Fulfilled Prophecies: The Virgin Birth
By Lee Warren
Old Testament Prophecy:
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin
shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Around seven hundred years before Jesus was born, a man named Isaiah
told King Ahaz that a time was coming when a virgin would have a child
named Immanuel. Isaiah didn’t make this up. He was just telling
King Ahaz what God had told him.
Parents who lived during Bible times often chose names for their children
that meant something special. Immanuel means “God with us.”
At that time only men like Isaiah, who was called a prophet, could receive
messages from God. But amazingly, Isaiah spoke about a time when God
would be with people like you and me.
Isaiah’s words came true in the first chapter of the Book of
Matthew, verses 18 to 23. Matthew writes that an angel appeared to a
man named Joseph and told him that the woman he was engaged to, named
Mary, was going to have a child named Jesus. This Jesus was actually
God’s Son, even though He would be born to Mary. The Bible says
that Jesus was God in human form. For the first time in history, as
Isaiah had said to King Ahaz, God was indeed with us.
King Ahaz was a wicked ruler who even sacrificed his own son in a
fire (see 2 Kings 16:1–4). But God intended to preserve what is
known as His “remnant,” or the family line from Abraham
to Jesus (see 2 Kings 19:30–31 and Matthew 1:1–17). Thus,
He came to the aid of King Ahaz when Judah was on the verge of war with
Syria, which had joined forces with Israel.
Isaiah 7:2 describes the people of Judah as shaking in fear at the
prospect of being conquered by Syria and Israel. That’s when God
sent Isaiah to tell them not to be afraid, calling Syria and Israel
“two smoldering stumps of firebrands” (Isaiah 7:4). God,
through the prophet Isaiah, proclaimed that He was in complete control
and would not allow the attack to take place.
After King Ahaz appeared to show respect for God by saying that he
would not test Him (Isaiah 7:12), amazingly, God went even further to
save Judah from imminent danger. He told them about the coming Messiah
named Immanuel, a name that means “God with us.” God was
informing His people that He planned to come to earth as a baby so that
all of humankind could have access to His saving power.
At this point in Judah’s history, God spoke through His prophets
and He accepted animal sacrifices by priests to atone for the sins of
His people. But for God to say that He planned to come to earth in the
form of a baby and live among His people spoke about a closeness between
God and humans that His people had never considered. Needless to say,
the people began to get very excited to see the long awaited Christ
Some seven hundred years later, Joseph and Mary, who were from the
city of Nazareth, were engaged to be married. Mary, still a virgin,
was “found to be with child from the Holy Spirit” (Matthew
1:18). An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him
that his wife-to-be would deliver the Christ child.
The wait was over. The Messiah was about to be born and God would no
longer dwell in tents or tabernacles. Instead, He would live and eat
and walk among both kings and commoners.
As you begin to look forward to Christmas, rejoice that your Savior,
King, and God loved you enough to take on flesh and be born as a baby
in a world full of sinners.
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