GOD WITH US
GOD WITH US
By Pastor Paul M Hanssen
Since the very beginning of time it has been God’s purpose to dwell with His creation. God never intended for mankind to live void of His presence. His will and desire have always been to live with and dwell among His creation. God’s longing has always been to reside among and walk within the hearts of mankind.
Through the fall into rebellion and sin, mankind lost the privilege of God’s abiding presence. However, God’s mercy and grace extends far beyond man’s fall. His mercy and grace reach deeper and higher than any extent of man’s pride, sin, rebellion and obstinance against God.
In His eternal plan, God purposed a means and a way for Himself to dwell among His people. When God called His chosen people and nation out of Egypt, He requested that a tabernacle be built. The purpose of this tabernacle was manifold. However, it’s central and main function was to provide a place of dwelling for God’s glory, and to also give man access into His presence.
And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.
And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God. And they shall know that I am the LORD their God, that brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell among them: I am the LORD their God.
The temples that were erected during the subsequent years, namely Solomon’s Temple and Zerubbabel’s Temple, were also places of habitation for the presence and glory of God. Through these temples, God resided among His people. Even though these structures served their purpose, they did not, however, serve God’s ultimate purpose, which was and is to dwell among His people in a personal and intimate manner. A veil still separated God and man. The fulfillment of God’s ultimate purpose began to be a reality when the Heavenly Father sent His Son, Jesus, to this world.
Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
These words spoken in Matthew are a direct quote from the prophet Isaiah:
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
God sent His Son, Jesus, to open up the way for man once again to live with the dwelling presence of God. The birth of Jesus heralded the news of “God with us”. Through Jesus, mankind can once again come into the fulfillment of God’s purpose, which is to host the dwelling, residing and occupying presence of God.
Immanuel is a compound Hebrew word made of two words. The first word is eem, which means with, among, besides, between and in. The second word is ale, which means strength, mighty, Almighty, power, great and God. Immanuel therefore means, “with us is the Almighty, powerful, and great God”!
This Christmas, stop for a moment and consider the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophetic words. Consider who it is that dwells among us and who it is that desires to fill us with His residing presence. Consider the strength and almighty power that surrounds us. Consider the mighty deeds and works that He can, does, and will yet accomplish in and through your life. Is there anything we cannot do; is there any place we cannot go; is there any command we cannot fulfill; is there any foe we cannot overcome, knowing that GOD IS WITH US?
This Christmas celebrate, “God with us”. Allow His Name, Immanuel, to build faith in your heart. Through Him, through Him being with us, we can do all things!
Merry Christmas! IMMANUEL!!