30.01.2021 NOBLE PRINCE OF PEACE

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

Isaiah continues the theme of a just and gracious God. God’s justice requires that His people reap the consequences of their sin. Yet He constantly invites them to recognise that He Himself is the answer to their sin problem, through His Son, the Messiah. He invites His people in all ages to return to Him and turn from their rebellious ways to find true rest and peace in Christ Jesus.

End of Gloom for Galilee: Isaiah 9:1-5

Nevertheless the gloom will not be upon her who is distressed, as when at first He lightly esteemed the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward more heavily oppressed her, by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, in Galilee of the Gentiles. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined…Isaiah 9:1, 2

Nevertheless… this is in the context of the preceding chapter. Isaiah prophecies that the northern kingdom of Israel, comprising Samaria and Galilee will be destroyed by the Assyrians. He concludes Chapter 8 with these words… ‘then they will look to the earth, and see trouble and darkness, gloom of anguish; and they will be driven into darkness’.

Chapter 9 begins with a message of hope. Nevertheless, the people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. Here is the prophecy of the Messiah, the Light of the world, who would bring the light of the gospel to the lands of   Galilee. 

Now when Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, He departed to Galilee. And leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles: The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned.” From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:12-17

The Messiah will bring deliverance, joy and victory:

You have multiplied the nation and increased its joy; they rejoice before You according to the joy of harvest, as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. For You have broken the yoke of his burden and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian. For every warrior’s sandal from the noisy battle, and garments rolled in blood, will be used for burning and fuel of fire. Isaiah 9:3-5

This prophecy also refers to the work of Messiah. His work will bring joy and gladness to all who are the children of Abraham by faith (spiritual Israel). At Calvary, He defeated the oppressor of mankind, Satan. His victory is complete.  The risen, glorified, ascended Christ has raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6). As we are in Jesus Christ, we share in His victory! We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us (Romans 8:37)

A Child for Us: Isaiah 9:6, 7

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder.

And His name will be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever.

The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

For Unto Us…this child will be ‘God with Us’.

A Child is born…This child will be born on earth. He is not angel; He has taken upon Himself humanity. This humanity has a starting point – His birth.

Unto us a Son is given…He is the greatest Gift; given to man because of the love of the Father, who emptied the storehouse of heaven when He sent His Son to earth.

And the government will be upon His shoulder… Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever… 

Christ is David’s greater Son. At Calvary, Christ “disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it” Colossians 2:15. At the end of salvation history, ‘the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ. And He shall reign forever and ever’ (Revelation 11:15).

His name will be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace…they are not just His names, they are aspects of His character. 

“Whenever, in short, it appears to us that everything is in a ruinous condition, let us recall to our remembrance that Christ is called Wonderful, because he has inconceivable methods of assisting us, and because his power is far beyond what we are able to conceive. When we need counsel, let us remember that he is the Counsellor. When we need strength, let us remember that he is Mighty and Strong. When new terrors spring up suddenly every instant, and when many deaths threaten us from various quarters, let us rely on that eternity of which he is with good reason called the Father, and by the same comfort let us learn to soothe all temporal distresses. When we are inwardly tossed by various tempests, and when Satan attempts to disturb our consciences, let us remember that Christ is The Prince of Peace, and that it is easy for him quickly to allay all our uneasy feelings. Thus will these titles confirm us more and more in the faith of Christ, and fortify us against Satan and against hell itself.” John Calvin

The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this… The work of the Messiah is guaranteed by God Himself. 

Whenever God arises on behalf of His people, there is seen the mediatorial work of Christ. ‘The mediatorial work of Christ commenced with the commencement of human guilt and suffering and misery, as soon as man became a transgressor.’ EG White: 3 SM p 194

While Christ’s great victory and mediatorial work for humanity was still in the future, there was a nearer fulfilment during the time of Isaiah.  When faced with the might of the Assyrian armies during King Hezekiah’s time, Christ, as the Lord of Hosts would arise and go to battle for His people and give them victory.

For out of Jerusalem shall go a remnant, and those who escape from Mount Zion. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.’ 2 Kings 19:31

The Rod of God’s Anger: Isaiah 9:8-10:34

Judgment on Israel: Isaiah 9:8-10:4

Isaiah 9:8-10:4 is in four parts, each part concluding with “For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand (of judgment) is stretched out still.”

Isaiah 9:8-12 – Israel will be defeated because of her pride and arrogance, but the judgment against Israel’s pride was not enough. There was still sin to judge, and God wasn’t ready to stop His work of judgment. 

Isaiah 9:13-17 – there will be an overthrow of the leaders because they refuse to repent… ‘For the leaders of this people cause them to err, and those who are led by them are destroyed’. Because of their refusal to repent, they would face more of God’s judgement.

Isaiah 9:18-21 – because of their wickedness, they will attack and not spare their own brothers.

Isaiah 10:1-4 – Israel is guilty of severe social injustice. God’s hand of judgment will be upon them. 

God’s rod is a rod of salvation to those who seek Him. But to those who are rebellious, His rod becomes a chastening rod.  

Judgement on Assyria: Isaiah 10:5-19, 28-34

Though Assyria is the ‘rod of God’s anger’, God proclaims judgement (‘Woe’) upon the nation. Though their actions were used by God, the sovereign Lord to chasten Israel, the Assyrians themselves did not see themselves as servants or instruments of God. They had no interest in His glory; in their arrogance they only wanted to destroy and cut off many nations and become the superpower of the then known world (10:5-11).

Once the chastening of God’s people is done by Assyria, God will punish Assyria.

Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Lord has performed all His work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, that He will say, “I will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his haughty looks.” (10:12)

God will punish Assyria for giving glory to herself instead of to God. 

For he says: “By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom, for I am prudent; also I have removed the boundaries of the people, and have robbed their treasuries; so I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man. (11:13)

In Psalm 76:10 we read, ‘Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shall thou restrain.’ This should give us great confidence when we are troubled by evil and evil doers. God is in ultimate control of Time and History. 

For the scripture said unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Romans 9:17

The Returning Remnant of Israel: Isaiah 10:20-27

And it shall come to pass in that day that the remnant of Israel, and such as have escaped of the house of Jacob, will never again depend on him who defeated them, but will depend on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.

The remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the Mighty God. Isaiah 10:20, 21

Rebellious Israel had gone to Assyria for help; but the righteous remnant would humble themselves and would never again trust in man, but depend on the Lord and return to Him, the mighty God who is well able to protect His people. 

Do not put your trust in princes, nor in a son of man (human being), in whom there is no help (salvation). Psalm 146:3

Root and Branch on One: Isaiah 11

There shall come forth a Rod from the stem (stump) of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots. Isaiah 11:1, 2

“And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, Who shall stand as a banner to the people; For the Gentiles shall seek Him, And His resting place shall be glorious.” Isaiah 11:10

“But yet a tenth will be in it, and will return and be for consuming, as a terebinth tree or as an oak, whose stump remains when it is cut down. So the holy seed shall be its stump.” Isaiah 6:13

The Rod from the stump of Jesse and the Branch is the Holy Seed – Christ Jesus

 “that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” Luke 1:35

“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.” Revelation 22:16

Hear, O Joshua, the high priest, You and your companions who sit before you, For they are a wondrous sign; For behold, I am bringing forth My Servant the BRANCH. Zechariah 3:8

Then speak to him, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, saying: “Behold, the Man whose name is the BRANCH! From His place He shall branch out, And He shall build the temple of the Lord. Zechariah 6:12

“Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; a King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell safely; now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

“Therefore, behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “that they shall no longer say, ‘As the Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,’ but, ‘As the Lord lives who brought up and led the descendants of the house of Israel from the north country and from all the countries where I had driven them.’ And they shall dwell in their own land.” Jeremiah 23:5-8

Isaiah 11:2 – The Messiah in His humanity depended on the 7-fold empowerment of the Holy Spirit for His ministry on earth… 

The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.

Isaiah 11:3-5 – The Glorious Character of the Messiah

He delights in the fear of the Lord i.e. He delights to do God’s perfect will. He is Righteous and Faithful. The poor in spirit who wait for vindication in the Judgement can be certain of His righteous judgement.  

Isaiah 11:6-16 – The Glorious Reign of Messiah the King

You Comforted Me: Isaiah 12:1-6

And in that day you will say: “O Lord, I will praise You; though You were angry with me, your anger is turned away, and You comfort me. Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; ‘For Yah, the Lord, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.’ ” Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. Isaiah 12:1-3

Despite Israel and Judah’s sin and rebellion and the consequences of their rebellion, ultimately, Jehovah provided temporal deliverance (salvation) for them from their enemies. But His ultimate salvation and deliverance from sin not only to Israel but to all humanity, lost in sin and rebellion, is provided in Jesus whose name means ‘the Lord is Salvation’. 

Simeon understood that Jesus Himself is our salvation. We receive salvation when we receive Jesus.

And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, Simeon took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said: “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples; a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.” Luke 2:27-32

Jesus, who was the Word made flesh and tabernacled among us (John 1:14) became sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21). He Himself is our peace (Ephesians 2:14), who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption (1 Corinthians 1:30). 

We live today in the day of His salvation. We are God’s people who have drunk of the water of life from the wells of salvation… “whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14). 

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