve, friends.

As I was meditating on Isaiah 7, the passage that Matthew quotes regarding "Immanuel," I was struck by the context of the promise and what it says to me today.

This has been my most anxious and fearful Christmas in a long, long time (maybe ever). The truth that God is with us, with me, has been a tender reminder of why Jesus came and how I can rely on him to stay with me while I fall apart, quietly and surely redeeming. The truth becomes even more powerful when I see in the context of Isaiah 7, that the "sign" of Immanuel is given by God to King Ahaz who is overwhelmed by anxiety and fear, a sign that God is present with him, faithful to all his promises.

Throughout the Scriptures God's presence "with" his people has meant several things:
1) God is present to fight for his people
2) God is present to forgive and bless his people

The fact that God was with Ahaz, and is with us in Christ, is a reminder that not only dwells with us powerful, forgiving support, but also that God fights for us.

Some texts:
When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.” (Judges 6:12 NIV)

On that day
they will say to Jerusalem,
“Do not fear, Zion;
do not let your hands hang limp.
17 The LORD your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:16-17 NIV)

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