What a beautiful word woven throughout scripture, that is so often missed! In the past, I usually glazed over this word, anxious to jump ahead to the more important/exciting part of the passage! But in 2019, God gave me “BEHOLD” as my word of the year, and I was amazed at the breadth and depth of the meaning.
In Hebrew, “BEHOLD” (hinneh) translates to signify:
- When something is approaching.
- A change in scene or events, and a call to attention.
- When the Lord speaks
- When a thing is impossible – yet it occurs.
- When something is here, and exists.
Perhaps one of the most notable and frequently quoted uses of the word is in Luke Chapter 2 on the night Jesus was born:
“And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear.Luke 2:8-9 (ESV)
A Year of “Great Fear”
2020 has been a year filled with “great fear.” Anxiety, isolation, sickness, and stress. Loss of jobs. Loss of family members. Financial uncertainty, social unrest, and political division. Fear has surrounded us, and at times – has even overcome us.
In frantic desperation, we look to government leaders for aid and answers. We scroll through social media for inspiration and entertainment. We submerge ourselves in new habits and new hobbies to sustain our hope and distract us from the world that is falling to pieces around us. But no thing or power on earth can deliver us from the captivity of fear.
2,000 years ago, on that dark, silent night, on the outskirts of Bethlehem an angel of the Lord appeared in a blaze of glory. And he said,
“Fear not, for BEHOLD, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”Luke 2:10-11 (ESV)
“BEHOLD.” The angel’s good news of great joy signified:
- Something was approaching: Good news and salvation for all the people.
- A change in scene or events, and a call to attention: The 400 years of silence have ended.
- A message from God: The prophecy is fulfilled.
- When a thing was impossible – yet it occurred: A virgin gave birth to the Messiah. And we are saved from our sins.
- When something is here, and exists: The Savior is born, who is Christ the Lord.
You may be sitting in a season of darkness or brokenness right now. Overwhelmed with fear and grief. Exhausted in the search for answers, and it seems like there is no way through, and no way out.
Emmanuel – “God with us”
“Emmanuel” means “God with us.” God is with you – right here, right now. He is with you in the middle of the your hurt and pain, in the middle of the mess, in the middle of what may be the darkest season of your life.
So when it seems like God is silent…
When your circumstances seem impossible…
When it seems like nothing will ever change…
Fear not, for behold, God is with you.
This Christmas season, what if we exchanged our greatest fears for the greatest news? Jesus, the Messiah, came so we could dwell in His presence, free of fear and full of faith! During what may seem like the darkest and most isolating season our world has seen in awhile, continue shepherding what God has called you to steward. Continue to keep watch for God to manifest Himself in a powerful way. And fear not, for BEHOLD – Christ the Lord, Emmanuel is here with us.