Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”
This verse is perhaps one of the most crucial parts of Scripture about the coming Messiah. Isaiah is writing about 700 years before the birth of Christ. The most important decision anyone will ever make is, “Whom do men say that I am?” This decision is an eternal decision. If Jesus is God, then we must do what He says.
The context of this passage is preparing for doom. Ahaz, the great-grandson of Uzziah, King of Judah, was being threatened by Rezin, King of Syria and Pekah, King of Israel. They were coming to destroy Judah. This would do away with the promise of a king to sit on the throne of David.
The history and fulfillment of these passages are seen in II Chronicles 28:5 and II Kings 15:37. Judah had become discouraged and defeated already because of the leadership of Judah. The leadership wearied the people and now were wearing God.
The sign was promised by God. The word “sign” according to Strong’s Concordance is translated “signal, flag, beacon, monument and evidence.” God had spoken about a faith Ahaz needed. Friends, there is nothing more Jesus could have done to prove He is the Messiah. People must believe in order to have the promises of God. There are times when we all struggle with faith.
There are more passages that speak of little faith or no faith than there are about great faith. Sometimes, I feel like the man in Mark 9:24 saying, “And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” Faith comes through God’s Word (Romans 10:17). Dr. Lee Roberson said, “You cannot have faith without a promise.”
The sign was unmatchable. A virgin shall conceive. If He had not been Immanuel, God with us, He could not have been Jesus (a savior). Without the virgin birth, Jesus could not have been God. Natural birth gives each and every one of us a sin nature. There is no other way to Heaven than through faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
The sign was in the name giving the greatest promise. He shall be called “Immanuel.” Dr. Ronnie Simpson gives this outline about this passage, “Immanuel -- “God with us”-- A Powerful Statement.”
a. “God”-- His person
b. “With”-- His presence -- Note the four connections of God and His people.
(1) Sovereign Lord -- He is “over us”
(2) Gracious Lord -- He is “for us”
(3) Living Lord -- He is “in us”
(4) Personal Lord -- He is “with us”
“Us”-- His purpose -- He came into the world to save sinners -- I Tim. 1:15
Every year, believers and unbelievers celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ without thinking about the sign given by God for deliverance from our sins.
Ahaz could have believed, but he did not and was carried into captivity. Multitudes could be set free, but only if they believe. This would be a good year to put Christmas where the holiday really belongs.