Summary: An exposition of Isaiah 9:1-7
Islington Baptist Church
December 23, 2001
Series: Jesus in the book of Isaiah
700 years before Jesus came, Isaiah was writing and preaching in detail about Jesus, his person, and the ministry that he was going to have. The book of Isaiah is filled with direct references and allusions to Jesus Christ.
For nearly 2 months now we have, each Sunday morning, considered a different passage from the book of Isaiah that concerns Jesus. Next Sunday will mark the end of our series— and I trust you have taken time in the last 2 months to read the book of Isaiah. In mid January, when I return to you, we are going to begin a series together on the 10 commandments.
Today we are going to be studying Isaiah 9:1-7. Without a doubt this passage concerns Jesus Christ. In particular this passage concerns his advent, his coming as King and the effects of his coming and rule. (read text)
I. God is a God of great reversals and turnarounds! God specializes in stunning, dramatic, amazing reversals. v.1-5
As a sports fan I have witnessed a number of stunning reversals on the field of play. I remember several years ago when the Blue Jays were in the world series and playing against the Philadelphia Phillies. There was one game in particular in which Philadelphia had what seemed to be a commanding lead. In disgust I went to bed, only to be awakened by Sue and her parents cheering the improbable comeback and victory the Blue Jays enjoyed.
That is small potatoes and in fact does not even rank on the scale compared to what God does in this world and in the lives of people and nations. God specializes in stunning, dramatic amazing reversals and turnarounds.
Just think of how God has worked in the Bible in this department. Raising unknowns up to places of prominence. Bringing down those who were puffed up and filled with thoughts of invincibility. Think of people like Job and the sudden turns in his life. Think of the many instances of God delivering his people in the face of overwhelming odds. Today’s text in v.4 highlights the case of Midian where Gideon with only 300 men were involved in victory over more than 120,000 Midianites soldiers.
Think of your own life too. Before coming to Christ what path were on? In which direction was your life headed? What attitudes and behaviors characterized your life? What happened? Jesus entered in and your life took a 180 turn………..
Also: where you at right now… there can be a God engineered turnaround.
To back this point up: check out verse 1
In verse 1 of our text NIV version it says “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 Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan”
A great and dramatic reversal, engineered by God, is being prophesied here and spoken of.
Chapters 7-8 are full of words of Judgment against Israel. They had sinned against God and in spite of his many calls to repentance they persisted and sinned all the more. Because of this the judgment of God was being poured out. The Assryians were at the door. They were going to be the agents of God’s fierce wrath upon his people. Death, slavery, suffering, distress, anguish, grief, shame, darkness, loss, oppression, war. These all were going to be their lot.
Yet note the tone of 9:1ff. A great reversal is announced.
Instead of darkness - light
Instead of shame - honor.
Instead of death – life.
Instead of loss (dwindling numbers) –multiplication.
Instead of anguish and grief –joy and exultation.
Instead of war—peace and not just temporary peace—eternal peace.
Instead of slavery – freedom
Instead of defeat -victory
II. The great reversals and wonders of 9:1-5 are made possible and effected by the advent and birth of a special and singularly unique child described for us in v.6-7
1. Who is the child in question (whose advent explains the turnaround of v.1-5)?
Baby Jesus-born in humble circumstances of the virgin Mary.
His being called a child emphasizes his humanity, his humble beginnings.
2. What shall he do?
He will Rule “the government shall be upon his shoulder”.
Further, he will rule as a king upon the throne of David and eternally so.
-Jesus was born a king, claimed to be such, worshipped as such, identified as such even in his death,
-the eternal king anticipated in God’s promise to David
-His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. His dominion is an eternal dominion. His kingdom endures from generation to generation