Life's busy, read it when you're ready!

Create a free account to save articles for later, keep track of past articles you’ve read, and receive exclusive access to all RP resources.

Search thousands of RP articles

Articles, news, and reviews that celebrate God's truth.

Get Articles Delivered!

Articles, news, and reviews that celebrate God's truth. delivered direct to your Inbox!


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

Enjoyed this article?

Get the best of RP delivered to your inbox every Saturday for free.