Isaiah 9-10: A Great Light
September 4, 2020
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
Words here made famous by Handel’s Messiah and sung at every Christmas around the world, they are rich with meaning and applicability as well. “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light” (9:2). “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder” (9:6). For those who are tempted to believe that these prophecies refer to anything less than the God-Man Christ, the incarnate Son of God, look at the latter half of verse 6. He shall be called “Mighty God,” this child, this son, this newborn babe.
At the same time there is also promise of exile. It will come through Assyria, the “rod” of God’s “anger” against a “godless nation” (10:5-6), meaning against Israel—extraordinary to call Israel in this instance, at this time, godless. Assyria in time to come will also be punished, for it is only a tool in God’s hands (10:15). And the remnant shall return (10:20).
It is amazing to think on this long ago, now fulfilled, prophecy: this great Mighty God, whom we know and can worship and serve with all our lives. This One who came to shine light in our “darkness” (9:2).
It is also sobering to reflect on how even the people of God in the Old Testament could at this point have fallen so far to be called a “godless nation” (10:6). May we not take for granted our covenant blessings, but seek to walk in faithfulness before our God and Lord Jesus Christ.
It is, further, comforting to think that even discipline, through the hand of the Assyrians in this instance, is under God’s sovereign control, and though he disciplines, he does it in a way that still brings about the fulfillment of his salvation plan.
Most of all, it is joyous (9:3) to reflect on the fulfillment of this promise. If you sense that you walk in darkness, if you sense that you stumble over unseen obstacles, if your sins trouble and your life feels lost, then there is a way back to God from the dark paths of sin. There is a door that is open and you may go in; at Calvary’s cross is where you begin when you come as a sinner to Jesus.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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