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December 16 – The sign of Immanuel’s virgin mother

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” – Isaiah 7:14

Scripture reading: Isaiah 7:1-14

The unbelief of Ahaz, king of Judah, stands in sharp contrast to the faith of the Virgin Mary. King Ahaz’s lack of faith in God was evident in how he responded to a crisis when King Rezin of Syria and King Pekah of Israel joined in an alliance to attack the kingdom of Judah. Ahaz did not seek direction or help from the LORD.

God sent Isaiah to meet with the king as Ahaz was inspecting the water reserves. The Lord commanded Ahaz to choose a sign, like a demonstration in the heavens. But Ahaz hypocritically refused to ask for a sign, claiming that he didn’t want to tempt God.

In response, the Lord Himself gives a sign to Judah. A virgin would give birth to a child who would be named “Immanuel.” Many commentators have thought that this prophecy had a double fulfillment. They think that a virgin who was a contemporary of King Ahaz got married and then had a child.

I think that the reference is solely to the Virgin Mary who, 700 years later, would become pregnant. Both the Hebrew and Greek words for “virgin” refer to a young lady of marriageable age who had never engaged in the act of marriage. In fulfillment of this prophecy, Mary gave birth to the Saviour, Who was the Son of the Highest. The name “Immanuel” reveals that God will dwell with His people. God dwelt with us becoming incarnate in the womb of the Virgin Mary. He continues to indwell us by His Spirit.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that you would have a deep sense of how Jesus is with you by His Spirit. Pray that you would not grieve the Holy Spirit by how you use your bodily members.

Rev. Nathan Brummel is Professor of Systematic Theology and New Testament at Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary, and an associate pastor at Immanuel United Reformed Church in DeMotte, Indiana. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.

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"Be Fruitful and Multiply" tour comes to Albertan April 19-22

Families are having fewer babies, and the world’s population is expected to peak and then decline later this century. The world isn’t prepared for the impact that this is going to have. However, what may be the greatest challenge of this century can also be a huge opportunity for the Church to shine…. if we embrace the blessing of children, and are prepared to raise them faithfully.

In this presentation, Reformed Perspective’s Mark Penninga will unpack data, history, and God’s Word to make the case for embracing the gift of children with open arms.

WHO IS THIS FOR?

Ages 16-116, single or married, children or no children, these presentations are suitable for all mature Christians.

WHEN AND WHERE?

Edmonton: April 19 at 7:30 pm at Immanuel Canadian Reformed Church

Barhead: April 20 at 7:30 pm at Emmanuel United Reformed Church

Ponoka: April 22 at 7:30 pm at Parkland Reformed Church

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