Summary: Third in a four-part series on the attributes of Jesus prophesied by Isaiah, this was designed to give hope and comfort during the dark Xmas season of 911.
[This sermon is contributed by Hal Seed of New Song Church in Oceanside, California and of www.PastorMentor.com. Hal is the author of numerous books including The God Questions and The Bible Questions. If you are interested in The Bible Questions Church-wide Campaign, please visit and watch Hal’s video at www.PastorMentor.com.]
Good morning everybody!
[Turn to Isaiah 9, p. 683]. If you’re sitting in front of a rack that has Bibles in it, look round your row and if anyone in it doesn’t have a Bible, please pass them one.
If you have been with us these past 2 weeks, you know that God couldn’t wait to tell people about the coming of Christmas. So 700 years beforehand, 2700 years ago now, God foretold the Christmas story by choosing a prophet named Isaiah to tell the world about a an amazing baby who would be born the prince of peace. (If you haven’t been with us these past 2 weeks, I hope you’ll pick up the tapes on your way out this morning.) Either way, the learning continues this morning with the words of Isaiah’s prophecy. – Words that George Frederic Handel made even more famous by immortalizing them in his famous Hallelujah chorus.
As we’ve done for the past 2 weeks, since everyone always stands for the Hallelujah Chorus, we’re all going to stand for the reading of these verses.
I’ll start with Isaiah 9:1.
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 – Isaiah 9:1
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;
On those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.
You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy;
They rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as men rejoice when dividing the plunder. – Isaiah 9:2-3
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. – Isaiah 9:4-5
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
Prince of Peace. – Isaiah 9:6
Of the increase 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. – Isaiah 9:7
Have a seat. And keep this passage open on your laps.
Primarily, what I want to do in this message is continue the progression we’ve been making through the 4 names that God says His Son will be known by. Two weeks ago we’ve covered why He is called a Wonderful Counselor. Last week we covered why He is called “Mighty God.” So this week we’ve cover why He is called, “Everlasting Father.” – And primarily this message will be a heart-message. A message that is aimed at warming up your heart to this babe born in Bethlehem.
But before we aim for the heart, I want to aim for your head for a few minutes and give those of you who like facts and data some brain candy. Okay?
So concentrate for a few minutes because I’m going to give you lots of information. Some of it will be review for some of you, much of it may be new for many of you.
First, some geography [put up Map 1]
Some of you have been wondering what Zebulun and Naphtali and Galilee of the Gentiles and the Way of the Sea are up there in v. 1. So let me show them to you. (Use pointer.)
This is a map of the ancient tribal areas of Israel.
When the children of Israel exited Egypt and moved into the land of Palestine, their leader, Joshua, divided up the land into 12 portions, like states, or counties, and assigned those portions to the 12 tribes of Israel.
A little history:
Israel was the grandson of Abraham, to whom God issued the promise that He would make of him a great nation from which all the world would be blessed. The O.T. tells us that Abraham’s first 2 sons were named Ishmael and Isaac. Ishmael is the father of the Arab nations, and because they were not the inheritors of the promise, they have been at war with the sons of Isaac ever since.