As you probably know, Immanuel (sometimes rendered Emmanuel) means “God with us.” Matthew’s gospel quotes this prophecy from Isaiah 7:14, noting it as being fulfilled in the birth of Jesus Christ. Of course, Matthew did not mean that Mary literally named her baby “Immanuel,” but rather that the meaning of his birth was that God was with us.
We know that God has always been “with us” in the sense that He supports us. His desire for intimacy “with us,” however, goes much deeper. Jesus walking the earth as one of humanity was a profound expression of that desire. God in our flesh, dealing with our limitations, experiencing our life…and our death. This, however, was just the first installment of His intense intimacy with us. “Immanuel” meant much more.
Through the new covenant He has made with mankind, God now dwells in us and walks among us. He is our God and we are His people. Under the old covenant, it was Satan who freely walked the earth as we saw in the book of Job. Now, however, the evil one is under our feet (Rom 16:20).
God’s is the voice we hear whispering in our hearts (1 Kings 19:12). From there He judges the secrets of our heart (Romans 2:16) so that we may live for His approval and not the approval of others (1 Corinthians 4:5; Galatians 1:10; Romans 2:28-29).
We come to realize, therefore, that God’s desire to be with us is so great that He will pursue this end until the two become one (Mark 10:8).
Let us therefore repent of this hardness of heart and stop resisting Him who desires to be with us all the days and moments of our lives. Let us answer the knocking He makes at our door (Revelation 3:20).