Have you ever wondered why we sing songs about Emmanuel at Christmas, or why it was said that the Messiah would be called by this name and yet he never was? I have. Isaiah 7 foretells of what the angel told Joseph in Matthew 1:18-25. Before we read Isaiah, the following is important to know.
John the Baptist told of the twofold ministries of our Lord.
Matthew 3:11-12. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
Jesus’ ministry and the glorious accomplishments of His substitutionary sacrifice on the cross are elaborated in great detail in the New Testament. The part about the “chaff with unquenchable fire,” the wrath of God, and eternal damnation for the unsaved is written but not with near the detail. On the other hand, the Old Testament substantially communicates the end times’ tribulation and God’s wrath.
Jesus is indeed our savior, redeemer, and restorer. When he returns, he will also be the judge, revenger, and enforcer.
Revelation 19:11-16. And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war.
His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself.
He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.
And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses.
From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.
And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
Ahaz, the king of Judah, was a wicked man who shunned Yahweh to worship false gods. He desecrated Yahweh’s holy temple and placed a false idol within to be worshipped in His stead. His own children were offered as a burnt offering. During his reign, the kings of Aram and Israel leagued together against Judah. Ahaz went to the king of Assyria for help rather than to Yahweh. Isaiah, the prophet, approached Ahaz offering to deliver the kingdom on behalf of Yahweh. Isaiah told Ahaz to ask for a sign from God that would reassure him to have faith in Yahweh. He refused to ask because he did not believe in Yahweh. Isaiah said, OK, God would give him a sign.
Isaiah 7:14-16. “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.
“He will eat curds and honey at the time He knows enough to refuse evil and choose good.
“For before the boy will know enough to refuse evil and choose good, the land whose two kings you dread will
Deliverance from these two kings indeed did happen in spite of Ahaz. However, the ones whom Ahaz relied upon instead of Yahweh, the Assyrians, would destroy his kingdom.
Isaiah 8:6-8. “Inasmuch as these people have rejected the gently flowing waters of Shiloah and rejoice [melt from fear] in Rezin and the son of Remaliah;
Now therefore, behold, the Lord is about to bring on them the strong and abundant waters of the Euphrates, Even the king of Assyria and all his glory;
And it will rise up over all its channels and go over all
Then it will sweep on into Judah, it will overflow and
It will reach even to the neck; And the spread of its wings will fill the breadth of your land, O Immanuel.
Chapter five describes God’s wrath upon Judea by the Assyrians again because of their idolatrous and sinful behavior. Chapter 6 focuses on the commission of Isaiah and can be considered an interlude between chapters 5 and 7. Although the name “Immanuel” means “God is with us,” the context is referring to God’s wrath. To those of faith during God’s wrath, Jesus will be Immanuel, God is with us, but to the unbelievers, he is the judge, revenger, and enforcer.
The reason Jesus has not yet been call “Immanuel” is he has not yet come back to “thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” He has many names he has not yet been called. Look again at Revelation 19 above – he will be called faithful and true, a name written that no one knows except him, the word of God, and King of kings and Lord of lords.