“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.”
– Isaiah 7:14
In yesterday’s scripture passage, we read the account of God’s response to the sin of Adam and Eve. It’s demonstrative of divine mercy that in the same breath God judges Adam and Eve for their sin, He promises to redeem them through deliverance by their offspring and judgment on the serpent – the relevant portion of that passage being:
The Lord God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this,
Cursed are you more than all cattle,
And more than every beast of the field;
On your belly you will go,
And dust you will eat
All the days of your life;
And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.”
– Genesis 3:14-15
Of course, “seed” is associated with the man. Therefore, a “her seed” is an unusual idea – in just the way that a virgin birth is an unusual idea. Thus God was saying that His promised one would be born of a virgin – and this is what Isaiah is affirming in our passage for today.
By Isaiah’s time, God’s promised one was known as “Messiah” (“Christ”) – for Isaiah lived after the time of the priest Samuel and the kings Saul and David when the term Messiah as a reference to Israel’s king came into use.
The name “Immanuel” means “God with us” in the original Hebrew. This term is full of meaning for us. We know now that Christ was God in the flesh. Therefore, God is “with us” by becoming one of the human race. He is also “with us” by being “for us.” In other words, God is not “against us” – which we would’ve expected Him to be given our disobedience.
The bruising on the “heel” is an allusion to the crucifixion of this promised seed. The bruising on the “head” is an allusion to the promised seed’s utter destruction of Satan’s place in the created order. After all, any warrior can survive a blow to the heel, but a blow to the head is far more serious.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord, thank You for coming to us so humbly. Show me how to live humbly today…(this is where you remain quiet to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.
(All scriptures, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the NASB.)