God keeps His word. Every time. No exceptions. Did you know that is one of the great themes of the Christmas story we are all familiar with? It all begins during a crisis in Judah that took place over 700 years before Christ was born. King Ahaz is ruling in Judah and he receives word of a crisis. Two kings have joined forces and they are preparing to drive south and invade Judah. The situation is dire. King Ahaz is terrified. You can read all about this episode in the first few verses of Isaiah 7. Certainly, it’s dire for King Ahaz’s immediate future, but there are even larger issues at stake: the family line of David ruling God’s people. If Ahaz dies, the family line dies. If the family line of David dies and there is no descendant of David on the throne, then God has not kept His word because He specifically promised that David’s rule would be forever through his descendants. It was in this situation that God gave one of the most famous promises in the Bible…
“Then he said, “Hear now, O house of David! Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:13–14, NKJV)
God reassures King Ahaz that He will absolutely keep His word through the miraculous birth of a child who would be called Immanuel – which means “God with us.” Over and over again in the Old Testament, the coming Messiah is described as a descendant of David who will continue the Davidic dynasty forever. Now, fast forward over 700 years to the very first verse in the New Testament…
“The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham:” (Matthew 1:1, NKJV)
The New Testament opens with the statement that Jesus Christ is a descendant of King David. Then Matthew spends the first 17 verses of the Gospel tracing Jesus’ family lineage through Joseph. Matthew does all of this to prove that Jesus had the lineage of the Messiah. Beginning with Matthew 1:18 the attention turns to the description of the events of Jesus’ birth. Guess which Old Testament verse is quoted right in the middle of that?
“So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”” (Matthew 1:22–23, NKJV)
That’s right. Matthew directly quotes Isaiah 7:14 to show that Jesus’ birth is the ultimate fulfillment of that promise God made over 700 years ago. It’s like the Gospel narrative is screaming out in bold “God keeps His word!!” While there are many great truths and applications we gain from the Christmas story in the Bible, this one is often overlooked. Don’t overlook it any more. If you are entering this Christmas season with doubt and uncertainty, the simple Christmas story is proof that God always keeps His word. If you are reading this and you are not a believer, then you can give your life to Christ, not matter your background or degree of guilt. This is true because God always keeps His word. Merry Christmas!