Unto Us a Child is Born
Scripture: Isaiah 9:1–9:7
Key Truth: The birth of Christ signals freedom from slavery, the end of war and the beginning of peace and flourishing, and a faithful and just King to rule over this new reality for eternity.
“Will Israel recognize that to depend upon the nations is to lose her distinct mission to them, whereas refusal to depend upon them is to become a blessing to them? Until a person or a nation is convinced of God’s complete trustworthiness, they cannot lay aside the lust for their own security to become God’s servant.” John N. Oswalt, The Book of Isaiah: Chapters 1-39
Q: What are you most dependent on this Advent Season? What is your greatest desire?
Isaiah 9:1-3: A Great Light Shines in the Deep Darkness and Joy Breaks Forth: “As always, the people of God must decide what reading of their experiences they will live by. Are they to look at the darkness, the hopelessness, the dreams shattered and conclude that God has forgotten them? Or are they to recall his past mercies, to remember his present promises and to make a great affirmation of faith? Isaiah insists here that hope is a present reality, part of the constitution of the ‘now’. The darkness is true but it is not the whole truth and certainly not the fundamental truth.” J. Alec Motyer, The Prophecy of Isaiah: An Introduction & Commentary
Q: What reading of your experience are you living by? Is it the darkness of past mistakes and current failings or is it founded on gratitude for God’s ongoing faithfulness and mercy?
Isaiah 9:4-5: For Slavery and War Are Ending, and Freedom and Shalom Beginning:
“Now, hence it is evident what Christ brings to us, namely, a full and perfect joy, of which we cannot in any way be robbed or deprived, though various storms and tempests should arise, and though we should be weighed down by every kind of afflictions. However weak and feeble we may be, still we ought to be glad and joyful; for the ground of our joy does not lie in numbers, or wealth, or outward splendor, but in spiritual happiness, which we obtain through the word of Christ.” John Calvin, Commentary on Isaiah
Q: Do you long for freedom and peace in your life and the lives of those around you? How else will this come to full reality if Christ is not the means?
Isaiah 9:6-7: For Unto Us a Child is Born, A Faithful and Just King to Rule for Eternity
“…the good news is that the God who is with us is a God who wants to turn our darkness into light, our conflict into shalom, our loss into abundance, our despair into joy. The One who rides with passionate desire at the head of the hosts of heaven…has a passionate desire to do good to all people. If a God like that is with us, that is good news to all eternity.” John N. Oswalt, The NIV Application Commentary on Isaiah
Q: In what ways have you experienced Christ as a Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and/or Prince of Peace? How has his rule in your life compared to that which previously ruled your life?
“Has the mighty God become a little child for us, and shall we regard his condescension with indifference? Is he governing and overruling every thing for our good, and shall we feel no sense of his kindness? Let us rather say, What shall I render to the Lord for all the benefits he has done unto me? Charles Simeon, Horae Homileticae: Proverbs to Isaiah XXVI
The birth of Christ ushers in a new joyous reality in which:
-we can be free from the slavery of sin and death
-we can become ambassadors and architects of peace
-we have a faithful and just King to promote and preserve this unfolding mystery for eternity