“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel”
(which means, God with us)
(Matthew 1:23 ESV).
Still so close on the heels of our Christmas celebrations, and a season of contemplating God is with us, we’ll effortlessly merge right back into our considerations of the family of God. And, more specifically, of God as Father.
But God didn’t just become God With Us at the birth of Jesus.
No! Long before God the Son was born Immanuel, God With Us, God repeatedly revealed His abiding presence. Throughout history. From the beginning. And recorded it on scrolls of holy writ.
God came to His created Garden, where He placed His created beings—to preside with them for relationship.
God warned Cain of crouching sin, which desired to destroy him.
He walked with Enoch. And helped Noah build a massive boat.
God spoke to suffering Job from the whirlwind.
He visited Abram in Ur and Jacob at Bethel.
He shielded Moses in the cleft of the rock, as His glory passed by.
He descended on a mount called Sinai—before the multitudes He redeemed.
God revealed His presence in the fire of a burning bush, then a fiery pillar. And escorted His people by a pillar of cloud through the wilderness.
He filled the tabernacle, and later the temple, with His shekinah-glory—residing between the cherubim, above the mercy seat.
The God of Angel Armies went before the ark in many a battle.
He called out to the boy Samuel (while His servant slept).
God directed Samuel’s anointing of King David. Inspired his psalms of worship. And received his confession of sin.
God rained down fire at Elijah’s request in a magnificent showdown before false gods.
He presented Himself, in overwhelming majestic holiness, to Isaiah.
The Lord joined three men in a blazing furnace. And shielded Daniel in a den of lions.
God heard the prayers of Nehemiah and strengthened his hands for the work to which he was called.
The eyes of the everywhere present God, you see, roves the earth. Always.
But, in redeeming mercy, He came in flesh . . . in humility. In Christ Jesus. To reveal God, the Father. And He now sends the Spirit to reside within those surrendered to Him.
Though He is with us, people have chosen to live without God. There are those who have chosen to hide themselves in self-contrived fig leaves. And to close the blinds to His light.
But he’s not gone.
All it takes is a turn of the heart . . . a crying out . . . a seeking. And He will be found.
And to those who choose to abide in His presence, there is a glorious promise to dwell with Him for all eternity.
Immanuel has made a way. And extended an invitation into the Father’s presence . . . forevermore—so the history of God with us will have no end.