Summary: The world's greatest gift
6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
My Brother and Sisters, can I tell you that Christmas has never been about the gifts under the tree; but rather it has always been about the gift that died on the tree!
And I believe that Isaiah saw the gift that God is giving us, and now he is giving us an highlighted verion of this account here for us, for our human history. He is sharing the good news that God is giving us a gift.
And my mother has always said, that “If somebody was kind enough to give you a gift – the very least you can do is say “THANK YOU!”
Let me give you some historical information about the text. We see that Isaiah is speaking to people living in three time periods: before the Babylonian exile, during the Babylonian exile, and after the Babylonian exile.
In chapter 9, Isaiah is speaking to the southern kingdom of Israel (Judah) before the Babylonian exile. Israel and Syria are pressuring Judah to form a coalition against Assyria. Ahaz, the king of Judah, is afraid to go against Assyria, so he sends a king's ransom to Assyria asking for their help.
Isaiah spoke into a situation where Judah felt powerless, and they were afraid of the rulers to their north. As their enemies only seemed to grow in strength and tighten their grasp, they didn’t know if God was for them or against them or if he had just simply abandoned them.
And among Isaiah’s prophecies about their future defeat, exile, and return, he included two prophetic visions of a child who would represent God’s presence, embody his characteristics, and bear the responsibility of governing his people. In this passage Isaiah saw something. And I want to see what Isaiah saw. Isaiah tell us what you see, What did Isaiah see? I believe that as I try to translate what he saw, it would be something like this:
First of all I believe
(He saw the major movements of the Master’s ministry)
He saw a crib, because he said "unto us a child is born."
He saw a cross, because he said "unto us a Son is given."
He saw a crown, because he said "and the government shall be upon his shoulders." Isaiah saw something here. I mean there is something here in this book of Isaiah chapter 9. And when we look at this chapter, we see that there is literally a letter within this chapter.
HE SAYS TO US a son is born.
This letter within this chapter is textually tailored TO US.
Because look at what it said, TO US a Son is given –
What are you saying Pastor?
I’m saying that the only way that the Holy Spirit can be In Us, and God can be With US, and His blessings be experienced all around us – Is that Jesus had to come down TO US.
Because if Jesus did not come TO US, then that which is AROUND US would OVERTAKE US and it would easily DESTROY US.
Some may be sitting on the live as if you don’t know what the Lord gave TO US –
But some of us can testify, that when we were down to our last dime and He steps in on time.
Some of us can testify, that we were troubled but not distressed.
Some of us can testify, that we were perplexed but not in despair, when life knocked us down we were not
destroyed. And that’s when we know that “Heaven has sent us a special gift”--When you have made it through highs and lows, victories and valleys – and since we know that we didn’t make it on our own --that’s when we all of us can say with a resounding voice just like Isaiah – I AM SO GLAD GOD SENT JESUS -- TO US
TO US a son is born.
TO US a son is given.
He says to us in this six verse “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: And the government shall be upon his shoulder - The sense of this passage is, that he shall rule, or that the government shall be vested in him. Various interpretations have, however, been given of the phrase ‹upon his shoulder.‘ Some have supposed, that it means simply he shall sustain the government, as the shoulder is that by which we uphold any thing. Others, say that it means, that he should wear the royal purple from a child. Lowth supposes that it refers to the ensign of government - the scepter, the sword, the keys, or the like, that were borne upon the shoulder, or suspended from it. It is evident, from this latter place, that some ensign of office was usually borne upon the shoulder. The sense is, that he should be a king, and under this character the Messiah is predicted.