The Forever Promise Foretold
“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel” Isaiah 7:14 (ESV)
If you’re on the by-ways and highways during this season of Advent then surely you have seen those bumper stickers and car magnets that say…”Jesus is the reason for the season.” As for myself I would like to see them say, “Jesus is the reason, period” or how about this, “You’re the reason for season because Jesus came here for all of us”. Can you imagine saying the latter to someone at Macy’s or Wal-Mart, woo-doggie!! Our Pastor thought that just might be the opening we need to tell someone about Jesus Christ this Christmas season. And today’s verse just might be the verse you share in that conversation.
So with that in mind let’s give this verse from Isaiah a little historical background. Now when this prophecy of Isaiah was given, Judah would be dealing with the invasions by the king of Syria and the king of Israel. In an effort to overthrow King Ahaz these two kings would first attack Judah separately (2 Chronicles 28:5-6) then they would join forces (2 Kings 16:5) However because these factions could not overthrow Ahaz and replace him with a king of their choosing, Ahaz makes an appeal to the King of Assyria. And that kings response was a complete invasion of Syria and Northern Israel which lead to what has been called the Galilee Captivity…stay with me folks!!!
Let’s take a look at Isaiah 9:6, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” The background setting for these verses go like this…the Galilee region would be the first to go under during the Assyrian invasion. Isaiah would predict this occurrence in chapters 7&8. Zebulun and Naphtali were the two tribes this region belong to, they were the furthest from Judah but the closet to foreign nations and they would be easy prey for foreign gods and heathen influences. The people of these tribes would also be the first to treble in awe before the might of Assyria (kinda like we do when we are faced with an adversary that we believe is bigger than our God)
Throughout the remainder of ancient history this region would really never recover from being ravaged by foreign invaders. By the time of the Roman occupation these distant people would be the first people Jesus Christ would preach to when His ministry began. If we back pedal a little into Isaiah 9:2-5 Isaiah would address the power of the coming Messiah. So to them who had walked in darkness the promise is made of a Great Light, which we can find quoted in Matthew 4:15-16 as being “fulfilled” in the coming of Jesus Christ and His ministry in Galilee. The coming of this Great Light (being Jesus Christ) shall break “the yoke of his burden” and “the rod of his oppressors” indicating the total victory of Jesus Christ over the enemies of His people.
Now if you’re standing in line at the local department store and you hear that “Happy Holidays” nonsense you can turn to them and say “Don’t you know you, you’re the reason for the season because Jesus Christ came for you and me.” Then you can tell them about how Jesus was a forever promise foretold a very long time ago even before they messed up the manager scene with three kings and Santa Claus. You could keep it simple and open with John 3:16 and then share His love by sharing John 3:17. None the matter, as we go traveling down the highways and by-ways of Secularland it is up to us, God’s people, to share the gift of the Great Light that shines bright in the hearts of His people. Amen? – Chris Hughes is a weekly Freedom Fighter blogger and a graduate of the Colony of Mercy
Quote of the day: “If we could condense all the truths of Christmas into only three words, these would be the words: “God with us.” We tend to focus our attention at Christmas on the infancy of Christ. The greater truth of the holiday is His deity. More astonishing than a baby in the manger is the truth that this promised baby is the omnipotent Creator of the heavens and the earth!”—John MacArthur
Verse to Memorize: “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58