Friday, June 20, 2014

A Light in the Darkness

Read Isaiah 9.

The LORD continued to give Isaiah prophetic messages concerning the northern kingdom of Israel.  Their sin reached the point of judgment from God.  He would used the Assyrians to invade and do His work.  But what about the promises made to Abraham in Genesis?  What about the promises made to David that he would never lack a man to sit on his throne?  Those promises are as good today as the day God made them.  He has neither changed His promises, nor His plans.  What must change are the lives of His people.

So, in this word of doom and "deep darkness," the LORD makes a promise of hope and "great light."  A child will be born, a son, and he will make things right.  Matthew 4:12-17 quotes Isaiah 9 and states that Jesus is the fulfillment of this prophecy.  What is the Messiah to do to bring this spiritual, moral, and judicial illumination?

1. His rule.
"...the government shall be upon his shoulder..."
"...on the throne of David..."
As a descendant of David, Jesus is of royal birth and an heir to the throne.  As a descendant of Abraham, Jesus will rule as the King of the Jews.  One of the reasons the Jews then and now reject Jesus as the Messiah is that He did not kick the Romans out and take over the government.  They failed to see the two-fold aspects of the prophecies concerning Messiah.  The mission of His first coming was to be the Suffering Servant for redemption.  The second time He will appear as the King of Kings.  Others try to spiritualize this and related passages in an effort to explain them.  But the Scriptures are clear and specific.

2. His name.
There are four names given here regarding the coming roles of the Messiah.  As ruler, people will marvel at His counsel on any subject.  Do not miss who this One really is.  Jesus is called God.  Those who say otherwise simply do not know their Bible.  Next, Jesus is in fact one with the Father.  Jesus stated this Himself in the Gospels.  The God of the Bible is triune-Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.  When Jesus rules the world from Jerusalem for 1,000 years, He will bring a time of peace no human leader has ever been able to achieve.

3. His kingdom.
"...there will be no end..."
"...from this time forth and forevermore..."
Considering all the prophecies of the Messiah's future rule, the Scriptures teach in Revelation 21-22 that at the end of the 1,000-year reign, there will be a new heaven and a new earth.  Then, we will reign with Him forever and ever.

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