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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Fulfilled Prophecies: The Virgin Birth

Old Testament Prophecy:
"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." Isaiah 7:14 (NKJV)

Family Devotion

Around 700 years before Jesus was born, a man named Isaiah told King Ahaz that a time was coming when a virgin would have a child named Immanuel. Isaiah didn’t make this up. He was just telling King Ahaz what God had told him.

Parents who lived during Bible times often chose names for their children that meant something special. Immanuel means “God with us.” At that time only men like Isaiah, who was called a prophet, could receive messages from God. But amazingly, Isaiah spoke about a time when God would be with people like you and me.

Isaiah’s words came true in the first chapter of the Book of Matthew, verses 18 to 23. Matthew writes that an angel appeared to a man named Joseph and told him that the woman he was engaged to, named Mary, was going to have a child named Jesus. This Jesus was actually God’s Son, even though He would be born to Mary. The Bible says that Jesus was God in human form. For the first time in history, as Isaiah had said to King Ahaz, God was indeed with us.

Going Deeper

King Ahaz was a wicked ruler who even sacrificed his own son in a fire (see 2 Kings 16:1-4). But God intended to preserve what is known as His “remnant,” or the family line from Abraham to Jesus (see 2 Kings 19:30-31 and Matthew 1:1-17). Thus, He came to the aid of King Ahaz when Judah was on the verge of war with Syria, which had joined forces with Israel.

Isaiah 7:2 describes the people of Judah as shaking in fear at the prospect of being conquered by Syria and Israel. That’s when God sent Isaiah to tell them not to be afraid, calling Syria and Israel “two smoldering stumps of firebrands” (Isaiah 7:4). God, through the prophet Isaiah, proclaimed that He was in complete control and would not allow the attack to take place.

After King Ahaz appeared to show respect for God by saying that he would not test Him (Isaiah 7:12), amazingly, God went even further to save Judah from imminent danger. He told them about the coming Messiah named Immanuel, a name that means “God with us.” God was informing His people that He planned to come to earth as a baby so that all of humankind could have access to His saving power.

At this point in Judah’s history, God spoke through His prophets and He accepted animal sacrifices by priests to atone for the sins of His people. But for God to say that He planned to come to earth in the form of a baby and live among His people spoke about a closeness between God and humans that His people had never considered. Needless to say, the people began to get very excited to see the long-awaited Christ child.

Some 700 years later, Joseph and Mary, who were from the city of Nazareth, were engaged to be married. Mary, still a virgin, was “found to be with child from the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:18). An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him that his wife-to-be would deliver the Christ child.

The wait was over. The Messiah was about to be born and God would no longer dwell in tents or tabernacles. Instead, He would live and eat and walk among both kings and commoners.

As you begin to look forward to Christmas, rejoice that your Savior, King, and God loved you enough to take on flesh and be born as a baby in a world full of sinners.

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