Thursday, December 25, 2008
Christmas Lessons from a Man Who Lived Seven Centuries Before Jesus' Birth
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Israel is under the threat of Assyrian invasion. Assyria is God's instrument in bringing judgment to rebellious Israel (10:5-6).
God hides his face. He withdraws his favor upon the nation (8:17). Yet in their sinfulness, Israel did not seek God. Instead they hired mediums and necromancers so they could consult the dead (8:19)
And when the prophesied invasion, distress and famine came, they did not repent. Their response: they cursed God (8:21).
The Promised Light
Yet God in his mercy will send his light to subdue the darkness. Light will come (9:2). They will rejoice. They will be glad (9:3). As in the day of Midian, as in the time of Gideon, they will triumph over their oppressors (9:4). They will burn their battle boots and garments (9:5). They no longer need it for peace is coming.
God's cure for our horrors
God's cure for all their misery is--- a baby (9:6). The government shall be upon his shoulders and when he rules, he will be called:
1. Wonderful Counselor- His wisdom is greater than all other kings combined. He could never go wrong in his decisions. His knowledge is perfect.
2. Mighty God- He is powerful. He will never lose a war. He will subdue all his enemies.
3. Everlasting Father- His care for his people will be as tender as an affectionate father. Social injustice will never thrive when this king reigns.
4. Prince of Peace- He is able to bring peace. Not just absence of war, but he will cure the people of their sinfulness so that they will have peace with God (Romans 5:1)
This is Christmas according to Isaiah, that a God so zealous (9:7) to save a rebellious people sent a baby for us to be our king. Oh truly, this grace is amazing
She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.