Summary: This sermon takes a word by word approach to Isaiah 9:6 and invites you to take comfort in the promise of the Christ Child to be born FOR you.
December 25, 2005 Isaiah 9:6
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 Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Imagine if you heard your doorbell ring last night. You groggily woke up, put on a robe and went to the front door. As you peered through the glass nobody was there, but as you glanced down to the ground you noticed something. It was a little basket with a blanket over it. What could it be? Cautiously, you opened the door, brought the basket inside and lifted off the blanket. What do you find, but a beautiful and healthy baby boy with a note attached to him! The note says, “Merry Christmas. This baby boy is for you. No strings attached.” How would you respond? Just what I’ve always wanted? Maybe some of you would. Or maybe you’d wonder WHY they picked you. You would say things like, “I’m too old,” or “I don’t have time,” or “I don’t have room,” or I’m sure you’d come up with about a hundred other excuses.
This morning, Isaiah does the same thing to us spiritually. He lays a baby at the door of our heart and says, “here you go! To US a child is born. To US a son is given.” You see, Christmas isn’t just a story about a baby being born. It’s about a baby being for FOR US and GIVEN to us. This is a gift that God is laying on your doorstep. How are you going to respond? Some natural questions would be WHY is this Son being given to us? How much work is He going to be to take care of? Will I have to change His diaper and feed Him? Isaiah tells us why God gives us this Son as He talks about Who He is and what He would do. So today we are going to look at these descriptions of the baby boy put at our doorstep, and hopefully these descriptions will open the door to your heart and make you welcome the true meaning of Christmas which is -
Unto Us a Child is Born
The giving of this baby is presented with an interesting background and comparison in Isaiah. He compares it to “the day of Midian’s defeat.” (Isaiah 9:4) Who is Midian? How were they defeated? That day is described in the sixth through the eighth chapters of Judges. Let’s take a brief look at them.
Judges 6:1-6 Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD, and for seven years he gave them into the hands of the Midianites. Because the power of Midian was so oppressive, the Israelites prepared shelters for themselves in mountain clefts, caves and strongholds. Whenever the Israelites planted their crops, the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples invaded the country. They camped on the land and ruined the crops all the way to Gaza and did not spare a living thing for Israel, neither sheep nor cattle nor donkeys. They came up with their livestock and their tents like swarms of locusts. It was impossible to count the men and their camels; they invaded the land to ravage it. Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the LORD for help.
The Israelites were being completely overrun and overpowered by the neighboring Midianites. There was absolutely NOTHING they could do at harvest time - but run to the hills and hide. It was then that God called an unknown man by the name of Gideon to deliver them. This was so surprising to Gideon that he said in Judges 6:14-15 “But Lord, how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” The LORD knew that Gideon was a nobody. That’s how he liked it - to show that his choice isn’t based on STATUS and prestige but on grace. This whole story played out as the Lord commanded that Gideon’s army be shrunk down. 22,000 of the men were afraid to fight, so Gideon dismissed them. Then he had them go down by the brook, and only those who picked the water up in their hands and drank from their hands were allowed to stay - which took the army down from 10,000 to 300 - 300! Remember what Judges said about these people. They were as “thick as locusts.” (Judges 7:12)
So how did Gideon then win the battle? Judges 7:19-22 Gideon and the hundred men with him reached the edge of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, just after they had changed the guard. They blew their trumpets and broke the jars that were in their hands. While each man held his position around the camp, all the Midianites ran, crying out as they fled. . . the LORD caused the men throughout the camp to turn on each other with their swords.