Today is the 2nd Sunday of the Advent this year.

  • Meaning of Emmanuel

According to Matthew, Our LORD’s name was already prophesied 800 years before He was born. According to Isaiah Isaiah 7:14,  “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel.”

Hebrews, the Israelites name their children with some special meaning. We know God changed Abraham’s name from Abram. Here are some examples.

Abram: Many, multitude;
Abraham: Father of many;
Isaac:     “He will laugh/ He will rejoice”
Jacob: “Holder of the heel,” because he held his a-few-minutes older brother, Esau’s heel when he was born.
Joseph: “May Jehovah gives increase.
King David’s third son’s name, Absalom: "my father is peace,"

Then, what about Jesus? Jesus and Joshua has the same meaning. “Jehovah God is salvation” Prophet Joel said, “Whoever calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.”

So, when we pray like, “Jesus, please help me to overcome these sufferings.” That means, 'God is salvation, please help me to overcome these sufferings.' Of course, on top of that, Jesus promised with us by saying, “When you pray whatever in my name, I will answer you.”

Likewise, ‘Emmanuel’ means “God is with us.”

When Isaiah wrote it, the country was divided into two. The north became Israel, which was branched out from the south, Judea, because of Solomon’s sin. The south, Judea was governed by King Rehoboam, the descendent of David worshiped God in the Temple. The north, much of the Israelite made Jeroboam their king.

Unfortunately, the north started worshiping the idol instead of God. At first, the south, Judea, worshiped the LORD, but they also followed the north and sinned against God. Because of their sin against God, God allowed Judea to be suffered and besieged by two strong armed forces. The country was desperate.

However, because of the covenant with David, God promised not to forsake of Judea. Isaiah prophesied about the Messiah in here, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel.”

We can notice that the Lord will be conceived a son. It does not say about the father.

This is related to the verse in Genesis 3:15. It says like this: “The offspring of the woman will crush the head of Satan.” The offspring of the woman with no man is the son whom the virgin bears.

This son’s name is ‘Emmanuel’ which means “God is with us.”

The Emmanuel is with us since God chose Abraham, and all the way to Jesus Christ whose name is Emmanuel. He is still with us as the Wonderful Counselor, who is the Holy Spirit. Praise the LORD!

I believe King David’s Life is a good example and proof of “God is with us.” He wrote the Psalms, which show his life in almost every chapter. He talks about his confession, repentance, thankfulness, love and zeal of the LORD. “When I cried out to the LORD, He answered me.” “For you are the God in whom I take refuge;  why have you cast me off? Why must I walk about mournfully because of the oppression of the enemy?”

When God promised to be with us, then how can we experience God’s presence in our daily life? Before I answer, I would like to tell you a boy’s story.

Hanky’s father died when he was in a kindergarten.

The boy still remembers what his father said before he died. “My son, I am so sorry. I must leave soon. Even though I cannot be with you any longer, I will watch over you from the heaven. When you see, the shining star, that would be me, my son!”

Hanky believed in his father’s promise and could feel his father’s presence whenever he sees a shining star in heaven. His faith in his father encouraged him and made him go through all kinds of hardships. After all, he became a very successful businessman. When he put his faith in his father, he could overcome the hardships and became successful.

How about us? Do you have a father who made a similar promise?

My father died when I was 14 years old. He is a wonderful father to me. He did not promise anything to me before he died. But, I thank him for his love and I miss him very much, but I cannot feel his presence in my daily life.

Now, I thank God because he called me as his child even though I am not perfect. He calls us by saying, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest and You will find rest for your souls.” Moreover, Our LORD Jesus Christ promised to us that he will be with us until the end of this world. That is Emmanuel, “God is with us.”

Hanky could feel his father’s presence even though it was not possible. But, when God is with us, we may know his presence. Not only that, we need to pray and call for His presence. If we don’t welcome and call Him, he cannot help us unless we ask for it. That’s why we pray. When we pray, He would listen to us. That is because He is the Wonderful Counselor as we shared last week.

Emmanual God is with us. The Wonderful Counselor is with us. We should have confidence in Christ. Wherever we go and whatever we do, we should not be afraid. We should believe that our Almighty God is with. If so, we can overcome any hardship with the help of the Wonderful Counselor. Praise the LORD!! Amen.