A humbled and open heart is fertile soil for God’s seeds of wisdom. Establishing deeper roots requires analyzing God’s word to discover truths, values, and lessons for application to our lives. Periodically, a scripture or passage calls for further exploration, like Isaiah 9:1-7.
Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. The land of Zebulun and Naphtali will be humbled, but there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory. The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine. You will enlarge the nation of Israel, and its people will rejoice. They will rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest and like warriors dividing the plunder. For you will break the yoke of their slavery and lift the heavy burden from their shoulders. You will break the oppressor’s rod, just as you did when you destroyed the army of Midian. The boots of the warrior and the uniforms bloodstained by war will all be burned. They will be fuel for the fire. For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!Isaiah 9:1-7 NLT
The book of Isaiah was written by the prophet Isaiah during the time of several rulers of Judah (Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah). The book is filled with prophetic prose and poetry. Isaiah can be broken down into segments on 1. Judah breaking the Mosaic Covenant, 2. God’s judgment on Judah, 3. God’s Restoration of His people. Chapters 7 through 12 center on prophecies of deliverance, the birth of Immanuel (‘God with us’), and the coming Deliverer. Chapter 9:1-7 is where we are digging deeper to see the prophecy of the birth of the Prince of Peace.
Isaiah shares visions of the people walking in darkness seeing the great light. The light is symbolic of hope. Isaiah tells us that we can still hold fast to hope even in the middle of darkness, devastation, or despair. We have hope because our Father sent the Messiah to lead us from spiritual darkness into the light of God’s goodness. God is able to deliver us through impossible circumstances like when Gideon defeated Midian (see Judges 6-7).
Our joy is in the child born for our deliverance. Just look at the characteristics of Jesus: Wonderful Counselor – one with extraordinary or exceptional wisdom, Mighty God – one who could do what no other person could, Eternal Father – one whose life never ends, Prince of Peace – one who has the authority to usher in peace. Verse 7 reminds us that Messiah’s rule is because of God’s promises. His sovereignty gives us confidence in each and every promise He has whispered to us. Let us walk boldly in that confidence. Trusting that God’s timing and ways are impeccable.
This week, we have been focusing on God being a promise keeper in light of the Advent season. When Isaiah had his visions, he did not know when the Prince of Peace would come, but he knew that God is faithful. He had joy and hope in the knowledge that the Deliverer is coming. Take a moment and reflect on all that He has brought you through. Right now, every single thing that God has promised you will happen in His perfect time. Do not despair. Worship in the waiting while remembering all the times He has brought you through. Continue to hold fast to hope in God, our promise keeper.