During Prophet Isaiah’s lifetime the home country of the Jews was split into the kingdom of Judah and the kingdom of Israel. The division happened right after King Solomon’s death. Ever since, the two kingdoms had been at odds. One day Pekah, the King of Israel, made an alliance with the Syrian king to overturn the kingdom of Judah. And so Ahaz, the king of Judah, found himself in a pickle. From a military standpoint he was clearly outmatched; naturally he began to worry about the impending war. In this situation God spoke words of encouragement to King Ahaz and the people of Judah saying that the planned invasion of Israel and Syria would not take place. 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 comply. His official statement [Isaiah 7:12]:
“But Ahaz said, ‘I will not ask; I will not put the Lord to the test.’” And here is Prophet Isaiah’s response to King Ahaz’s reaction [Isaiah 7:13-14a]:
“Then Isaiah said, ‘Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of humans? Will you try the patience of my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign:’” Apparently, the Lord insisted on choosing a sign, since this was not just about King Ahaz and the nation of Juda but concerned all of mankind; and the sign God chose is unusual to say the least [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: “I Am with you” remarkably 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.
700 years later Isaiah’s prophecy was fulfilled when the Virgin Mary gave birth to a baby boy. Miracles such as stopping the Sun in its tracks or parting the Red Sea show God’s unlimited power. As a vulnerable baby He stripped Himself from such power. Born into Mary and Joseph’s family, the Lord demonstrates that He wants to be near us, so near that He becomes a close relative. This very special relative of ours has a name: “The One who saves”, aka Jesus.