Hallelujah, What a Gift!


Ready for another Christmas devotion? Grab your journal and pen and read Isaiah 7:10-15 and Isaiah 9:6-7. The prophet Isaiah is the prophet most quoted in the New Testament. The first 39 chapters of his prophesy focus on God’s requirement of obedience to His law and His judgement on those who live in disobedience. Chapters 40-48 focus on God’s comfort of Israel, His plan to redeem a remnant, and His expanding of salvation beyond the borders of Israel to the whole world. Chapters 49-53 focus on the first coming of Messiah Who would pay with His life for the forgiveness of sins. Chapters 54-66 focus on the distant future – the coming of Messiah’s eternal Kingdom. That’s interesting! 39 chapters on obedience to the law, eight chapters on God’s plan for comfort and redemption, five chapters on the One Who would save us from the penalty for our disobedience, and 13 chapters on the future eternal Kingdom of God. 39 chapters deal with God’s Law and 27 deal with the unfurling of His plan which came to fruition with the birth of a little boy in Bethlehem.

700 years before the Jesus was born, Isaiah received an assignment from God. In Isaiah 7:10-15, we get our first glimpse of a miraculous conception and birth. Ahaz, King of Judah, had sought to purchase an alliance with the Assyrians for protection from Syria and the kingdom of Israel. Rather than trusting God to protect his kingdom, Ahaz put his trust in a human king. You can read more about him in 2 Kings 18 and 2 Chronicles 28.

Isaiah encouraged Ahaz to ask God for a sign to assure him. He refused so, Isaiah said, God will give you a sign.” The Hebrew word for virgin is “almah.” It can be translated as a young woman or a virgin. In common usage among Judeans, it most often referred to a young woman without sexual experience. The Hebrew word for sign is “oth.” In most instances in the Old Testament, this word is understood as a miracle or supernatural event.

Isaiah said, “The Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold. A virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.” Some believe this prophesy was only about the impending invasion of Judah. But it was also a prophesy of a future, one-time union between heaven and earth. In 9:6-7, the prophesy tells us of the human nature of the future Messiah Who would be conceived in the womb of a virgin named Mary. The Son given to us tells us of His deity, His equality with God, and His perfect nature. You can

read more about that in Philippians 2:3-11. This conception was a miracle beyond the scope of anatomy, biology, or the most current medical/scientific knowledge. This little boy was knit together in a virgin’s womb so that He might become the Truth and the Way to eternal, abundant Life. That this is a predictive prophesy was confirmed by the Gospel writer, Matthew, in Matthew 1:20-23. Jesus, Immanuel, God with us!