Digging Deep this Christmas, part 2

Good morning dear ones! Are you ready to pull up your shirt sleeves and do a little more digging today in order to find those treasures that lie beneath the surface of Isaiah 7:14? Last week we read from the book of Ezekiel where God’s glory departed from the temple leaving His people because of their sins. We saw in chapter eleven of Ezekiel that yes, God’s glory was gone but His covenant love and promise still remained. God fully intended to return and restore His relationship with His people. Today we’ll see that He did just that…returned for His people. God illustrates His coming back for His people in the book of Hosea. So, grab your shovels and let’s start digging. Hosea is a book full of symbolism. The names in this book, especially in the first few chapters, are very significant to the picture God paints for us. In chapter 1 of Hosea we are introduced to the book’s main characters: ~Hosea, whose name means “salvation,” ~Gomer, Hosea’s wife, whose name means “complete vanishing,” ~Jezreel, their first child, whose name means “God scatters,” ~Lo-ruhamah, their second child, whose name means “not pitied,” ~and Lo-Ammi, their third child, whose name means “not my people.” God told Hosea, a righteous man, to take for himself Gomer as his wife. Gomer would come to be known as a woman of adultery who would cheat on her husband time and time again. Even though God told Hosea the kind of woman his wife would become, Hosea did not waiver in his obedience to the Lord. He took her as his bride...

Digging Deep this Christmas, part 1

“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 7:14, NKJV Isaiah 7:14. It’s a familiar “Christmas” passage. A passage that could easily be skimmed right over if one wasn’t willing to pull up their shirt sleeves and do a little digging. Not being one who settles for skimming the surface of the familiar, I pushed up my shirt sleeves recently after having read this passage with my kiddos and began digging a little deeper. And oh, the treasures I did find! Let’s read the passage again, shall we? “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 7:14, NKJV It’s pretty self explanatory, huh? God is going to give a sign. A virgin will conceive a child. The child will be born. The child will be a Son. The Son is to be called Immanuel. The end. Period. Wrap that bad boy up and stick it under the tree. Um…not so fast. How about let’s, you and I together, pull up our shirt sleeves and dig a little deeper into the significance of this beautiful passage? Sound like a winner? Good! We’ll begin in the book of Ezekiel. The purpose of the book of Ezekiel is to announce God’s judgment on Israel and other nations and to foretell the eventual salvation of His chosen people. In Ezekiel chapter 8, God gave Ezekiel a vision of what was going on in His temple. God’s people were worshipping...