The cold & snow may have cancelled our evening service, but they can't cancel God's awesome Christmas promises!
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Isaiah 8:19–9:7 (NIV)
19 When someone tells you
to consult mediums and spiritists,
who whisper and mutter,
should not a people inquire of their God?
Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?
20 Consult God’s
and the testimony of warning.
If anyone does not speak according to this word,
they have no light of dawn.
21 Distressed and hungry,
they will roam through the land;
when they are famished,
they will become enraged and,
will curse their king and their God.
22 Then they will look toward the earth
and see only distress and darkness and fearful gloom,
and they will be thrust into utter darkness.
1 Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were [she who was] in distress.
In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan
2 The people
walking in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.
3 You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy;
they rejoice before you
as people rejoice at the harvest,
as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder.
4 For as in the day of Midian’s defeat,
you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor.
5 Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire.
6 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.
7 Of the greatness [increase] of his government and peace there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.
Read the chapter on BibleGateway
This famous Christmas passage begins with God's people in a very dark place. Rather than living their lives according to God's Law, they listen to the voices of the world which whisper and mutter (8:19). Without the light of the truth, they descend further into darkness and bitterness, roaming through the land in anger and rage.
Sounds familiar to our current culture, doesn't it!
That's why Isaiah's announcement at the beginning of chapter 9 is so amazing! There will be no more gloom for those who were in distress... The people walking in the darkness have seen a great light (9:1-2).
Isaiah prophesies that this freedom will come through the birth of a child - a child who would be a King. Whereas ordinary kings place a burden upon their people, this Messianic King will bear his people's burden on His shoulders.
Royal figures often have really long, official names, and this child-king that Isaiah writes about is no different. His official kingly names will be Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace (9:6).
At the time Isaiah wrote these words, Israel's monarchy had descended to a very low point, but this new King will break the cycle: He will establish and uphold justice and righteousness forever (9:7).
Isaiah weaves two themes together in prophesying about Christ: He will move people from darkness into light, and will rule in such a way that snuffs out the ever present effects of sin in the world.
Keep these themes in mind as you begin a new year. Isaiah makes it clear that Christ's victory will be fully accomplished by the zeal of the LORD Almighty (9:7) - in other words, your salvation comes by grace alone - but this passage places two big obligations upon you.
First, be certain to continue walking in this light that you've been placed in. You can do so by making daily Bible reading and weekly church attendance top priorities in your life.
Secondly, and similarly, remember that at all times and in all places you are a subject of this just and righteous King. As we heard in Ecclesiastes 12, this means you must fear God and keep His commandments.
AAA Prayer :
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father God is the LORD Almighty - the God of Angel Armies!
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you will be a beacon of light to a world wandering in the darkness.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:
Take a moment to invite friends & family to join us in 2023. Here's a sample text message you can send:
Hey guys, join me in this Bible reading plan in 2023. You can read or listen- 5 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Go to UnfadingTruth.org to join.