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Immanuel - Faith Establishes the Sign

Immanuel - God with us

Faith Establishes the Sign

by John J. Parsons

Isaiah 7:9b (BHS)

If ye will not believe, ye shall not be established (Isaiah 7:9b, KJV)

Immanuel - "God With Us"

In the days of the divided kingdom, faithless King Ahaz of Judah fearfully anticipated an invasion by Syria and Israel (Isa. 7:1-2). All of Judah trembled with him. Was Judah done for? But what about the Lord's covenant with King David and the promise that David's house and kingdom would be made sure forever (2 Sam. 7:16)?

Interestingly, the qualifier made sure comes from the Hebrew verb 'aman, (from which the word "amen" is derived), which means "to be reliable, to support." In other words, the House of David was made secure in the covenantal promise of the LORD.

In response to this crisis, the LORD sent the prophet Isaiah and his son to the king to proclaim the message of deliverance (Isa.7:3-9). The phrase im lo ta'aminu, ki lo tei'ameinu employs a play on the Hebrew verb 'aman. The House of David will indeed be established ('aman), but only through faith (emunah - the noun form of 'aman) in the promise of the LORD.  That is, the House of David will be established only by faith.


Ahaz's faith was tested. The Lord offered him a sign to establish His word, but he balked at the offer. Therefore the LORD gave a sign of His own accord: A young woman would bear a child and call his name Immanu 'El ("God with us"), but before the boy would know how to tell good from evil, the enemies of David (both Syria and Israel) would be taken captive by Assyria (Isa. 7:16).

This sign, seen by the eye of faith, therefore revealed that the covenant made with David was indeed sure ('aman), and God Himself would establish the throne through the giving of a Child of Promise.

Yeshua our Savior is the ultimate promised Child of Judah of whom the earthly Immanuel merely foreshadowed (Matt. 1:23). He is the rightful King of Judah whose house and kingdom will never end (Luke 1:31-33). As Immanu 'El, Yeshua is indeed the true Presence of God among His people. The kingdom of God is established within you when you put your faith in Him (Luke 17:21).


Isaiah 7:9b (BHS) Transliteration

im lo ta'aminu, ki lo tei'ameinu.

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Isiah 7:14 (BHS)

 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, KJV)


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