“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14 – God Tells Us Who He Is Through His Actions)
“Virgin” (Hebrew – ‘almah) may bean a young woman of marriageable age or a virgin. There is no doubt about which way Matthew saw this term and its prophecy. He applied them (1:23) to the virgin birth of Jesus by using a specific term (Greek – parthenos) for virgin. People always see promise in the birth of the child Jesus, who is Immanuel, “God with us.” God continually uses signs, if we are but keeping alert to them. Here He employed the most complete sign of communication ever: the birth of a son, whose very name revealed God’s intention for His children: Immanuel, “God with us.”
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Dear Abba, it is clear in the prophet Isaiah’s clear depiction of the Virgin Mary and the Disciple Matthew’s account agreed as well. It is much like our prayer lives, we call upon Him regarding counsel to help us, bur rarely wait to hear His answer. Today we continue to pray our troops serving in faraway lands and those in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, that a peaceful solution might be found and let the fighting be silenced. We also pray for those who are suffering in body, mind, and/or spirit, with friends, family, and for those we don’t know. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“If you don’t plan for the future, you might not like what you get.”
“Jeremiah said, ‘The word of the Lord came to me: Hanamel son of Shallum your uncle is going to come to ou and say, ‘Buy my field at Anathoth, because as nearest relative it is your right and duty to buy it.’ Then, just as the Lord had said, my cousin Hanamel came to me in the courtyard of the guard and said, ‘But my field at Anathoth in the territory of Benjamin. Since it is your right to redeem it and possess it, buy it for yourself.’ I knew that this was the word of the Lord; so I bought the field at Anathoth from my cousin Hanamel and weighed out for him seventeen shekels of silver. I signed and sealed the deed, had it witnessed, and weighed out the silver on the scales. I took the deed of purchase—-the sealed copy containing the terms and conditions, as well as the unsealed copy—-and I gave this deed to Baruch son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah, in the presence of my cousin Hanamel and of the witnesses who had signed the deed and of all the Jews sitting in the courtyard of the guard. ‘In their presence, I gave Baruch these instructions: ‘This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel says: and unsealed copies of the deed of purchase, and put them in a clay jar so they will last a long time. For this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: House, fields and vineyards will again be bought in this land.’” (Jeremiah 32:6-15– God Tells Who He Through His Signs)
The prophet followed instructions which became symbolic of God’s hope and plans for Judah. A purchased field represented God’s vote of confidence in their future after destruction and His revealed purposes for His people. The land would again be the home of the children of God. Prophets frequently acted out their messages symbolically rather than simply preaching them.
“Jesus said o them, ‘My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working. ‘For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. Jesus gave them this answer: ‘I tell you the truth , the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.’” (John 5:17-19 – God Tells Us Who He Is Through His Signs)
Jesus is the means through which God is revealed and works. Since God never rests from doing good, the Son never stops doing good. God revealed His own character through Jesus’ actions and words.
SECOND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave, as a testimony against them.” (Mark 6:10-11– God Tells Us Who He Is Through Actions)
God’s truth is carried by chosen messengers. His revealed purpose and call to follow is to be taken to each house. People who reject the message need to understand clearly what they have done. Jesus provided a symbolic act to reveal God’s rejection of those who rejected His revelation. Sandals shaking was a Hebrew custom for refusal or rejection of hospitality.