The prophecies in Isaiah introduce us to Jesus' prophetic names. When Jesus came to earth, He fulfilled all the prophecies about Him in the Old Testament, indicating He is a faithful promise-keeper. The prophecies in Isaiah regarding Jesus' names remind us that He is the ultimate comforter, protector, and source of peace.
Immanuel – God with Us
Isaiah 7:14 introduces the Immanuel prophecy, reminding us that God is with us wherever we go. After Syria and Israel joined forces against Judah, Isaiah went to Ahaz, the king of Judah, to deliver a message from the Lord. The Lord offered to give Ahaz a sign that He was with him, but Ahaz refused.
Initially, it seemed wise for Ahaz not to test God by requesting a sign. However, it is not wrong to test God if He asks you to test Him. God gives one of many prophecies in Isaiah 7:7-9, communicating the battle's outcome to Ahaz through Isaiah. He promises that the nations will not prevail against Israel, and Isaiah calls Ahaz to trust His promise. But Ahaz chose not to trust God and instead made his own plans. His heart was not to honor God but to ignore any evidence he had to trust Him.
Although Ahaz did not ask for it, God gave him a sign demonstrating His power and sovereignty. Isaiah prophesied of a virgin bearing a Son and naming Him Immanuel, meaning God with us. If God was with Ahaz and the people of Judah, they had no reason to fear the coming conflict.
Immanuel reminds us to trust that God is with us wherever we go.
The people of Judah were terrified by the armies and fearful of the conflict. They did not trust the Lord to protect and deliver them. Ahaz led from a heart of fear and chose to fight his enemies alone rather than letting God fight their battles.
God is with us in every aspect of our lives. He comforts, upholds, protects, defends, guides, and walks with us through every temptation and trial we face. Jesus fulfilled all the prophecies about Him, so we have no reason to trust that He will not keep His promises to us.
Jesus' Governmental Names
The prophecies about the coming Child brought hope and light to Israel while under attack from her enemies. The northern tribes suffered severely when the Assyrian army invaded the Promised Land. In Isaiah 9:6, God promised the northern tribes of Israel that the dark cloud of oppression would not stay over them permanently and that a light would shine on them. That light would be Jesus, the promised Messiah, and the kingdom He would establish. His arrival brought great joy and indicated ultimate victory, not over a physical enemy but sin and death.
Jesus' governmental names remind us that He is worthy of our worship.
Our God is worthy of our worship because He humbled Himself to become a man, live among us, and die for our sins so we could have a personal relationship with Him. He broke the yoke of our burdens and gave us His rest (Matthew 11:28-29). He broke the rod of our oppressors and gave us victory. Through Him, we have the power to overcome any trial. We serve a victorious King who is Wonderful. He is our Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. He will reign with judgment and justice for eternity.
Messiah – Savior
God used Caesar's census decree to bring Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem, where the prophecies in Isaiah said Jesus would be born. While they were there, Mary gave birth to her firstborn Son. Verse 7 says she “wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.” Jesus was not born in a cozy house and placed in a warm bed. He was wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. This was quite a simple and anticlimactic entrance for the King of the world.
The shepherds were the first recipients of the gospel, the good news that Jesus had come to earth. This says something about what God thinks of His people. He did not go to the nobles first but to the lowly outcasts. God cares deeply for all His children and does not view some as more important than others. After the first angel finished announcing Jesus' birth, a host of angels appeared and proclaimed glory to God. This incredible announcement marked the fulfillment of prophecies the Jews had anticipated for years.
When God sent the Messiah, He thought of you.
For many Christians who hear this story year after year, it may seem redundant. But picture yourself in this story. You have heard about the Messiah your whole life. You have grown up with your parents and grandparents talking about the coming Messiah and hearing the prophecies about His coming. Then suddenly, a host of angels tells you He is here! He has come! God has not forgotten His promise. He thought of you when He sent His Son and wants you to proclaim His glory and peace to the people around you.
Jesus fulfilled all the prophecies about Him in the Old Testament and embodied each of the characteristics His name describes. Because of Him, we have hope when we are under attack and confidence that He is always aware of our needs. He is worthy of our worship because He is sovereign and holy, but He is not too mighty to stoop down and tend to the needs of His people.
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