O Come, O Come Emmanuel
O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.
Emmanuel: God with us. This was not a new concept, for Israel knew and saw on numerous occasions that God was “with” them:
You with the elders of Israel will come to the king of Egypt, and you will say to him, “The Lord, the God of the Hebrews has met with us.” (Exodus 3:18, 5:3)
Blessed be the LORD, who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He promised; not one word has failed of all His good promise, which He promised through Moses His servant. May the LORD our God be with us, as He was with our fathers; may He not leave us or forsake us. ( 1 Kings 8:56-57)
Be strong and courageous, do not fear or be dismayed because of the king of Assyria nor because of all the horde that is with him; for the one with us is greater than the one with him. With him is only an arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people relied on the words of Hezekiah king of Judah. (2 Chronicles 32:7-8)
The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold. (Psalm 46:7)
Devise a plan, but it will be thwarted; state a proposal, but it will not stand, for God is with us. (Isaiah 8:10)
But Emmanuel being with us is different:
By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, was vindicated in the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory. (1 Timothy 3:16)
Spirit took on flesh; and the Presence became a Person.