2007-12-16_A Child A Son_Isaiah 9.1-7_SL
A Child…A Son
Isaiah 9:1-7 | Shaun LePage | December 16, 2007
A. These are hope-less times: teen suicide rates tripled over past 50 years (spoke with one mother this week—son suicide); statistics on drug abuse, crime, STDs, war, poverty provide little or no hope; depression statistics are frightening (Dr. Bob Murray—expertise): Depression will be second largest killer after heart disease by 2020; The rate of increase of depression among children astounding 23%; in fact, pre-schoolers are fastest-growing market for antidepressants. At least 4% of preschoolers—over a million—are clinically depressed. (http://www.upliftprogram.com/depression_stats.html)
B. I believe these are hopeless times because these are Godless times. Any time we take God out of the picture—rank unbeliever or carnal believer—we lose hope and find despair.
C. Archibald McLeish: “There is, in truth, a terror in the world, and the arts have heard it as they always do. Under the hum of the miraculous machines and ceaseless publications of the brilliant physicists a silence waits and listens and is heard. It is the silence of apprehension. We do not trust our time, and the reason we do not trust our time is because it is we who have made the time, and we do not trust ourselves. We have played the hero's part, mastered the monsters, accomplished the labors, become gods—and we do not trust ourselves as gods. We know what we are.”
D. Background: “Nothing new under the sun” (Solomon). Isaiah lived in hope-less times. He, Hosea & Micah prophets in Southern Kingdom of Judah—one of the most hope-less times.
E. Judah hopelessly headed to moral bankruptcy; greed, materialism, crime, violence rampant; appearance of religious devotion, but idolaters; women obsessed with physical beauty, no concern for inner beauty (body piercing, perfume, expensive garments, jewelry—seductive); leaders called evil good and good evil; false appearance helping poor, but actually holding them in poverty. They lied, and they obstructed justice. Tradition tells us Isaiah paid a high price for speaking out in his time (Talmud; Heb 11:37).
F. Isaiah has much to say to us today—hopeless, Godless times
II. Observation—Isaiah 9:1-7 (please stand—beautiful passage of hope)
A. The Great Light (1-2)
1. (1) “Gloom” just prophesied (read 8:21-22); northern tribes to be conquered by Assyrians, “but…no more gloom”—“Zebulun, Naphtali, Galilee” Jesus’ neighborhood; made “glorious” by the presence of Jesus;
2. (2) vs.1-2 quoted in Mt 4:15-16; Jesus is “great light”—read Jn 1:4-5; Matt rightly saw the fulfillment of this prophecy in the first coming of Jesus.
B. The Great Peace (3-5)
1. Between vs.2 and 3 very common in OT Prophecy (why so difficult to interpret); vs.1-2 prophecy concerning first coming—vs.3-5 prophetic of second coming (millennial kingdom; v.6 also—later, helps understand 3-5 as millennial kingdom).
2. (3-5) Isaiah promises God will “increase their gladness” (3) “break the yoke…rod of their oppressor” (4; example of why followers expected Jesus to overthrow Rome), and “boot of the booted warrior…cloak rolled in blood…for burning” (5) the end of war! NLT: “In that day of peace, battle gear will no longer be issued. Never again will uniforms be bloodstained by war. All such equipment will be burned.” Never realized in past—not until millennial reign of Christ, at Second Coming of Christ.
C. The Great King (6-7)
1. (6a) “child born”—Messiah would be human (“born”); first coming, infant in Bethlehem; “son given”—Messiah would be God (“given”). Wonderful promise because only a human Savior could identify with our weaknesses (Heb 4:15a) and only if God Himself intervened could we be saved (Heb 4:15b).
2. (6b) “government…shoulders”=millennial kingdom; Can you imagine what this will be like?! Jesus will be President, Czar, Chancellor, King—omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, incorruptible, unimpeachable! Government will be on shoulders of perfect Lord and King, Jesus Christ; all evil dictatorships, social experiments and fiscal nonsense thing of past—this promise should provide hope!
3. Notice: 2 prophetic events, separated by at least 2,000 years, side-by-side same passage, even same verse (common in OT)! Eph 3: “stewardship (NAS)/ administration (NIV)/ dispensation (KJV)…mystery”=Church Age—between 2 “comings” (advents) of Messiah so Gospel could be taken to Gentiles (non-Jews); prophecies that seemed impossible to reconcile are made clear through NT revelation: Messiah came first time in humility to suffer and die (e.g., Is 53), then come a second time as glorious, exalted King (e.g., Is 9)—between is today; Church age
4. (6c) At the risk of oversimplifying these titles, let me try to summarize their meaning:
a) “Wonderful Counselor” Messiah all-knowing, will rule wisely, truthfully
b) “Mighty God” Messiah all-powerful, rule with total control
c) “Eternal Father” Messiah Creator of everything (does not equate Him with First Person of Trinity, pictures Him as the One who gave birth to everything), will rule as a Father—protecting, providing, loving
d) “Prince of Peace” Messiah peace-maker, will rule without conflict and turmoil; rich with meaning in context—Assyrian invasion soon; v.7 elaborates on this great title
5. Exciting truth for future, but “Wonderful Counselor” right now (offers wisdom today); “Mighty God” now (offers strength today); “Eternal Father” now (offers provision/protection now); “Prince of Peace” right now (offers peace today); angels on night of His birth: Luke 2:14: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” Promises only for those who have first trusted Christ.
6. (7) Clearly more than just a human king—reign will not end, never decline (only increase), peace (put an end to war), continue after the millennium into eternity; sound too incredible to believe? “zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this”! Not dependent on obedience of Israel or Church—will happen because God guarantees it.
III. Closing: Application
A. Have hope like Judah because of the 2nd Coming!
1. Judah under God’s judgment; America under God’s judgment (Rom 1 progression)
2. A Son is coming! Titus 2:11-15 “Blessed Hope”—demonstration of true hope=“godly living” (More in Mt 24-25)
B. Give hope like Isaiah because of the 1st Coming!
1. Remember: Isaiah had the difficult task of pronouncing judgment, but also gave numerous prophecies of hope—called “Messianic Prophet”; gave hope in ch9
2. Paul: God’s wrath (bad news) Ch1 so he could get to good news (5:6-10; 6:23; 8:1)
3. The “child” bled human blood to reconcile us to God and give us hope—Eph 2:8-13 (This is what Christmas is all about);
4. 1 Peter 3:15—we must have hope to give hope; when we have hope people will be drawn to it; be prepared to “make a defense”—able to explain Gospel; answer/find answers to questions; be so “hope-full” people notice; living with expectation!
C. Illus: Shepherd’s Home in Wisconsin shelter people mental/physical limitations—little problem: can’t keep windows clean. Despite limitations, understand Jesus is coming back—when He does, they will be made whole. Superintendent: “Every day some of them go to the windows and press their noses against the glass, looking for Him.”
D. God help us live with such expectation we need to clean windows; pray Rom 15:13