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Over 40 years ago, a church in Philadelphia witnessed one Sunday morning three boys being baptized and become members of the church. Unfortunately, in a matter of months the church had to disband and sell the property because the membership continued to dwindle.
Years later, one of those three boys decided to research the denominational records of the church that he was baptized in years ago. He found the record of the year that he was baptized. On this record was this notation, “It has not been a good year for our church. We lost 27 members. 3 joined, but they were only children.”
The man who checked the record was Dr. Tony Compolo, a prolific Christian author. Of the two other boys, one became a missionary, and the other a seminary professor. The church record said, “3 members joined, but they were only children.”
Like the passage that we looked at last week in Isaiah chapter 7, this one in Isaiah chapter nine centers on a child, a child of hope, a child of light. This child would be the light of the world, shining into our darkness and showing us the direction out of the darkness. The child of light in Isaiah 9 would be become the bright light of Christmas.
“But there will be no more gloom for her who was in anguish; in earlier times He treated the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali with contempt, but later on He shall make it glorious, by the way of the sea, on the other side of Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles.  The people who walk in darkness Will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, The light will shine on them.  You shall multiply the nation, You shall increase their gladness; They will be glad in Your presence As with the gladness of harvest, As men rejoice when they divide the spoil. For You shall break the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders, The rod of their oppressor, as at the battle of Midian.  For every boot of the booted warrior in the battle tumult, And cloak rolled in blood, will be for burning, fuel for the fire. For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. he zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.”
It will take us a few Sundays to unpack this passage of Scripture. Let me begin by putting these verses into their larger context.
From verse one of chapter seven to verse eight of chapter eight, we have noticed in our last study how God is going to judge king Ahaz for not trusting the Lord. Unfortunately, many of the Israelites are going to follow king Ahaz’s leadership and also trust the Assyrians rather than trust in the Lord.
The result of not trusting in the Lord is discipline and destruction. Fortunately, in the midst of all this judgment is found hope for those who turn to God and trust in him. The sign of this hope is found in Isaiah 7:14, “Behold a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call his name Immanuel.” The ultimate fulfillment of 7:14 is the Christ of Christmas.
The Lord will continue to build upon the hope
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