An Alien Invasion
Stephen Hawking, the smartest man in the world, and Yuri Milner, a Russian tech entrepreneur, have been using advanced computer technology to scour the heavens, straining to hear voices from somewhere out there.
It always struck me as odd that we as humans are the one who must take the initiative in making contact. If there are super intelligent aliens who might hold the answers to our problems here on earth, why wouldn't they contact us first?
Thirty three years before Hawking, Carl Sagan, the famed Cornell astronomer, got many in the scientific community excited about extraterrestrial life-forms, and he was actually on to something. Sagan was ethnically Jewish, and the Jewish prophet Isaiah did predict an "alien" invasion.
"Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel." (Isaiah 7:14).
We have to track what Isaiah predicted carefully. In his writings he actually speaks about two sons. The first would be Isaiah's own son with a very strange name Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz, "Swift Is Plunder, Speedy Is Prey." The Lord told Isaiah and his young wife that, before their baby was conscious enough to know right from wrong, the threat against Ahaz, the king of Judah, would be knocked out by the Assyrians, and this is exactly what happened (Isaiah 8:3-4). God kept His promise to Judah, but He had a far greater gift.
The second child's name would be Immanuel, and this name would mean far more than that God would be with His people to destroy an immediate threat. Earlier in his prophecies, Isaiah had promised that the Lord would cleanse His people of their sins (Isaiah 1:18). In Isaiah 9:6-7 he predicted that a Son of David would come with a far greater name than Isaiah's own son.
You've heard this name in the Hallelujah Chorus—“Wonderful Counselor, Mighty, God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace' and He will reign on David's throne (Isaiah 9:6-7). This child would literally be "God with us" and He would be born to a young virgin woman. About 250 BC Jews in Alexandria fueled this hope.
When they translated their Hebrew Scriptures into Greek (what we call the Septuagint) they used the Greek termparthenos in Isaiah 7:14—a term that strongly emphasizes the woman's virginity. They knew that their prophet had predicted an invasion from beyond. He would be an alien in the sense that He would be beyond anyone we could imagine. He would literally be "God with us."
God didn't just send a mathematical code or computer program. He came himself, and in the final book of the New Testament the beloved disciple, John, gives this child another name, the name Carl Sagan parodied—“the One who is, and who was, and who is to come." (Revelation 1:4)
LORD, this Christmas, I'm thankful that you weren't just with us in the womb of Mary and on the cross, but that you also continue to take up residency in the hearts of all who will simply trust you. Thank you that you came from beyond time and space not to destroy us but to deliver us from sin and death. Move us to enjoy your presence today tomorrow in our family gatherings.
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