God’s Continued Promise of the Savior

Part Three of the Christmas in a Word Series


 
GOD’S CONTINUED PROMISE OF THE SAVIOR

Men called on the name of the Lord, and the Lord responded. God continued to speak to man. He spoke to Noah who found favor in God’s eyes. He spoke to Abraham and promised him a son in his old age. He spoke to Moses and gave him the law. In fact it was on Mount Sinai that we find the first instance of God’s spoken word being written down. “Moses … wrote down everything the LORD had said.” (Exodus 24:4) It was also on Mount Sinai that God himself inscribed the Ten Commandments into the tablets of stone. And so the spoken word became a written word, a direct revelation from God written for all men, for all time. This word continues to speak to us even today whenever we read God’s Word, the Bible. “The Word of God is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)

God continued to speak through the prophets at many times and in various ways. (Hebrews 1:1) In the book of Exodus God gave the pattern for the tabernacle and the priesthood, both of which foreshadowed the Christ’s work on the cross. In the book of Leviticus God gave instructions concerning sacrifice and purification in anticipation of Christ’s great sacrifice for us. In the book of Numbers God spoke of a star who would come out of Jacob, a scepter who would rise out of Israel. (Numbers 24:17) In Deuteronomy God spoke to Israel of a great prophet like unto Moses whom he would raise up from among their brothers. (Deuteronomy 18:15,18) Onward throughout the Old Testament revelation, again and again, the prophets proclaimed the coming of the anointed one – the great prophet, the faithful priest, the exalted king, the coming Messiah of God.

The Old Testament revelation also records a number of miraculous births. Abraham’s wife, Sarah, was barren, and yet God gave Abraham and Sarah a promised son, Isaac, in their old age. Isaac’s wife, Rebecca, was barren, but Isaac prayed to the Lord, and Rebecca gave birth to Jacob and Esau. Manoah’s wife was barren; the angel of the Lord appeared to her and promised her a son. She gave birth to a champion, a deliverer for the Israelites named Samson. Hannah was barren and cried out to the Lord in the bitterness of her soul. God answered her prayer, and she gave birth to the prophet Samuel.

As the prophets revealed more and more about the Messiah to come, it became clear that his would also be a miraculous birth. However, his birth would go far beyond the opening of a closed womb. The birth of Messiah would be unique, like no other; he would be born of a virgin. Isaiah prophesied, “The Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel,” which means “God with us.” (Isaiah 7:14) Isaiah went on to describe this child in terms of deity: “For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given . . . And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace . . . He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom . . . forever.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)

Next: The Long Silence

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