Summary: Christmas Time Sermon.
Emmanuel - God With Us
It was to the wicked King Ahaz, who had built his hope of deliverance upon the covenant with the King of Assyria, that the prophet spoke this word of the Lord. Ahaz was the thirteenth king of Judah of the line of David (742-725 B.C.). In 741 B.C. this wicked king was alarmed that Rezin, the king of Syria, and Pekah, the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, had joined forces to invade Judah and place their own king on the throne in Jerusalem. Ahaz refused to trust God to provide protection; instead, he took some gold out of Solomon’s temple and sent it to the king of Assyria, hoping for his protection. It was at this time that God told the prophet Isaiah ("The Lord Saves") to go with his son Shear-jashub ("A Remnant Shall Remain") and meet Ahaz in an attempt to ask him to trust God rather than Assyria, for all three nations had already been scheduled to be destroyed by God within the next sixty-five years (676 B.C.). (Assyria invaded Syria and Israel, taking them into captivity in 721 B.C. [Isaiah 7:1-9].)
"Ask a sign for yourself from the LORD your God; make it deep as Sheol or high as heaven" (Isaiah 7:11). Isaiah said to King Ahaz, "You are surrounded by the kings of Syria and Israel, and you are placing your hope in Assyria to save Judah. I have good news: God wants you to ask for a sign which he will accomplish based on your faith in him on behalf of his people. Ahaz, you have a history of God’s actions in the past, from the redemption of the Jews from the land of Egypt and the destruction of their army, to the crossing of the Red Sea and the conquest of Canaan, to the establishment of the kingdom of David and Solomon. So, Ahaz, think deeply, so that God’s people will have their faith in him restored and the surrounding nations will be drawn to him for salvation, as they see how he delivered you from your enemies." But Ahaz said, "I will not ask, nor will I test the LORD!"
The king told Isaiah in so many words, and with a proud heart, "I don’t need God’s help. I have already hired the Assyrian army to save us." But thank God for verse 14 because here God makes a promise to the people Judah; " Therefore the Lord Himself shall Give you a sign; Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel. We find the fulfillment of this prophecy in Matthew 1:21. We find the Lord Jesus in the 28 chapter of Matthew verse 20 telling His Disciples " lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of this world. Then we hear the great apostle assuring the Hebrews of this promise in Heb 13:5 " for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee ". I want to assure you that He is Emmanuel, " God with us ".
Some may ask when is He with me. I realize that there are times in your life when you feel that God is nowhere to be found. You feel as though you searched high and low to find God, but to no avail. You heart has been broken and fear has gripped your life. You come to your wits end and you are down to the last straw, and the only question on your mind is where is God, is He with me in all that I am going through. Yes God is with you in all that you are going through, He is with you in all that you face. All we need to do is trust God. In verse 9 of Isaiah 7 the prophet tells Ahaz, " if ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established ".
Look at the times that God is with us:
I. God is with us in the times we are tempted to quit:
- Isaiah 7:1, "And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up toward Jerusalem to war against it, but could not prevail against it.
- Isaiah 7:2 "And it was told the house of David, saying, Syria is confederate with Ephraim. And his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the wood are moved with the wind."
- Exodus 14:10, "And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the LORD."