Summary: A message focusing on the gift of God in Christ.
“The Gift that Keeps on Giving”
Isaiah 9:6 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. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
Introduction: How many of you have heard the phrase that I have selected for the title of this message before? You should have because it has been around for a long time and it has been used by many companies as a marketing tool. It originated in 1925 - The trademark was given for “talking machines and parts thereof." (the phonograph) The registration on this trademark was received in 1927, and there was a renewal in 1967. The trademark for this owner has since expired. Wikipedia I’d like to point out one obvious problem with this phrase; all of the products that this phrase is associated with “don’t keep on giving” for they all will end up in a landfill somewhere! I want to submit to you that Jesus and Jesus only is the gift that keeps on giving and in our text this morning we have the announcement or herald of His introduction into this world. One of the best ways to introduce the book of Isaiah is to use the first verse. In that first sentence some of the basic matters about the book are given. "The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah."
The word "vision" here - as used in the Hebrew text of the Old Testament - is equal to DIVINE REVELATION; so this book called Isaiah contains that which the Lord revealed to this prophet, who was the son of Amoz.
These things concerned "JUDAH AND JERUSALEM." At this time, there was the northern kingdom, called Israel. And some of the things that pertain to the northern kingdom do come up in the prophecies of Isaiah. However, Isaiah's message was directed primarily to God's people in Judah and Jerusalem.
As to the time when Isaiah lived and prophesied, this verse says, "in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah." The basic facts about this O.T. book are given right here in the first verse.
Another verse we can use to introduce this book is Isaiah 6:8, where the call of Isaiah is reported. It says there, that Isaiah heard the voice of the Lord, saying: "WHOM SHALL I SEND, AND WHO WILL GO FOR US?" Then this man, Isaiah, replied: "HERE AM I! SEND ME." This indicates two things: One, that this man was called of God to prophesy these things. Two, that he was ready and willing to serve in this capacity. You might be interested to know - the book of Isaiah is quoted 83 times in the N.T., 12 of those quotations in the book of Matthew. With these things in mind we turn our attention to chapter nine.
THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
In Isaiah, chapters seven through twelve - the prophet is dealing with what could be called THE ASSYRIAN CRISIS.
You remember - from verse 1 - that one of the kings in Isaiah's time was Ahaz. Well, in the days of Ahaz, the king and his people were "worried to death" because, just north of their border, the Northern kingdom and Syria were joining forces and it seemed like they were planning to conquer Judah.
Now God - through Isaiah - had something to say about all this. God sent word to king Ahaz, telling him NOT TO WORRY ABOUT THIS NORTHERN CONFEDERATION. The exact words are (7:4): "Take heed, and be quiet; do not fear or be fainthearted..." God said, about this confederation or plan, "IT SHALL NOT STAND!" (Isa. 7:7). So what Ahaz should have done WAS TO BELIEVE GOD. But, he didn't pay much attention to God. KING AHAZ WENT ON TO FORMULATE AND EXECUTE HIS OWN PLAN OF DEFENSE; a plan that eventually backfired. King Ahaz hired the nation of ASSYRIA, to come over and crush this northern confederation. He even agreed to pay them for their help; he paid them well - in silver and gold from the house of the Lord.
When Ahaz didn't pay attention to God, and when he devised his own plan, he was guilty of unbelief; and for that unbelief he was to be punished. What happened was, after the Assyrians had crushed the northern confederation (as Ahaz had paid them to do) ... THEY JUST KEPT COMING SOUTH, RIGHT INTO JUDAH AND JERUSALEM, where Ahaz was. So, because of his unbelief, the king got more than he bargained for.