The beautiful, almost haunting song O Come Emmanuel is one of my favorite Christmas carols, even though there is very little mention of traditional Christmas in it at all. There are no angels, or shepherds, or magi, or even mention of a baby born in Bethlehem. To someone who has only a passing knowledge of the nativity story and what it means, O Come Emmanuel might be a little confusing.
In some of the older versions of the song, we have some interesting names for Jesus: Emmanuel, Son of God, Rod of Jesse, Dayspring, Key of David, and then we have Adonai, Lord of Might. Many of those titles might be unfamiliar to us. They sound old. Archaic. They sound much more Old Testament, don't they? Not quite the same as the baby in the manger, born under a star.
But that is where Jesus, as Emmanuel, began. Back in what we, today, call the Old Testament. Within a heartbeat of mankind's fall to sin in the garden of Eden, God announced his rescue plan. God declared that a descendant of Eve would crush the serpent's head—speaking of Satan—and the serpent would strike his heel. God put this rescue plan in action through a nation, the nation of Israel.
Today I want to tell you a short story inspired by Israel, told as if the nation was a woman. The idea of Israel personified a woman comes from the Bible itself, notably in the book of Hosea. My intention is, that by looking at Israel as if she was a person, we will be drawn into the epic history that spans thousands of years. As you listen, you're going to catch bits of famous Bible st