Isaiah 9:1–7 (NIV)
Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan—
The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned.
You have enlarged the nation
and increased their joy;
they rejoice before you
as people rejoice at the harvest,
as warriors rejoice
when dividing the plunder.
For as in the day of Midian’s defeat,
you have shattered
the yoke that burdens them,
the bar across their shoulders,
the rod of their oppressor.
Every warrior’s boot used in battle
and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning,
will be fuel for the fire.
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.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.
The tide of the time is utter chaos. Assyria has risen as a mighty foes to the north of the nation of Israel. The Northern Kingdom is feeling the pressure of the growing might of the Assyrians and they make an alliance with the kings of Aram. The Northern kingdom then invites Judah to join in their alliance against Assyria. King Ahaz chooses instead to align with the Assyrians and the Norhtern Kingdom falls in 722 BC. Under Sennacherib a few decades later, the Assyrian empire turns its sights on the southern kingdom and their army moves against Jerusalem in 701 BC.
This is the setting by which the Israelites find themselves in gloom.
Wonderful Counselor is Pele Yawetz in Hebrew. Pele means beyond understanding (too wonderful for words. Yawetz means one who instructs or guides from a position of authority (He can deliver you because He has the authority and power to do something about it.
God continually points our heart to the truth that our circumstances do not define us. The way that we move from the temporary reality that our circumstances create to the fundamental reality of the design of our Creator is to not be absorbed with our circumstances but to focused on the character of God. As we contemplate upon the majesty of the Lord, our reality becomes fixed on the truth, the One who designed it all.
With Great Confidence
With Great Confidence
Hebrews 4:12–16 (NIV)
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Everyone of Jesus’ miracles started with a problem. Jesus stepped into each problem and He guided those inflicted out of the problem in ways that were beyond understanding.
Jesus knows that the root of our problems does not reside in our circumstances and our problems are not truly fixed by temporary change. The root of our problems resides in our brokenness and our separation from God. When we are brought near to Him and our eyes are fixed on who He is, our problems become opportunities for God’s mercy, compassion, forgiveness, power and might to be put on display.
Do you trust Christ enough to share with Him your problems? Do you trust Him enough to make changes that Christ leads you to in order to obtain true deliverance?