December 1

Then the Lord spoke again to Ahaz, saying, 11 “Ask a sign for yourself from the Lord your God; make it deep as Sheol or high as heaven.” 12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, nor will I test the Lord!” 13 Then he said, “Listen now, O house of David! Is it too slight a thing for you to try the patience of men, that you will try the patience of my God as well? 14 Therefore 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. (Isaiah 7:10-14)

Of all the messianic prophecies, Isaiah 7:14 contains perhaps one of the most well-known among believers today. This prophecy had what Christian scholars call a “near” and “far” fulfillment. The near fulfillment specifically related to King Ahaz and Jerusalem. The far fulfillment, however, has one clear, inarguable meaning—the miraculous birth of Christ by a virgin named Mary. Jesus was and is Immanuel, “God with us,” because of all the people born to a woman He alone was and is God.

Can you imagine the sense of anticipation the people of God experienced as they meditated on the words of Isaiah 7:14? So many lived and died before the promise of this prophecy ever came to fruition. Advent is our time to pause and share in the experience of eagerly awaiting the Messiah. We remember Christ’s birth, His death, and His resurrection, but we also anticipate. As we remember the ministry and salvation of Christ, we eagerly anticipate and wait for Christ’s return.

  1. How might your life change if you were to spend more time anticipating the return of Christ?
  2. What area of your life do you experience the most struggle?
  3. How can remembering Christ’s ministry bring you strength during times of difficulty and weakness?
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