Jesus: A Child Born

For a child will be born for us…” (Isaiah 9.6 CSB)      

John 1.14 states, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” Galatians 4.4-5 state, “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” Finally, 1 Timothy 3.16 states, “Great is the mystery of godliness:  God was manifested in the flesh.”

All of this NT revelation illuminates that which people in Isaiah’s day did not understand.  A child will be born for us. He is a child born of a virgin woman, born under the Law in order to redeem those who were under the Law. You need redemption. That is, you must be set free from your sins. All of us have sinned. We all fall short of the glory of God. But a child was born for us. He lived a sinless life and offered Himself as a substitute for us. His sacrifice set us free. The Father made the Son, who knew no sin, to be sin for us. Why? He did so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (see 2 Corinthians 5.21). Are you in Christ today?

A Child Born …A Son Given …A King Forever!

For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on his shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. The dominion will be vast, and its prosperity will never end. He will reign on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish and sustain it with justice and righteousness from now on and forever. The zeal of the Lord of Armies will accomplish this” (Isaiah‬ ‭9‬:‭6‬-‭7‬ ‭CSB‬‬).

This Child born is the Son of the virgin mentioned back in Isaiah 7.14. The first two phrases tell us that a Child is born (birth of Christ) and a Son is given (crucifixion of Christ). Everything following in Isaiah’s prophecy points to His coming Millennial Kingdom. Then, the government will be upon His shoulder. He will be the King reigning.

There are now four descriptive phrases of the King: 1) Wonderful Counselor; 2) Mighty God; 3) Everlasting Father; 4) Prince of Peace. First, He has wisdom to govern the people of the world perfectly. Second, He has the power to carry out His rule with an iron scepter. Third, He is the everlasting Father in the sense that He is the Father of all those who are redeemed. Adam is the father of all living beings. Christ is the last Adam and became a life-giving spirit (1 Corinthians 15.45). Finally, He is the Prince of Peace. The 1,000 year reign of Christ will be marked by the absence of war and violence. It will fulfill the Davidic Covenant and satisfy the promises of God. It will be a time of great blessing. 

Of the increase of Christ’s government and peace there will be no end. The government of Christ does not increase through war but through peace. His justice and judgment are characteristic of His reign. His reign and rule is forever. This will be a fulfillment of the promise God made to David in 2 Samuel 7.12-17 (NKJV):  

“When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men. But My mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever.” 

So our text today is all about the Lord Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ is a Child born, a Son given, and King forever. Do you believe that Jesus Christ was born to die for your sins? Do you believe that as an eternal King, His sovereignty extends over the choices you make today? Some very important considerations!

Cursed Be the Peace-Takers

Do not call everything a conspiracy that they people say is a conspiracy. Do not fear what they fear; do not be terrified. You are to regard only the LORD of Armies as holy. Only he should be feared; only he should be held in awe. He will be a sanctuary; but for the two houses of Israel, he will be a stone to stumble over and a rock to trip over, and a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem” (Isaiah 8.12-14).

People who live a horizontal existence are anxious and afraid. They incite others to be afraid as well. We live in a day of general panic. Even believers participate. Aren’t we needlessly afraid about so many things in this life? It’s as if we keep God in a box during these times. What’s worse is that we lead others to do the same by our negative examples.

We often forget that Isaiah’s promise of a Messiah is intertwined with national panic and insecurity. So, they were called to look to the LORD of Armies who is a sanctuary of peace and stability. “No weapon formed against you will succeed …This is the heritage of the LORD’s servants, and their vindication is from me” (Isaiah 54.17). Indeed, this is the LORD’s declaration in the midst of conspiracy and turmoil. 

Our sanctuary is not a building; our Sanctuary is Jesus Himself. We find our peace and refuge in Christ our Savior. Our life is hid with Him in God. May God strengthen us to be peacemakers instead of peace-takers in our world.

Testing God

“Is it not enough for you to try the patience of men? Will you also try the patience of my God” (Isaiah 7.13)?

A king of Israel calls for a foreign nation to deliver him during a threat of conflict and war. He doesn’t call upon God for deliverance but calls upon others. His choice is very familiar. 

When we look to others to be what only God is, we are making the same poor choice this king made. God is with us. He will deliver us. We simply must call upon Him to do so. Where do you go when trouble comes? Let us not try the patience of our God!

Messengers of Mercy

“Woe is me for I am ruined
because I am a man of unclean lips
and live among a people of unclean lips,
and because my eyes have seen the King,
the Lord of Armies” (Isaiah 6.5).

Great terror and fear result when people come face to face with God in the Scripture. A sense of unworthiness, genuine humility, and self-loathing accompany such an experience. The Lord Jesus taught that those who exalt themselves will be humbled and those who humble themselves will be exalted (see Matthew 23.12).

Isaiah was given a vision of God in His heavenly throne room. He didn’t come away from the experience thinking he was privileged and special. He rightly saw himself and everyone around him as unclean and filthy. We are all as an unclean thing. Even our so-called good deeds and righteous actions are as filthy rags before God (see Isaiah 64.6). 

That said, those who humble themselves are exalted. God exalts them to a privileged position that they don’t deserve. God also exalts them to a higher purpose. The tongue of Isaiah was purified by the altar of God even as the blood of Christ purifies the life of believers today. We don’t deserve this. We haven’t earned it. What we deserve is condemnation and eternal torment. But God who is rich in mercy sent Christ to die for our sins. I need the mercy of God to share the message of mercy today even as Isaiah needed it in his day. So that I can say with Isaiah this morning, “Here I am, LORD. Send me” (Isaiah 6.8).

God Approves?

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness, who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter” (Isaiah 5.20).

We are so sinful that it is not enough to rebel against God and do what is evil. We seek acquittal for our actions. We seek approval for them. So, we redefine and change what is evil so that it becomes what is good. We call the darkness light and the light darkness. Sweet is bitter and bitter is sweet. 

We have rejected God as a nation. Collectively, we do not want His authority. Instead, we want to be rich. We want to get ahead in the world. We want power and prestige. We press for this in our selection of schools and jobs. All the while, we deceive ourselves into thinking we are doing something for this world that is good. But our actions and thoughts are rejected and despised by God. 

As believers, we must live today as if it were our last day. We know that we must give an account of the time, talent, and treasure God allows us to have. If we have much power, prestige, and possessions, then we have much more for which to answer. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may be repaid for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” (2 Corinthians 5.10). And not one believer will call good evil or evil good in that day.

The Righteous and the Wicked

“Tell the righteous that it will go well for them, for they will eat the fruit of their labor. Woe to the wicked – it will go badly for them, for what they have done will be done to them” (Isaiah 3.10-11).

There aren’t many kinds of people in our world today. There are only two in God’s economy: the righteous and the wicked. Today, righteous people are those who have placed their trust in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. They have no righteousness of their own. They see that. So, they come to Christ for the gift of His righteousness. Therefore, they are accepted by God and given the righteousness of Christ – a righteousness they would have never been able to earn or deserve.

The wicked are ignorant of God’s righteousness. They seek and establish their own righteousness (see Romans 10.2-4). They will not submit to the righteousness of God. “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” So, the wicked are often moral and religious but only because they are seeking to establish their own righteousness. As Isaiah said, “It will go badly for them.”

God’s message to both kinds of people remains constant. If you are righteous, it will go well for you. You will enjoy the fruit of your labor in the Lord (see 1 Corinthians 15.58). But if you are wicked, it will go badly for you. Everything you have built will come tumbling down in this life only to meet eternal ruin and torment. Come to Christ and then live for Christ. Then, it will go well with you.

The LORD’s Light

“Come and let’s walk in the LORD’s light” (Isaiah 2.5).

The light of the LORD is available in this present darkness. This invitation is not only a future promise for Israel. It is our daily privilege to walk in the LORD’s light. Primarily, the light of the LORD is the truth of His Word. It is reality while the world is living a fantasy. “The darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining” (1 John 2.8). We would do well to pay attention to the Word of God. It is “a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in [our] hearts” (2 Peter 1.19).

So, come and let’s walk in the LORD’s light today. Jesus commands us to walk while we have this light, lest the darkness overtake us. “While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light” (see John 12.35-36).

“For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light” (Psalm 36.9). May God’s glory shine forth in fuller measure through my character and conduct. May people see His light in me. May believers come with me so that we may speak to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs – singing together and making a melody in our hearts to the LORD. “Let the word of Christ dwell richly among [us]” (Colossians 3.16). Come and let’s walk in the LORD’s light!

Religiously Sinful

“Hear the word of the LORD …listen to the instruction of our God … ‘What are your sacrifices to me?’ asks the LORD. ‘Stop bringing useless offerings …When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will refuse to look at you; even if you offer countless prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are covered in blood. Wash yourselves …Remove your evil deeds from my sight …Learn to do what is good. Pursue justice. Correct the oppressor. Defend the rights of the fatherless. Plead the widow’s cause’” (Selected, Isaiah 1.10-17).

Perhaps all of our religious activity and countless prayers are merely self-justifying behaviors. God is not pleased with religious activity from me while I hold onto life dominating sins. This is truly self-righteous, legalistic behavior. Perhaps we seek God daily, delight to know His ways, and still strike with the fist of wickedness (see Isaiah 58.2-4).

What is truly required of a child of God? Certainly, it is required that we live a life of victory over sin by walking in the Spirit. So, why are we living lives filled with anger, lust, discontentment, envy, and impurity? Why are we lazy and covetous? Why are we conceited and arrogant? Skeptical and unfaithful? A major reason we struggle with sin is we seek to change our behavior while not changing our hearts and lives.

We must wash ourselves and remove all of this evil from God’s sight. We must do good, pursue justice, correct the oppressors, and defend the rights of the fatherless and widow. Jesus went about doing good. So must His disciples. Don’t be deceived. Religious activity for God devoid of a heart for Him is a betrayal of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The good news of the Gospel is that “Though your sins are scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are crimson red, they will be like wool” (v. 18). May God bless us with a willing obedience and a tender heart for Him!

Never Alone

I will bring the blind by a way they did not know;

I will lead them in paths they have not known.

I will make darkness light before them,

And crooked places straight.

These things I will do for them,

And not forsake them.

Isaiah 42:16

I don’t know the way ahead. I don’t see the various routes available for me. I’m in the dark when it comes to the future, but I am not alone nor forsaken. I cling to the promise that the Lord Jesus is with me. His Spirit dwells in me. His return to “bring forth justice for truth” (Isaiah 42.3). and “justice in the earth” (v. 4) brings great hope not only for Israel but also for the church. 

Contentment and hope in this life are supported by the facts the Jesus “Himself said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say: ‘The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me’ (Hebrews 13.5-6)?” 

Since I am limited and cannot know the future, I ought to check myself when I’m tempted to complain. God is most certainly in control. I simply must remain steadfast and patient. Also, I must be a wise steward of my time here. It is wise for me to “commit my way to the LORD” to also “trust in Him” while knowing that “He shall bring it to pass” (Psalm 37.5). What shall He bring to pass? All that He has promised. 

Our God will indeed bring the blind by a way they did not know. He will lead them in paths they have not known. God will make darkness light, crooked paths straight, and forsaken people His own children.