Birthed by a Virgin
Written by: Krissie Stempuzis Wendel
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All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means "God is with us").
- Isaiah 7:14 NLT
I hate to interrupt your Hallmark binge fest ladies, but can I talk about Isaiah 7:14 for a moment?
Okay, fine. It’s my Hallmark binge fest that needs interrupting.
Isaiah 7:14 - we’re talking 735 years before Christ. I can’t help but wonder what it would have been like to live back then? The world around you is in utter crisis and disarray. Your region is in the middle of a war and being led by a stubborn and prideful leader named King Ahaz. A prophet (person who speaks for God) named Isaiah goes to your King and shares an extremely important prophecy from God, but the King refuses to accept and believe God’s promise and continues to lead how he sees fit. So Isaiah makes the announcement to everyone in your vicinity:
“All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’)
- Isaiah 7:14 NLT
Okay. So God’s going to give us all a “sign” (a miracle that is performed to provide evidence for the truth)? That “sign” is going to come to fruition in the form of a virgin giving birth to a baby boy that was to be called Immanuel? Nonsense. Disgraceful. Cancelled. That’s what I’d be thinking.
Isaiah delivered a message from God that a greater sign was yet to come; Christ, yet to come. It must have been difficult for them to wrap their heads around such a message. And they probably didn’t understand the significance of this crucial prophecy at the time.
Fast forward to Matthew 1:18-24. Joseph was contemplating breaking his engagement with Mary (mother of Christ) when he learned that she (supposedly a virgin) was pregnant. During his thinking process, one of God’s angels appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
Verse 22 continues, “All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord's message through his prophet [Isaiah]. ‘Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).’”
Let me get this straight. God wants you to marry a virgin that’s pregnant and you’re not the father. Oh yeah, and this kid is going to end up saving people too. Again, another scenario that would be difficult to wrap your head around.
God knew Joseph would need reassurance, just as He knew King Ahaz did. And just like He sent a messenger to Ahaz, He sent a messenger to Joseph. Yet, their responses were opposite of each other. Ahaz refused and ignored God’s message. Joseph responded in a God-honoring way. He accepts God’s message by believing and marrying the virgin Mary. Joseph’s response reminds me that I don’t need to understand or comprehend in order to believe and respond in faith.
Jesus existed before His mother. He is God in human flesh yet born apart from human flesh. He wasn’t just born on earth; He came down from Heaven for the specific purpose to rescue us. Rescue you. Jesus, Son of God. From Christ, yet to come in Isaiah 7:14 to a prophecy fulfilled in Luke 24. God always fulfills His promises and generously sends us assurance along the way to help us believe and respond in faith.
Sister, I want to encourage you. I don’t know what you’ve personally experienced this past year or what you’re going through right now, but God does. God knows what you needed back then, what you need now, and what you’ll need up ahead. He is still a generous God that gives us signs in whatever way He seems fit. Will you be still long enough to recognize His messenger and have enough faith to believe and respond in a God-honoring way?
1. In what ways has this prophecy being fulfilled impacted your life personally?
2. Who has God put in your life that He’s used to relay a message to you? How did you respond to that message?
Heavenly Father, thank You for fulfilling the prophecy of Jesus being born of the virgin Mary. Thank You for Your generosity in sending messengers to help us along the way. Please help me be aware of Your messengers and give me the faith to believe and respond in ways that bring You honor. And please forgive me when I make mistakes. In Your name I pray, Amen.
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