Summary: Based on Isaiah 9:2-7 - Sermon focuses on Isaiah's prophecy about the coming Messiah.
“WHAT THE PROPHET SAID” Isaiah 9:2-7
FBCF – 12/6/20
INTRO – Michael Nanney last week – “Just trying to figure out what to do.” That statement sums up 2020. We’re all just trying to figure out what to do.
But one thing we are going to do, & always do, is worship Jesus Christ, our Savior! No matter what life throws at us for the remainder of this year, next year, or any year for the rest of our lives, we will continue to worship & praise the Lord!
Magazine article in JAN. of this year – “What are you most looking forward to in 2020?”
- “I’m looking forward to the music festivals I’ll be attending w/ my friends. Great music, lots of dancing, & hopefully sunshine!” - I wonder if they were able to go to the festivals?
- “The birth of a grandchild. I can’t wait to meet our new arrival & to witness our son parenting for the first time.” I wonder if they were able to be there when the baby was born?
- One reader is planning holidays to new destinations & excited about exploring new places.
- Another is looking forward to a year of better health. She writes, “After several illnesses and health issues in the family recently, 2020 has to be better!“
11 months ago, these seemed like reasonable expectations – now, not so much. Who would have predicted what was ahead?
For many, 2020 has been a dark year – physically, emotionally, mentally, financially, even spiritually. People have lost loved ones, their jobs, their security & their health. Some have lost their faith, their zeal for the Lord, their desire to stay connected to His FAMILY, the Church, & serve Him.
Does this mean Christmas should be cancelled? No. The real Christmas happens in the darkness.
Look forward to birth of the Messiah!
EXPLANATION – Isaiah 9:2-7
Chapter 8 ends on a gloomy, depressing note. Look at Isaiah 8:20-22 in the NLT - “20 Look to God’s instructions and teachings! People who contradict his word are completely in the dark. 21 They will go from one place to another, weary and hungry. And because they are hungry, they will rage and curse their king and their God. They will look up to heaven 22 and down at the earth, but wherever they look, there will be trouble and anguish and dark despair. They will be thrown out into the darkness.”
This shows the condition of Israel, the people of God. In Isaiah’s day, God had allowed them to be invaded. He allowed their temple to be destroyed, their homes to be burned, & their enemies to drive them far from the land they loved.
But not only do these verses show the condition of Israel, it shows the condition of every person who is living their life apart from Christ:
- “completely in the dark”
- Wandering “weary & hungry”
- Raging & cursing God
- Trouble, anguish, & dark despair everywhere
- Living in darkness
It’s against this backdrop of the blackness of the gloom & despair that Isaiah made this pronouncement in v. 1: “But [Nevertheless] there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish…” What a breath of fresh air! What a word of encouragement! There is hope. There is something coming that is going to change the outlook & the circumstances, & that something is someone! Isaiah 9:2 is one of the most well-known of all Christmas verses is written by the prophet Isaiah, predicting a Christmas to come: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; on those who dwelt in the land of deep darkness, on them a light has shone.” They are people walking in darkness, but Isaiah tells them that light is coming; help is coming; hope is coming; life is coming! In verse 6 he tells them who that Light is: “Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given.”
APPLICATION – Think about what it means for our lives right now that Jesus has come. In the midst of all the difficulty around us & the trials we are having to endure, we need to focus on Jesus all the more!
WHEN WE ARE WALKING IN DARKNESS - LIGHT COMES
The darkness we are walking in these days is nearly overwhelming at times.
- Daddy’s Alzheimer’s – Sundowners syndrome – increased agitation & anxiety. Restless. Sometimes irritable. More confused than normal.
- As darkness increased, so did the symptoms of sundowning. So hard on Mama & the rest of us.
Many of us are suffering from a sort of “spiritual sundowners’ syndrome.” As the darkness increases around us, we find ourselves growing more anxious, more fearful, more vulnerable & susceptible to temptation.