Emmanuel, God With Us; what does that mean to you today as you celebrate Christmas? Why is it important to devote 3 Sounds of the Season posts to one name of Jesus?

Sounds of the Season – I Will Be With You

ONE reason has already been cited: God does not change. We do not have to wonder what He will be like or how He will do things tomorrow. He is perfect and never changes. The only change He could make would be to imperfection and that would make Him less than God! God With Us has always been His plan and desire. We do Him, and ourselves, a disservice to think it only applies to Christmas.
It doesn’t take much to find out how many times God said to someone:

I will be with you.

This link shows He said that to Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Solomon, and the nation of Israel. The later references show us this was said of God by several people. It’s noteworthy to see God said He would be with Moses’ words. Interesting!

Sounds of the Season – I Will Go With You

Imagine being sent by God on an impossible mission. His words came as strength and comfort to men like Moses and Gideon. He intends the same for you and me!

Sounds of the Season – I Am With You

This has a different ring to it. I like it. The great name of our great God, I AM – with you. This phrase also occurs several times in the Bible. And these are the words the Lord said to the Apostle Paul in Acts 18:9-10:

And the Lord said to Paul in the night by a vision, Do not be afraid any longer, but go on speaking and do not be silent; for I am with you, and no man will attack you in order to harm you, for I have many people in this city.

Scripture repeatedly shows us God’s presence = God’s provision. What we need is in Him, not in something less that He brings. That all sounds great for a guy like Paul, right? Well I have news. Jesus said the same thing to you and me. Our service to Him is making disciples and Jesus connected that mission with His presence:

…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

See it? It’s right there to calm our doubts and fears – I am with you. It was enough for Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Paul and it’s enough for us!  Just to make sure we get it, He adds always. And in case that didn’t register with us, He repeats the thought: even to the end of the age. How awesome is that!

Christmas Present

So as you celebrate God With Us with your family, think long about Emmanuel. It’s as if God took a heavenly megaphone and shouted the message through time and space. With Us has always been His desire. We have seen it:

  • In the Garden of Eden
  • In the two Cherubim and the Flaming Sword
  • On the Ark of the Covenant
  • In His meeting us at the Mercy Seat
  • In Jesus meeting us in the Manger

And His divine, unchanging desire has one part yet to come. I mentioned it briefly in the previous post. The Apostle Paul says we now see through a glass darkly. You see, we have the promise of our complete redemption and salvation in the form of the Holy Spirit Who lives within us. However, it will not always be that way. Emmanuel will complete the work He began in us and we will see Him face to face. Paul says we will see Him as He is and we will know as we are known. And yes, our eternal worship of Him will be in presence of the Cherubim and all the other heavenly hosts!

I hope pushing back the curtains has encouraged and equipped you. I hope you take comfort in our unchanging Father. And I hope you see more in Emmanuel than you ever have. I also hope you know the best is yet to come.
What a day that will be! Have a Merry Christmas 🙂

Soli Deo Gloria!

Keith Burnett | keithburnett.org