Immanuel - Immanu El
The God Who Is With Us
As a little child I would go with my mother to the grocery store almost every week. Every week she would say no to my request to sugary cereals like Coco Puffs or Franken berry or Fruit Loops. On occasion she would relent but not often. I was told to stay with her but like all young kids I would get distracted and hover over the cereals or canned pastas like spaghetto’s and not pay attention to what mom was doing. One time during hovering I looked up and no mom could be seen. I had this sinking feeling set into the pit of my stomach; I was all alone in this big grocery store even though it was full of people. A sort of panic ensued, and my fear level grew. I walked with haste to the end of the aisle only to find mom there watching me as I panicked. She had been watching over me the whole time. ‘Pay attention and stay with me’ is all she said.
In a way I was relieved to know that she was still watching over me even though I had become distracted. I have not forgotten the fear I felt decades ago.
It’s a common fear for all of us, to feel all alone with no one by our side. Common to have a sense of panic and fear, an out of control perception, a sensation of loneliness. Especially in trouble do we face this isolation.
Even the great characters of the Bible battled this ‘all alone fear’ and God each time reassured them HE was with them, you’re not alone.
Deuteronomy 31:6 to Moses
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Deuteronomy 31:23 to Joshua
The Lord gave this command to Joshua son of Nun: “Be strong and courageous, for you will bring the Israelites into the land I promised them on oath, and I myself will be with you.”
Psalm 73:23 to David
… I am always with you; you (God) hold me by my right hand.
1 Chronicles 28:20 from David to Solomon
David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished.
Matthew 28:19-20 from Jesus to the disciples and to us
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
1 thing to know and 1 thing to do
To know: GOD IS WITH YOU, always, every day and everywhere.
To Do: LIVE LIKE GOD IS WITH YOU, every day and everywhere.
God’s presence with us is something God wants us to know deeply, God is and God is with us, you.
This fact of His presence is believed by faith and acted out in our daily living. God demonstrated His presence in the most dramatic of ways.
“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
God would prove His presence and reveal Himself in human form.
-People could see Him like the shepherds,
- People could touch Him like the woman who touched the hem of His garment,
- People could be touched by Him like blind Bartimaeus or the leper,
- People could hear Him like the 5000 whom He also fed,
- People could sense His love like Nicodemus when told that God so loved the world,
- People could sense God’s forgiveness when Jesus on the cross said ‘forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing.
God told us He was with us, and God told us He was coming to prove His presence when He had Isaiah pen the prophecy some 700 years before Christ Jesus came with the words that Matthew repeated with these words.
Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel. (God with us)
Koine Greek (Romanized some words) as Emmanuel
Immanual is actually 2 words put together:
Immanu meaning with us and El meaning God
But with expression it can be said like this:
with us^ God^^ big God Biggest God with me
You are not alone, by yourself, lost in the dark
No, no. with you^ God^^ big God
(an old song) God is Bigger
Bigger than all my problems Bigger than all my fears God is bigger than any mountain That I can or cannot see Bigger than all my questions Bigger than anything … Bigger than all the shadows That fall across my path Bigger than all the confusion Bigger than anything … Bigger than all my problems Bigger than all my fears … Bigger than all the giants Of fear and unbelief
God is bigger than any mountain That I can or cannot see
Immanu El à with us God with us^ God^^ big God
Biggest God with me
I can visualize the Philistine’s army facing the Israeli army and Goliath coming out to taunt them. The whole Philistine army thinking and saying emmanu Goliath, with us^ Goliath^^, and there is the unarmored David saying:
I Samuel 17
45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord
Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands,
The LORD God is with us, sounds like Emmanuel, with us^ God^^
Genesis 35:3(Jacob has just been told by God to go back to Bethel)
Then come, let us go up to Bethel (House-beth God-El), where I will build an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with ME wherever I have gone.” Jehovah Shammah -God who is present / near me -God with me Immanu El
-God with ME in all my travels, wherever I have been, where I am now and wherever I will go -Immanu El -God with ME (ME -personal)
-Solomon’s prayer and blessing over the people at the Temple’s dedication
1 Kings 8:57
May the Lord our God be with us (Immanu Elohim) as he was with our ancestors; may he never leave us nor forsake us.
-God with us now, as God was with those before us
-Never to leave us never to forsake us
-To forsake means to abandon, to desert, to renounce, or to turn away from entirely (God won’t do that to you -never, ever)
He is the God who is with us Immanu El
2 Chronicles 32:8
With him is only the arm of flesh (Assyrian hordes), but with us is the Lord (Yahweh) our God (Elohim) to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people gained confidence from what Hezekiah the king of Judah said.
-with us is one who will fight OUR battles with us
(not for us but with us)
Isaiah 8:10 (Isaiah -Babylonian captivity and their plans for Israel)
Devise your strategy, but it will be thwarted; propose your plan, but it will not stand, for God (El) is with us (emmanu El).
-enemies plot against us but it doesn’t matter because Immanuel
With us God^^
I repeat the words of Jesus in Matthew 28:20
lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen
2 more OT verses
Deuteronomy 31:6 Moses to the Israelites
Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord your God, he it is that goes with you; he will not fail you, nor forsake you.
There shall not any man be able to stand before you all the days of your life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with you: I will not fail you, nor forsake you.
These next NT verses in John 14 reveal to us a profound shift from God with us, Emmanu El, to us with God. They reveal to us God’s intended plan throughout the eons of time all along was for us to be with Him but He had to be Emmanu El (God with us ) in order for us to be with Him. God came down to be with us -He walked with Adam in the cool of the evening, with Enoch, He talked with Noah and Abraham. God spoke through the prophets, through His Word and finally God came to us through His only son and they called Him, Emmanuel, God with us.
14 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
Jesus came down to us once more, Immanu El, God with us,
in order to be with us and take us to be with Him
Jesus wants us to be with Him, together always.
God with us, Immanuel, à to us with God forever
Know this in your heart of hearts -God is with me.
-when you pass through the waters of life -God is with you
-when you pass through the fires of life - God is with you
-when trouble comes, when storms arise - God is with you
-Take comfort from this, let your courage grow, God is an ever-present help.
-Renew your strength, let faith grow and fear diminish, God is with you
God is always with you and for you. In big things and in little things
This week water showed up on my office floor and we couldn’t find where it was coming from. We called in a plumber thinking it was from a water line in the house. It turns out that our fridge’s water line to the water dispenser was cracked and spraying water which leaked down a wall and under the carpet in my office. The plumber fixed that and Marilyn asked him to look at our kitchen faucet as it was loose.
When he opened up the faucet to see, water began spraying out all over the place with tremendous pressure. We had turned off the water we thought but in reality, we had just turned off the soft water line. The plumber tried to curtail the water flow with a towel, water was everywhere, the ceiling, the floor, the cupboards. In panic he told Marilyn to turn off the main water switch. He couldn’t let go himself, so Marilyn rushed downstairs to where our water lines were. She couldn’t find anything to turn off. In her adrenaline induced state she said, “LORD help”. God put into her mind to turn off the electricity for the whole house -the pump stopped pumping, and the water-soaked plumber was so very relieved as was Marilyn.
-the very fact that Marilyn called on the Lord told me that she knew God was with her.
God is with you, therefore in all of your life -live like God is with you.
April 16, 2023