Emmanuel — God With Us

We ask the question: if God, who is absolutely holy, comes into the midst of men, who are altogether sinful, what will the result be? Will not men be inevitably destroyed? There is a wonderful story in Exodus 3. Moses was watching the flocks of his father-in-law in the backside of the desert, when he saw a strange sight. He saw a bush, and that bush burned with fire. That was nothing strange in that sun-parched desert, but what was strange about this bush was, that though it burned with fire it was not consumed, and Moses looking upon it said, "I will now turn aside and see this great sight," and as he drew near to that burning bush he heard a voice from out of it saying, "Take off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place on which thou standest is holy ground." And Moses found that he was in the presence of God: of God come down to deliver His people and not to destroy them. That bush shall speak to us of fallen humanity, of you and of me, and of all our fellow-men. Poor dried withered humanity! No fruit, no freshness, no life, no love for God! Nothing but sin, and hatred of His holy will! a dried, withered, sun-parched desert bush! The fire shall speak to us of God, for "our God is a consuming fire." But if God who is a consuming fire comes into the midst of mankind, so dried and withered and fruitless, what must be the result? Surely we say there can be but one result, mankind will be consumed with the just judgment of God. That is the natural thought; but when we come to the first chapter of Matthew we find that our natural thoughts are wrong. God comes into the midst of men, and He does not come to destroy them, but to dwell among them, full of grace and truth; for "God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved." And so Emmanuel has another name, and that name is JESUS, and Jesus means Saviour. "Thou shalt call His name JESUS, for He shall save His people from their sins."