During Prophet Isaiah’s lifetime the home country of the Jews was divided between the kingdom of Judah and the kingdom of Israel. The split happened after King Solomon had died, and ever since the two kingdoms had been at odds.
Now Judah’s King Ahaz was threatened by Israel’s King Pekah. King Pekah made an alliance with the Syrian King to overturn the kingdom of Judah. Naturally, King Ahaz became extremely anxious about the impending war.
In this situation God spoke words of encouragement to King Ahaz and the people of Judah by saying that the planned invasion of Israel and Syria won’t happen. And in order to confirm the prophecy, God asked King Ahaz to request a sign from Him. For reasons unknown to us, King Ahaz refused to do so. His official statement (Isaiah 7:12):
But Ahaz said, “I will not ask; I will not put the Lord to the test.”
Here is Isaiah’s response to King Ahaz’s reaction (Isaiah 7:13-14a):
“Listen well, you royal family of David! Isn’t it enough to exhaust human patience? Must you exhaust the patience of my God as well? All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign.”
So, the Lord insisted on choosing a sign, since this was not really just about King Ahaz but about every son and daughter of Adam and Eve. And here is the sign God chose (Isaiah 7:14):
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”
Virgins don’t get pregnant, so this is obviously a supernatural phenomenon. Also, the name of the virgin’s son is very remarkable: “I Am with you” contains God’s name “I Am”. What would you think God is suggesting with this kind of name choice other than bestowing His family name to the baby, thus implying that a pregnant virgin will give birth to the Son of God.
When Virgin Mary gave birth to a baby boy 700 years later, Isaiah’s stunning prophecy was fulfilled.
The virgin birth stands out and is different from any other demonstration of God’s involvement in human history. Supernatural phenomena such as stopping the Sun in its tracks or parting the Red Sea show God’s unlimited power. God born into a human family, Mary’s and Joseph’s family, shows His desire to be near us, so near that He becomes our relative. This very special relative of ours has a name: “The One who saves”, aka Jesus.