The Gospel and Judgement of Isaiah 9

These are the sermon notes from 12/9.

I.  The Gospel

A.  A Great Light Isaiah 9:1-2

Nevertheless the gloom will not be upon her who is distressed,
As when at first He lightly esteemed
The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
And afterward more heavily oppressed her,
By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan,
In Galilee of the Gentiles.
The people who walked in darkness
Have seen a great light;
Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
Upon them a light has shined.

Jesus, was of Nazareth, from Galilee.  Galilee did not enjoy a good reputation.  In fact, one of the disciples, when first told about Jesus, asked “Does anything good come out of Galilee?”

Jesus did come out of Galilee and Jesus is most certainly good.  These verses in refer to the Christ who is the “light of the world.  We are reminded in John, that “the light shown in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”

B.  The Eternal Kingdom Isaiah 9:6-7

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

These verses are often read at Christmas time.  Truly Jesus is wonderful,  He is a counselor, able to direct our lives.  He is the Mighty God, co-eternal with the Father, Everlasting Father, this can be confusing, since Jesus is not the same as our heavenly Father, but we are reminded, that Jesus said, “I and the Father are One” and “he who has seen me has seen the Father”.  So, we recognize that the Father is revealed in Christ.  Prince of Peace:  Christ gives to us a peace that is not of this world and that this world cannot take away.

The Kingdom of Christ is not of this world.  People are able to enter into His kingdom through faith in Jesus Christ.  People are continually being added to His kingdom throughout the years.  His kingdom will never end.

So far we have enjoyed the gospel of Isaiah 9, but there is more to come.

II.The Judgement

A.  Pride and Arrogance:  Isaiah 9:8-10

The Lord sent a word against Jacob,
And it has fallen on Israel.
All the people will know—
Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria—
Who say in pride and arrogance of heart:
10 “The bricks have fallen down,
But we will rebuild with hewn stones;
The sycamores are cut down,
But we will replace them with cedars.”

On September 12, 2001 in response to the destruction of the Twin Towers,  Tom Daschle, the Senate majority leader, in a speech to congress quoted verse ten.   It sounds nice except that in Isaiah it is a message of rebuke.  The people of Samaria had been afflicted because God had sent judgement, and instead of repenting of their sin, they stubbornly rebuilt.

This prophecy was originally for Samaria, but it is common for prophecy to have multiple applications.  The similarities to the Twin Towers are easy to see.  The original towers of brick and steel were knocked down.  When the Freedom Tower was began to be built on the site, there was a large granite stone, lowered into the foundation.

There was also a sycamore tree a short distance away that had been destroyed by debris.  It was later replaced with an evergreen tree, a tree for which the Hebrew word translated as cedars in the NKJ, could also be translated.

B.  Consequence:  Isaiah 9:11-13

Therefore the Lord shall set up
The adversaries of Rezin against him,
And spur his enemies on,
12 The Syrians before and the Philistines behind;
And they shall devour Israel with an open mouth.

For all this His anger is not turned away,
But His hand is stretched out still.

13 For the people do not turn to Him who strikes them,
Nor do they seek the Lord of hosts.

The people in Isaiah did not repent.  So, God sent additional punishments upon them.  The people still did not respond.  Since 9/11 there have been numerous natural disasters, that in an earlier age, people may have interpreted as the judgement of God.  Now, I am not saying that these various disasters over the last eleven years are the judgement of God, but I am saying that they could be the judgement of God.

Do we have any reason as a nation to need to repent?

C.  Leaders:  Isaiah 9:14-17

Therefore the Lord will cut off head and tail from Israel,
Palm branch and bulrush in one day.
15 The elder and honorable, he is the head;
The prophet who teaches lies, he is the tail.
16 For the leaders of this people cause them to err,
And those who are led by them are destroyed.
17 Therefore the Lord will have no joy in their young men,
Nor have mercy on their fatherless and widows;
For everyone is a hypocrite and an evildoer,
And every mouth speaks folly.

For all this His anger is not turned away,
But His hand is stretched out still.

There is no question that there is much sin in our land.  Abortion, gay marriage, sexual immorality of various kinds,  greed, oppression, hatred and much more are tolerated and even celebrated by many.  There are both political and religious leaders who support and encourage things that are declared evil by God.

Could our land be in danger of judgement?  The answer is yes, it could be in danger of judgement.

However, there are also many godly people in America.  It is very important that Christians continue to maintain their faith in God, to pray for our country, and to seek to live lives of righteousness: to be the salt and light that we are called to be in this world .

There might be some turbulence ahead, but we need  to remember that God will not forsake us, He is with us always.

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