GETTING THE MESSAGE/Isaiah 9:1-7
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,” are words that are infinitely sublime. Who can speak adequately of them? They are worthy to be reviewed daily in our heart all the days of our lives. All the promises of God are wrapped up in them. We need to think of them in the context of all of Scripture and the world we live in.
These words refer to Christ, the Messiah; who is the descendent of Abraham promised to be the blessing to the nations; the descendent of David promised to be the ruler of God’s people forever; the manna from heaven, the bread of life given by God; the Passover Lamb who was slain for our sins; and much, much more we find in the promises of Scripture. All Christ did was written of before he came.
The chapter begins by describing a land of darkness being blessed by a light appearing. Isaiah is looking to the future when Christ would begin his ministry in Galilee. He appears to sinful men. Jesus is the light of the world but men love the darkness, so they put the author of life to death. There is no clearer revelation of the darkness of sin in men.
The apostle John wrote: “The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God (John 1:9-12).”
It is those who receive Christ that Isaiah speaks of having great joy in verse 3: “They rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as they are glad when they divide the spoil.” Christ comes with tidings of comfort and joy. We have the burden of the law of sin and death. We have guilt that Christ takes away by taking it upon himself. He satisfies the justice of God, so we may rejoice before God.
Christians have much to rejoice over. Christ came to save sinners. The Lord tells us to rejoice in our election, that he chose us to be his forever. Jesus said to his disciples to “rejoice not that demons submit to you, but that your names are written in heaven.”
We rejoice in our justification that God declares us recipients of all that Christ did on our behalf, no longer held as malefactors in his court but declared not guilty because Christ has paid the penalty of our sin. Also, our sanctification, that we experience ever increasing enjoyment of God in his name. Verse 6 says the Lord Jesus’ name is: “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
We rejoice in the glory to come. Verse 7 reads, “Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will do this.” The Lord has prepared a place for his people so as to dwell with them.
We are entering a New Year. Use this year to draw near to Christ, looking to his day that is coming. Consider anew all the promises that are yea and amen in his name. All these promises in Christ given by God are so that we might be redeemed, transformed, and walk in his light.
If you don’t know Christ or are not sure, consider the freeness of the offer by God, the desire he has to have you as his own. He seeks victory over your will; it is in saying hallowed by thy name (with thanksgiving), that we find true joy.
The Lord has no ill will toward you in the offer of Christ; you can cast the whole burden of suspicion away from your heart, and enter into a sure and lasting fellowship of peace with God whom you have offended by sin. There is no loss in turning from sin to God, in choosing life over death.
If the threatening’s of the law of God or terrors of death will not humble you, God also appeals with the affections of a father. He offers Christ in the countenance of a Father and the tenderness of a Father when he calls to you to come out of darkness into the light of his Son.
You only have to honor his testimony by placing your reliance upon his word, and accept of his promise. You need not doubt the goodwill of God who so evidently is merciful and gracious in sending Christ for you. “For unto us a child is born; unto us a son is given.”