The LORD will be with those who respond to Him in trust and obedience. King Ahaz faces an impossible situation. God responds by giving him a direct word of promise and encouragement. Unfortunately, Ahaz responds with stubborn unbelief.
By contrast, while facing an impossible situation of his own, Joseph likewise receives a direct word of promise and encouragement. Unlike Ahaz, Joseph responds with trust and obedience.
The Immanuel sign – the promise of ‘God with us’ – is therefore both an encouragement and a challenge in one.
God’s sign forces us to consider where we stand in relation to the Immanuel child.
Will we respond to God’s word with stubborn unbelief like Ahaz? Or, like Joseph – though we don’t have all the answers – will we trust God more that our eyes can see?