3309.) Christmas in the Old Testament

The Coming of Christ, as foretold

in the Old Testament

Genesis 3:13-15

Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,

“Cursed are you above all livestock
and all wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
and you will eat dust
all the days of your life.
And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel.”

“Eve, After Eating the Forbidden Fruit” by Anna Lea Merritt, c. 1890


Genesis 22:15-18

The angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, “I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son,  I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies,  and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”

“The Binding of Isaac” by Alan Falk, 2002


Isaiah 9:6-7

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty
will accomplish this.


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.

from This Day with the Master
by Dennis F. Kinlaw

What a different picture Jesus gives us of God from that which we naturally develop.  For a long time I understood God to be the sovereign Lord and final Judge, who sat on his throne watching for my failures so he could chastise me and remind me of the vast gulf that exists between him and me.  But this is no the biblical picture of God.  God is Lord and Judge, but he is also Immanuel, “God with us” — and the preposition with carries remarkable overtones.

The with speaks of identification.  God, in Christ, became a man.  Distance and otherness were bridged by that with in Immanuel.  He took our state, and he took our problem.  Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:21 that “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us.”  He took our alienation and our death when he cried, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46).

But God wanted that with to be reciprocal.  He decided to be one with us because he wanted us to be one with him.  And the astounding thing is that he wanted us to be with him in more than destiny.  The with speaks of more than place.  It also speaks of character.  That is why God insisted that Israel be holy.  They needed to be holy if they were to fulfill their mission as a holy nation.  They needed even more to be holy if they were to be with him because he said, “I am holy.”  That is why one of God’s most glorious promises in Scripture is the reference to every believer in the New Testament as a saint.  The Father, through Christ’s sacrifice of himself as one of us, can put his life into us until we, who by nature are sinners, can become companions with God.  Yes, and more than companions.  We are to be children of the Father and the very bride of his Son.  Jesus is “Immanuel,” “God with us,” so that we can be with him in a remarkable way.



HERE  is a wonderful Advent carol which speaks of the prophets and their names for the coming Christ Child. “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” by Pentatonix.

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here

Until the Son of God appear

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel

O come, O come, Thou Lord of might
Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai’s height
In ancient times didst give the law

In cloud, and majesty and awe
O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny
From depths of hell Thy people save
And give them victory o’er the grave

O come, Thou Dayspring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight
O come, Thou Key of David, come
And open wide our heavenly home
Make safe the way that leads on high
And close the path to misery
O come, Thou Wisdom from on high
And order all things, far and nigh
To us the path of knowledge show
And cause us in her ways to go


I wish you all, my dear readers, a happy Christmas with the presence of Jesus made wonderfully real to you.  Thank you for being part of the DWELLING family as we learn more and more about the Word of God in Scripture and the Word made flesh in Christ.  Every blessing be yours, through the grace of our Lord, Father, Son, and Spirit. With love, Rebecca


Images courtesy of:
stable scene.  https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/0000the-birth-of-christ.jpg
Merritt.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/eve_merritt1.jpg
Falk.  http://meindertboersma.blogspot.com/2013/11/brieven-aan-mijn-ongelovige-kinderen_29.html
Jesus, lion, and lamb.    http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1076/899946019_e9c0ed54d5.jpg
Immanuel baby.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/immanuelgodwithus.jpg
olivewood nativity set.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/olivewood-nativity-set.jpg

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