Summary: Will we let Christ rule our hearts and be our counsel, peace, and strength during dark times?
• SLIDE #1
• Last week we began our Christmas series entitles UNTO US.
• Jesus’s birth is a powerful display of God’s faithfulness to bring peace, hope, healing, and life to a lost and dying world.
• This four-week series explores the Christmas story by examining the relationship between the book of Isaiah and the purpose and work of Christ in the New Testament.
• Because of Jesus, we can experience the joy that comes through his finished work. ‘Unto Us’ provides a powerful guide for helping us to understand and apply the nativity story into the world we live in today!
• Last week in Isaiah 7, we learned that a virgin would conceive a child, and that child would be Immanuel (God with us).
• In chapter 9, we now start to learn a little more about this anointed child of the Lord. He will be the incarnation of God and will have rule over the world: “Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end.
• He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom” (Isaiah 9:7).
• The Anointed One will have a rule, and since he is Immanuel, his kingdom will be God's kingdom.
• Isaiah fast-forwards into the future when he describes a time where “there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress” (v. 1) and “the people walking in darkness have seen a great light” (v. 2).
• Isaiah is speaking of the future kingdom of God where evil is defeated, and God's righteousness prevails.
• Remember that the Book of Isaiah was written over 740 years before the birth of Jesus. Yet, the prophecies contained in the book are exact!
• When you read the prophecies of the Old Testament, it can be a little confusing because the verb tense of the prophecy is written as if the events have already taken place.
• The reason for this is that when God says something is going to happen, it will happen.
• The technique of writing future events as if they have already happened is called Prophetic Perfect.
• When we read Isaiah 7 and 9, as well as other prophecies contained in the book, we have to realize the events were about 740 some odd years away from happening even though it sounds like they have already happened.
• The BIG IDEA for today is simply this: The child born of a virgin would be a mighty and peaceful ruler to bring light to the world.
• The rubber meets the road application for today is we need to let Christ rule our hearts and be our counsel, peace, and strength during times of darkness.
• SLIDE #2
• Isaiah 9:1–2 (CSB) — 1 Nevertheless, the gloom of the distressed land will not be like that of the former times when he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali. But in the future he will bring honor to the way of the sea, to the land east of the Jordan, and to Galilee of the nations. 2 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; a light has dawned on those living in the land of darkness.
• SLIDE #3
I. The hope is here.
• Last week we saw the Southern Kingdom as well as King Ahaz in a desperate situation.
• The nation was going to be under attack yet again. In his darkest hour, King Ahaz decides to turn to the Assyrian King, Tiglath-pileser, to help him.
• God sent Isaiah to plead with King Ahaz to trust Him, that God has this covered.
• King Ahaz chose to turn his back on God.
• Have you ever been in a spot where God is tugging at you to trust Him, yet, you already had your mind made up as to the course of action you were going to take?
• Since you made up your mind, you really did not care for God’s input.
• In chapter 7, God promised that Syria and the Northern Kingdom would fall.
• Zebulun and Naphtali (NAFF-TELL-I) were two Northern kingdom tribes that would get hammered by the invading Assyrian armies in 733 BC.
• Things looked terrible for the Northern Kingdom, but amid the darkness, there would be hope.
• Northern Israelite tribes such as Zebulun and Naphtali contained a mixed population in Isaiah’s day, accounting for the designation Galilee of the Nations.
• Invasions of Israel by Mesopotamian powers like Assyria and Babylonia would come from the north and thus strike this area first.
• The region which will first experience the darkness stemming from God’s judgment, however, will also be the first to see the great light of God’s redemption.
• This promised redemption even includes tribes which at that time had been removed into exile and whose territory was populated by Gentiles.