“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”
This ancient prophecy was given to Ahaz, king of Judah, while Jerusalem was surrounded by the armies of Aram and Israel, its ally, commanded by their bullying kings. The bad signals were overwhelming: these wicked men wanted to cause fear, divide and conquer the people of Judah. In the preceding verses, the prophet Isaiah delivered God’s message: “be careful, keep calm, do not be afraid and do not lose heart.” (Isaiah 7:4) Easier to say than to do, considering they were in huge danger.
God was so concerned about his people that he himself promised a sign of his presence: sending his own son, Immanuel, a name meaning “God with us.”
About eight hundred years later, the apostle Paul made a similar reflection in the book of Romans: If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all — how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
During this Advent season, let us be reminded that God cares for us. He is not only aware of our troubles, limitations, shortcomings and illnesses but is also interested in our wellbeing, desires, future and success.
God is our hope, today and tomorrow!