"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)
There are multiple directions we could go with this verse. We could focus on its prophetic significance as a clear-cut prediction of Israel's Messiah. We could also examine its historical significance as it came at a critical time in Israel's history. But in keeping with our study, we're going to set our sights on the divine name…Immanuel.
For starters, we need to know that this name, Immanuel, is being applied to God. More specifically, it's being attached to Jesus. Wait a second! Why is Jesus being called Immanuel? Aren't those two different names? Why not just call Jesus, Jesus?
As we've seen, God's nature is so all encompassing that it takes a multitude of names before we can even begin to cover who He is. And when it comes to the name Immanuel, it's a name that stresses a specific aspect about Him. So while Jesus is Jesus, He's also Immanuel. But what's the significance?
Immanuel is derived from another Hebrew word (im) that means with, beside, or among. Here's what's interesting: There's another Hebrew word that means "with" in a general sense. But this word is more specific because it carries the idea of "relational with-ness." It's not just "with" in the sense that you wear a T-shirt with a pair of shorts. It's "with" in the sense of a friend turning to another during a significant moment and saying, "I'm with you."
That's the heart of Immanuel. It means God is with us, and with us in a way that's close and relational. What a perfect name to describe Jesus, who was born into human flesh so he could literally be with us and establish a relationship with us. When you're feeling alone or abandoned, call upon Immanuel…the God who is always with you.
Think about it…
What does this passage reveal to me about God?
What does this passage reveal to me about myself?
Based on this, what changes do I need to make?
What is my prayer for today?