Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were 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—
The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned.
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.
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.
Every warrior’s boot used in battle
and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning,
will be fuel for the fire.
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.
Of the greatness 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. Isaiah 9:1-7
As we come to the first Sunday in Advent, the time leading up Christmas, today’s passage is very fitting. Because in today’s passage Isaiah speaks of a coming deliverer-a Savior who one day would lead God’s people into a life of joy, peace, justice and a right relationship with God. This person is the Messiah-Jesus Christ, the Son of God. This prophecy reveals some important truths about the coming Messiah. (1) He would minister extensively in Galilee. (2) He would bring the light of spiritual salvation and hope. (3) He would expand the community of God’s people by also including Gentiles in God’s kingdom of faith. (4) He would bring peace by freeing his people from oppression and crushing enemies. (5) The Messiah would come from the nation of Israel and be known by many titles, including Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace. (6) He would reign over God’s people forever.
Isaiah 9:6 says this: “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.” This is prophecy about the brith of the Messiah-the “Anointed One”, the Savior-Jesus Christ. His birth would happen at a definite time and place in history and in a unique and marvelous way. Isaiah records four names that would characterize the Messiah. (1) Wonderful Counselor. The Messiah would be a supernatural wonder (the Hebrew word “pele'” is only used to describe God, never humans or human work). He would show this part of his character through powerful works and miracles. This Wonderful Counselor would possess perfect wisdom. His words and message would reveal God’s plan of salvation, leading people into a right relationship with God and giving them eternal life. (2) Mighty God. In the person of Jesus Christ all the fullness of God-his nature and character would exist in bodily form. In other words, Jesus Christ would be fully God and fully man. (3) Everlasting Father. The Messiah not only would show the way to the Heavenly Father, but he himself would be a perfect reflection of the Father-loving, protecting and supplying the needs of his children. (4) Prince of Peace. His coming to earth would bring people to a place of peace with God by setting them free from sin and spiritual death.
Isaiah 9:7 says this: “Of the greatness 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.” This verse refers to Jesus Christ establishing his kingdom and reigning in peace. His first coming, by birth, showed people how to enter God’s kingdom and to have true spiritual peace by receiving his message of forgiveness, new life and a personal relationship with God. But one day, Jesus physically will return to earth to rescue his people, defeat the forces of evil and establish a peaceful rule that will lead into eternity.
As we enter into this joyous time of year let this passage be a reminder to us to remember the reason for the season.