By Rev. Dr. Sergio Arevalo, Jr.
Dec 20, 2014, 7 pm (Sambang Gabi)
If you are hopeless, depressed and in need of something very necessary, and here a man who will help you. What would be your reaction? I know you would be happy! I am asking that since the background of our passage today was something like that.
The context of our passage is one of fear. It is dark and scary time in the history of Judah and Israel. Assyria has become strong and is systematically taking over the whole region. Within a few years, Judah will become a resident captive, and the northern kingdom of Israel will be no more (722 BCE).
The king and the people were reacting from fear, and that fear drove them to do the unthinkable. Indeed the king may have gone as far as to sacrifice his own son to try and appease the gods of Assyria and stop the coming invasion (Feasting of the Word, p. 101.).
I. The Prophecy About a Great Light
Isaiah prophesied that they would see the light. Isaiah says, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; for those living in a land of deep darkness, a light has shined upon them” (9:2).
In the time of Isaiah, they had terrible fear thus terrible darkness in their country. The same when the Savior came, they were in darkness due to Roman occupation. The prophecy of Isaiah had far reaching effect, Jesus the Messiah came in Palestine in times of darkness and hopelessness.
II. The Prophecy About Abundance
Isaiah also added that “You have increased the nation; you have increased its joy; they rejoice in your presence as thy rejoice at the harvest, as they are glad when they’re dividing the spoils of war. Now as to the yoke that has been his burden, and the bar laid on his shoulder—the rod of his oppressor—you have broken it as on the day of Midiam. For every boot of the tramping soldier in battle tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be used for burning as fuel for a fire” (vv.3-5).
Isaiah prophesied that there would be great abundance in the future. He prophesied the victory in the wars. “For every boot of the tramping soldier in battle tumult, and every garment rolled in blood will be used for burning as fuel for a fire.” Their arms and ammunition would become plowing tools and fishing hooks, so to speak; and they would be joyful in their harvest.
III. The Prophecy About the Messiah
Isaiah prophesied about the coming of the Messiah, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name is called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the growth of his government and peace there will be no end. He will rule over his kingdom, sitting on the throne of David, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from this time onward and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of the Heavenly Armies will accomplish this” (vv.6-7).
Pastor Clifford S. Stewart of Louisville, Kentucky, sent his parents a microwave oven one Christmas.
Here’s how he recalls the experience: “They were excited that now they, too, could be a part of the instant generation. When Dad unpacked the microwave and plugged it in, literally within seconds, the microwave transformed two smiles into frown!”
Even after reading the directions, they couldn’t make it work.
Two days later, his mother was playing bridge with a friend, and confessed her inability to get that microwave oven even to boil water.
“To get this darn thing to work,” she exclaimed, “I really don’t need better directions; I just needed my son to come along with the gift!”
When God gave the gift of salvation, he didn’t send a booklet of complicated instructions for us to figure out; he sent his Son. He sent the Light instead of instruction on how to make a light. He sent Jesus the Christ to save us from all our sins.