Isaiah’s Prophesy of Immanuel

Isaiah's prophesy of Immanuel
Isaiah’s prophesy of Immanuel

What Happened

About 700 years before the birth of Jesus, the prophet Isaiah made a bold prediction—God would send His own son to earth and He would be known as Immanuel (God with us). The prophet also wrote of the death of this man, with amazing detail (Chapter 53).

Isaiah wrote about the both the grace and the wrath of God. Even his name means “the Lord saves.” The prophet warns a sinful and idolatrous nation that God’s wrath will surely come. He follows that with the hopeful foretelling of the coming of Christ, the Messiah.

It is a remarkable book which encapsulates the entirety of God’s unfolding plan of salvation.

Why it matters

Isaiah warns that God will punish those who are rebellious, but also explains that God will redeem them. If God says it, He will do it.

Isaiah refers to God as “the Holy One of Israel.” Every detail Isaiah shares has either come true, or will come true. God has never gone back on His word.

Isaiah said the King would come from the House of David and Gospels would later outline the complete lineage of Jesus. The Gospel of Luke will show the royal linage of the Messiah. Isaiah also wrote of the virgin birth.

Isaiah’s name “God with us” is particularly interesting because that is exactly what Jesus was and is. God with us.

Bible Verse

13 Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of humans? Will you try the patience of my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

Isaiah 7: 13-14

Why it matters to you

The Bible’s story hinges on an accurate accounting of events. If an account is found to be inaccurate, or false, or if an event is nothing more than a fabrication, the truth of that will shatter the rest of the story.

The Bible is an unfolding story, an event-by-event account of man’s relationship with God. It’s not the whole story, but it’s the important pieces of the story.

Therefore, if the story is true, it matters to you because it was written to you, for your benefit. Isaiah accurately predicts the virgin birth and the crucifixion of Christ, some 700 years before it happened. The book is a microcosm of the Bible.


Isaiah gives a remarkably accurate account of the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ, in Chapter 53, giving a physical description, writing:

“ He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.”

Isaiah goes on to write of the crucifixion, predicting that the nation would turn on the Jesus:

“ He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.”

He predicts the trial and execution of Jesus. God’s grace is also brought out by the sacrifice of one man for the world:

“Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed”

The beauty of God’s grace is illustrated through His understanding of human nature. Isaiah writes:

“We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.”

Isaiah tells of the willingness of Jesus to die on the cross, 700 years before it happened. God’s judgment of man is carried out on His own son. Isaiah writes:

“We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.”

God’s wrath and God’s grace, the evil acts of men against good people are repeated in this book. But the prophet writes, in Chapter 61, the words that Jesus will repeat when making his formal announcement of his ministry:

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn…”

The prophet tells of the coming Kingdom of God, when Israel will be restored to its full glory, after God’s vengeance is satisfied and He has redeemed His people.

What you may not know

Isaiah refers to himself as “the prophet” and the book might have been written between 740-686 BC. He uses both prose and poetry, which help to punctuate the message and bring home important points about the birth of Jesus and that He continues to be with us.

David Reigns over ALL Israel

David King of Israel
David rules over ALL of Israel

What Happened

After God gave the promised land to the Israelites, the nation continued to grow but there was no formal government as such. There were judges, who presided over the country, but not a government as we know it.

The people wanted a king. God had promised that He would be with them and would guide them, and God did just that by selecting judges. But the people wanted more.

Israel wanted a king and God allowed this to happen. The people, not God, selected Saul, a strapping military man as their king. He looked like a king. God, however, had someone else in mind. God did not look at outward appearances, but rather to the heart and soul of the man He would select as king.

Saul put on appearances and did what was expected of a king, but he was not the kind of man God wanted on the throne of Israel. God sent the prophet Samuel to find the right king. Samuel went to the house of Jesse, whose many sons were all good candidates for the job.

God selects David as king

Samuel got a good look, but wondered where the youngest son was. Being the youngest, he was out tending the sheep while the other brothers were being examined. Samuel got Jesse to bring David to him and Samuel knew that David was the man God had selected. David was God’s selection because of his character.

Saul relished being king and was weary of David, even though David served in his court and had been loyal. David was also best friends with Saul’s son Jonathan.

Saul wants to kill David

Even though Saul wanted David killed, David did not want to kill Saul, because Samuel, under the instructions of God, had anointed Saul as king of Israel.

To do harm to Saul would be just like trying to do harm to God. David wanted no part of it. It was not until Saul’s death that David took the throne.

Why it matters

God selecting David is important because we need to understand that in all of history, in all things, God is in control. David wasn’t the tallest, or the strongest, although he was a good looking young man. This was not a popularity contest.

The people had selected Saul because of looks and popularity, but Saul was not the kind of king God wanted. While certainly not the perfect man, David knew that he needed to trust God and have faith. Through all of his mistakes in life, and even some very bad decisions, David always came back to God.

God selects Jesus as king

David is the first king of Israel selected by God, and Jesus is selected by God to be the king of everything.

Why it matters to you

How many times in our lives do people overlook us, or marginalize us? Are looks and social standing all that matter? How many parents have children that turn on them? David’s life is a good illustration of cause and effect, and how God’s forgiveness allows man to move forward and even prosper.

Understanding who David is gives us a better understanding of who God is and who Jesus is.

Bible Verse

“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

1 Samuel 16:7


The story of David is a classic example of how a people, who desire to follow God, can still fail. Even though they fail and may not achieve all they want in life, they can still be in right standing with God.

What you may not know

God is faithful and will stand by those who follow Him. For all of his faults, David still wanted to follow. He learned from his mistakes and did not repeat his offenses. David’s own son wanted to kill him and take his throne, but God had other plans.

The succession of David’s throne would lead to Jesus. David wanted to build a temple to God in Jerusalem. He got all of the money and materials, but God said no. David’s son, Solomon, built the temple.

The Israelites Cross the Jordan

Israelites crossing the Jordan River

What Happened

God led Moses and the Israelites to the Jordan River. Moses ordered a search team to go across and take a look. Twelve men, one from each tribe, made the journey. They saw the people in the land and were afraid. Only Joshua and Caleb were enthusiastic and urged them to take the land.

Angered at their disbelief, God prevented them from going into the promised land and made them wander for another 40 years. Even Moses had taken matters into his own hands and had offended God by his frustrations and lack of patience.

God told Moses he would not enter into the land, so he turned leadership over to Joshua. Moses went atop a mountain and looked into the Jordan Valley and saw the land that God had promised. There he died.

Joshua was now in charge. He led the Israelites cross the river, which God allowed by halting the water flow and making a dray path for them. The land was theirs for the taking.

Why it matters

God made promises to man, all of which He kept. Still man didn’t believe. This is a matter of faith. The Israelites saw miracle after miracle, yet in very short order, they did not have faith.

Doubting God and lacking faith is part of human nature and it is as true today as it was in the Sinai Desert when Moses lived.

Bible Verse

1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses.

Joshua 1:1-3

Why it matters to you

Forty years is a long time to wait for anything. Even when God did all the work, man still didn’t trust Him, so God allowed them to wander for 40 years more, until all that had doubted God had passed away, including Moses.

Even, Moses, the one man who did more than any other would not escape the judgment of God. In the years ahead, all this would become apparent through the history of Israel.


Joshua led Israel to the Jordan River. They camped there. Joshua sent two spies into the new land and the town of Jericho.

While there they received assistance and protection from a prostitute named Rahab. She knew that God had given the land to the Israelites. She told them how to escape the city without detection and then covered for them by deceiving the king.

She asked for their protection when the army would come and take the city, so they agreed that she would put a scarlet chord in the window and she and her family would be spared.

The Israelites enter the promised land

When Joshua and the Israelites crossed the Jordan, God went before them.

While in the wilderness, God had instructed them to build a tabernacle, a kind of portable temple. They created the Ark of the Covenant to carry the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments.

The Levites, the priests, carried the Ark across the dry path the Lord created for them in much the same way that He parted the Red Sea.

Joshua built an alter to honor God then set out for Jericho. Rather than attacking the city, they marched around it, for six days.

The walls of Jericho fall

On the seventh day they got up at daybreak, marched around the city seven times. The priests sounded the trumpets. Joshua ordered the army to shout. When they did that, the walls collapsed. The city was theirs and all of the riches. Rahab and her family were spared.

What you may not know

God promised the land to the Israelites, but it wasn’t exactly a free gift. There were many peoples already there and Israel would have to rely on the Lord to overcome their enemies. God’s covenant with man is based on trust and faith.

When man put his trust and faith in God’s provision, things went well. When man turned away, calamity followed. Sometimes, God’s instructions are difficult or seem strange. But it is God who did the work at Jericho. The people merely followed.

Moses Receives the Commandments

Moses Recieves the Commandments
God gives us the 10 Commandments

What Happened

Moses led his people out of Pharaoh’s grasp and out of captivity, and all along the way, God demonstrated His power and commitment to saving the Israelites. But the people got out in the desert and the complaining began.

They wanted water. They wanted food. God had never let them down, but it wasn’t enough. God decided it was time to formalize His expectations. He gave His LAW to Moses and the people. The first wave did not go well.

God spoke the commandments to all of the people of Israel

God ordered the people to wash their clothes and prepare to receive His Word. They gathered at the foot of Mr. Sinai and an amazing thing happened. Smoke swirled around the mountain and through the thunder and the wind, God spoke.

God spoke the commandments, for the first time, to all of Israel. They were terrified. They told Moses to let God speak to him and they will listen.

God carved His laws into stone tablets

The second encounter was personal, between God and Moses. God instructed Moses to leave the camp and go up the mountain. At that point, God Himself, gave detailed instructions for the tabernacle and all that was to go on. He carved His laws into stone tablets.

Moses was gone for over a month and the people started believing that he was dead. They started complaining and denying that God was with them at all. They formed a golden calf out of the spoils that they had taken from Egypt.

Even Moses’s brother Aaron was in on it. The people worshiped the golden idol and not God.

Moses pleads with God to spare Israel

God’s anger raged. He told Moses to leave and that He would destroy the people for defiling themselves. But Moses pleaded with God to spare them. God granted his plea and Moses returned down the mountain. He was greeted by Joshua, who was waiting for him.

When he saw for himself what was going on he ordered that all people who want to stand with God, to obey him and serve him, should stand aside. The priests came immediately.

Others chose to worship the golden idol. Moses ordered for the priests to take their swords and kill all those who chose to defy God. About 3000 people died that day. Then the Lord sent a plague because they worshiped the idol.

Why it matters

God’s commandments define moral law for all of man kind for the rest of time.What is right and what is wrong are defined by His law. Loving God, loving our neighbor, not telling lies, honoring our parents, not coveting, not murdering, not committing adultery, not stealing and much more are defined by the commandments.

God gives us His rules to help us understand right and wrong, good and bad, and how to live a life worth living. Giving us His commandments is one of God’s most important acts of love.

The Ten Commandments is one of the subjects children learn in Sunday School, but it is not necessarily a major topic for discussion in churches today. Since the beginning of time, God has guided man, His prize creation, to enter into a lasting and loving relationship. But man turned away from God.

The flood and the captivity in Egypt were both examples of the consequences of not honoring God. Turning away from God is called “sin” and God must turn away from sin.

To keep from sinning, men and women must obey the commandments to the letter. However, this is an impossibility, as everyone sins. Therefore, the story does not end with the Ten Commandments. It is barely beginning.

Bible Verse

18 When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance 19 and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.”

20 Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.”

21 The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.

Exodus 20:18-20

Why it matters to you

The Ten Commandments are very important to everyone today, because they are the basis of all western law, and define right and wrong for most of the world.

The commandments are carved in stone on the walls of the United States Supreme Court and free nations around the globe base their laws on these commandments. The Ten Commandments are simply a wise guide to getting along in life and being contented.

These laws are not so much rules and regulations as they are an invitation to be in right relationship to God. God wants to write His law on our hearts, to give us the opportunity to embrace them and make them our own.

It’s like telling a small child not to touch the fire, because you don’t want the child to be harmed and you want the child to enjoy life and be happy. But like small children, we go our own way.

The Ten Commandments warn us when we are getting too far away from God, they help us to understand how to be in the will of God and most importantly, they point to God Himself, what He has done for us and what He will do. They are vital for the relationship.


God gave His commandments twice – once to all of Israel in a display of power and majesty, and a second time in a private meeting with Moses, when God carved them into stone. Once again, like He did with Abraham, Issac and Jacob, God communicated in a very personal way.


The Ten Commandments

I. You shall have no other gods before Me.

II. You shall make no idols.

III. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

IV. Keep the Sabbath day holy.

V. Honor your father and your mother.

VI. You shall not murder.

VII. You shall not commit adultery.

VIII. You shall not steal.

IX. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

X. You shall not covet.

What you may not know

God’s commandments are absolute. That means that all of them must be obeyed. Any breaking of the law is sin, and God will not tolerate sin. God is holy and perfect.

If God were to go back on His word, he would be a liar. Therefore, God MUST take punitive action against sin.

Joseph Reveals His Identity

Joseph reveals his identity

What Happened

All of Israel/Jacob’s sons go to Egypt to escape famine in their land. Joseph is a leader in Egypt and forgives his brothers and allows them to settle in Egypt even though,years earlier, his brothers sold him into slavery.

Why it matters

This is the beginning of the story of Israel and how God used all of them to tell us His law and show us how much He loves all of us.

Bible Verse

Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still living?” But his brothers were not able to answer him, because they were terrified at his presence.

Genesis 45:3

Why it matters to you

Joseph forgave his brothers even though they sold him into slavery, teaching us that we also need to forgive the unforgivable and know that vengeance is God’s. God is perfect and His punishment of sin is perfect.


Joseph in the Bible

Jacob settled in his homeland, Canaan along with his wives and twelve sons. The youngest was Joseph and he was Jacob’s favorite. Because of that, there was jealousy and outright hatred among his brothers, who plotted to kill him. Joseph had told them of a dream he had in which the brothers would bow down to him.

One day, Jacob asked Joseph to go out and find out what his brothers were doing. That was a fateful decision. Joseph gladly went, but the result was a major turning point, not only for Joseph, but for what would become the nation of Israel.

The brothers saw him coming. Joseph was wearing a beautiful coat that his father had given him. Rather than kill him, they took the coat and decided to throw him into a pit and just let him die. But a caravan was coming towards them, so they made another decision.

They decided to sell him as a slave to the Ishmaelite traders who were taking spices, balm and myrrh to Egypt. They collected twenty pieces of silver for their brother. Later the brothers would kill a goat, drench Joseph’s coat in blood and present it to their father, saying Joseph had been killed by an animal.

Joseph Sold

Joseph was sold into slavery to a man named Potiphar, a member of the Pharaoh’s staff, the captain of the palace guard. Joseph found favor with Potiphar, and because of that, the Lord blessed him and brought prosperity to his household. Joseph was running the business, so to speak, and soon caught the eye of Potiphar’s wife, who tried to seduce him. Loyal to his master, Joseph rejected her advances. She kept it up, day after day. One day she grabbed him and pulled off his shirt. She ran away and claimed that he had tried to rape her. Potiphar was furious, of course, and had Joseph thrown into prison.

Joseph unfairly imprisoned

Joseph had no recourse. Shortly after, the Pharaoh’s cup bearer was imprisoned for an insulting remark. One night the cup bearer and a baker had bad dreams. Noticing their distressed expressions, Joseph asked them to tell him the dreams. He interpreted what they meant. Both the cup bearer and baker were called back to the palace and Joseph asked the cup bearer to remember him. It was some time before the cup bearer remembered his promise.

When the Pharaoh had a bad dream, the cup bearer told of Joseph, who was released from prison and sent to the palace. His interpretation of the Pharaoh’s dream was pleasing to the ruler, who put him on the staff. Soon, because of his intelligence and service to Pharoah, Joseph was given a place of high authority, virtually running the kingdom.

Famine breaks out in Canaan

Meanwhile, famine came to Jacob’s homeland. The brothers knew there was abundance in Egypt, so they set out to buy food. When they arrived Joseph recognized them immediately, but they did not recognize him. After all, they would not expect him to be running the country. Joseph put his brothers to the test, but did reveal himself to them.

Because of the famine, people came to Egypt from Canaan, including Jacob. The Hebrews immigrants at first, but as their numbers grew, the Pharaoh feared they would become a burden. Eventually, Israel was enslaved by the Egyptians. Then, an amazing sequence of events took place some 400 years later, as God moved to bring them out of bondage.

God uses evil for good

God works his plan through human interaction. Men and women may do an evil thing, but God can use that action for good. Joseph’s story is all about that amazing turnabout. It is a foreshadowing of the life of Jesus the Messiah, who was arrested, tortured and killed for doing no wrong. Yet God used that horrible event to save mankind.

What you may not know

Having all of the Israelites in bondage in Egypt allows all of Israel to hear God’s law and commandments in the wilderness once God frees them their bondage in Egypt.

Cain kills Abel

Cain kills Abel

What Happened

After the fall Cain, son of Adam and Eve, grew jealous of his brother, Abel, and killed him because of his uncontrolled rage.

Why It Matters

It is the first demonstration of the ramifications of the fall. Man is no longer in the garden and this is the first example of how sin will affect our relationships with each other.

Bible Verse

Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

Genesis 4:8

Why It Matters To You

We must be aware that sin exists in all of us and we need to ask God to help us to control our rage, and to help us to forgive rather than to try to seek revenge on our own terms.


Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”

“I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

Genesis 4:9

It was the first murder ever recorded. The story is found beginning in Genesis 4:1. Cain was the first child of Adam and Eve. Abel came later. Cain could be described as a farmer, one who grows crops, while Abel tended to animals. God had demanded a sacrifice. Abel took fattened portions of firstborn from his flock and offered it to God. Cain gathered some crops. God looked at Abel’s offering with favor, but did not give that favor to Cain.

Cain was despondent, but more importantly, he was angry. But God was compassionate and told Cain that if he did what was right, all would be well. God then told Cain that if he chose not to do the right thing, that sin was “crouching at this door” and it would overpower him. However, God also told Cain that he must resist the sin. Cain made a deadly choice.

Cain Kills Abel

Rather than making the correction, Cain killed his brother Abel. For what? Because Abel’s sacrifice was accepted by God and Cain’s was not. Abel did what God asked him to do, but Cain decided to do it his own way. God rejected the sacrifice, but gave him an opportunity to make it right. Rather than making the adjustment, a despondent Cain took it out on his brother, allowing his own pride to turn into rage.

God knew what had happened, but asked Cain where Able was. Cain answered in what has become one of the most famous statements in history, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” God drove him out of the land and warned that the ground would no longer yield crops for him. He would be a wanderer. Cain knew he had done wrong and feared that others would now kill him. God put a mark on him to make sure that would not happen. Even in pronouncing sentence, God also offered compassion.

We all make wrong decisions because of our free will

Again we see man making the wrong decision, exercising his free will to do evil. Rather than take responsibility, Cain blamed his brother. It is human nature. It is an example, like that of Adam and Eve eating the fruit from the forbidden tree, of man doubting God’s provision. This is important to all of us because our thoughts and our actions are so often completely self-serving. Rather than take responsibility, we pass it on. We all have a responsibility to God and to each other.

What You May Not Know

God tells us: “sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” We must turn toward God and seek to do what is right otherwise sin will dominate our lives.