“Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, ‘Behold, a virgin shall be with child and shall bring forth a son and they shall call His Name, Emmanuel,’ which being interpreted is, ‘God with us’.”
It was comforting then; it’s still comforting now.
Translated as “God with us,” this Name given to the “Anointed One” from God Who would come was/is certainly a wonderful Name. And, it’s one we certainly need to remember in this day-and-age of “doom, despair and agony on me.”
There’s no doubt Joseph’s life was turned upside down that night when the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream (v.20a). He’d just found out his betrothed wife-to-be was pregnant. And, rather than have her stoned (as the Law prescribed), he “was minded to put her away privately” (v.19b).
This certainly speaks of his love and compassion for Mary, which sprang from his love for the Lord. Like Paul, he knew “the letter of the Law kills, but the spirit of the Law gives life” (II Cor. 3:6). Yet, this still didn’t lessen the deep sense of betrayal he felt in knowing Mary was pregnant by someone else.
That’s why the angel’s appearance to him in the dream was so significant. He needed to be reminded that God was with him in this crisis. So often, when our lives are in a turmoil, we somehow feel that God has forgotten or forsaken us, even though He said He’d never do anything like that (Heb. 13:5b; Ps. 46:1).
Yes, Joseph needed to know the God of Abraham was still with him.
And, he also needed to know his beloved fiancée hadn’t been messing around with someone else and was still the woman of faith and fidelity he’d been engaged to not long ago (v.20).
Implicit within this beautiful Name, “Emmanuel,” is the wonderful truth that “God is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Heb. 13:8). Truly, in Him “there is no variableness or shadow of turning” (James 1:17b) and “His compassions fail not and are new every morning” (Lam. 3:23). Hallelujah!!
No doubt we’re all familiar with the story of the man who dreamed one night of Jesus walking with him along the seashore. As they slowly walked together, the man recounted the many difficult times in his life and thanked the Savior for always being there with him. But, as he recalled one of the most severe crises of his life he noticed there was only one set of footprints in the sand—and this greatly bothered him.
Puzzled, (in the dream), he asked “But, Jesus, You said You’d always be with me through life. Why is there only one set of prints in the sand during that terrible time in my life?”
Quietly, Jesus replied, “It’s because I was carrying you, My child.”
Go forth today in the calm assurance that Emmanuel is present in every situation.
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated December 23, 2010