K a i a o
The Lord will enlighten
they shall call his name Immanuel; which is, being interpreted, God with us.
And [Isaiah] said, Hear now, O house of David . . . Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14).
From Isaiah’s biblical account as revealed to him by God, we read for the first time God illuminating His deepest desire to fellowship with men by launching His purpose with a sign – Immanuel; which the angel further delineated – God with us – (Matthew 1:23).
The only other biblical reference we read of Immanuel is God expressing His lamenting heart: Forasmuch as this people have refused the waters of Shiloh, and rejoice over Rezin and the son of Remaliah . . . O Immanuel (Isaiah 8:6, 8). God’s people rebuff the peace and protection of Shiloh.
In the character of the heart of Immanuel is revealed an amazing disposition by His condescending emergence into His creation and the low estate of His appearance. Isaiah gives an account in the following revelation from God as regards Immanuel: For He grew up before Him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; He had no form or majesty that we should look at Him, and no beauty that we should desire Him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. (Isaiah 53:2-3)
God’s narrative reveals Immanuel’s emergence and appearance as nothing special; in fact it’s plainly portrayed and not much more then in the shape of an undistinguished common young plant which enters upon earth’s landscape more like a root because the quality of the ground was meager and parched.
Isaiah’s account as viewed from man’s perspective actually depicts Immanuel somewhat less than ordinary and obviously of a rank repulsive to men’s notion of majesty. He was also lacking any alluring quality even to look at, while by all accounts in the scrutiny of men He stood deficient and imperfect, wanting and undesirable. Men branded Him insufferable and even more so to be discarded. He continued through all of this humiliation in the silence of sorrow and indefatigable grief. As a nonentity is disregarded He was ignored; and we found nothing superior or favorable, affirmative or enduring about Him – Oh my God!
Over the perceptions of men there is not a single impression to apprehend about Immanuel’s glory. As the prophet inspired by God explains; The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? "I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds." (Jeremiah 17:9-10) The Lord summoned man and searched his heart, but found the mind of man wanting and so the eyes and ears of man were shut.
God’s account of Immanuel’s emergence and appearance is profound in its simplicity; He enters into the streets our lives without fan-fare, nor by any mighty display of His power, nor pandered too by a retinue of fawning subjects. Immanuel simply emerges – entering into His creation thus: He will not cry aloud or lift up His voice, or make it heard in the street . . . (Isaiah 42:2). He intentionally emerges on the street without lifting His voice, where He shall bring forth judgment unto truth (Isaiah 42:3).
Immanuel did not emerge requiring an audience or a stirring provocative announcement and formal preparation. There was no heralding before or even after His emergence; in fact He restrained even His voice among His creatures and creation, although revelation records; For you shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands (Isaiah 55:12). Yet to the expectations of men the person of Immanuel spawned repugnance which consequently showed in their rejoinders about Him.
Immanuel remained faithful to His name and was never deterred remotely at all. He continued resolutely to submit Himself in the street, to the most common child-like simple people whom He created. He emerges offering Himself – unadorned by men’s standards or expectations. He did not emerge to wow men’s minds, but only to fellowship in the very center of their need: And God said, Let us make man in our image . . . And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful . . . and it was so.
Immanuel – God with us – is His eternal desire “NOW!”
“NOW” IS FOREVER!
Yesterday’s consequences are an extension of today’s realities Tomorrow may have consequences yet unintended.
But let us consider “NOW” because
“NOW” IS FOREVER!
“NOW” has a consequence that’s within each person’s power to determine