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ISAIAH 9:6&7

Lesson: The voice of Isaiah lets us know that Immanuel is here. Our God is with us, never to leave or forsake us, for we are His and He is our God. Christ has come into the world to usher in the Kingdom of God and as the faithful ruler and king; Christ alone will take care of his people. He will be their provider, their protector, their righteous judge, and their defender. Christ will be to his people all that they need him to be, and they will not lack any good thing. We only have to receive the precious gift of God – Christ Jesus. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given. 

Pastor Paul Glover:

The prophecy of Isaiah 9:6&7 was given to Judah when fear gripped its people as their once-mighty nation crumbled. Through Isaiah, God commanded Judah to be neutral. But Ahaz, the king, struck an alliance with Assyria as he sought help to repel invading armies. This proved costly to Judah’s economic and religious interests as Ahaz handed over a significant portion of his nation’s wealth, and allowed incorporation of some of Assyria ‘s religious practices. Ultimately, the society descended into a state of moral decline. Some may ask why God was not more forceful in intervening.

Yet if God intervened in every difficult situation in our lives we would never learn anything. We would never develop the moral fortitude and character that defines us as children and people of God.

One day my father was ironing. As he placed the iron in an upright position and stepped away for a minute, I picked it up and put my hand on the heated part. I never considered that touching that hot iron would be painful. As this situation was unfolding, my father stood watching and never intervened. After I dropped the iron, ran to the freezer to immerse my hand in ice, and then ran to the sink to run cold water on it, the only thing my father said was, “Wow, I bet that hurt.” I believe God acts in very similar fashion.

The people of Judah saw things were deteriorating quickly. God spoke to Isaiah and told him to remind the people they should not look to other human beings as the source of their salvation.

God said that in spite of how dark and gloomy things appeared, there will come a time when things will be better. God promised the people that if they trusted in Him, better times were ahead.

It is important for us to remember that life is filled with ups and downs. God uses hardship and tough times to forge character and to draw us closer to Him.

The prophecy of Isaiah 9:6&7 are words of hope that are as relevant today as they were when they were first uttered. They speak of something God will do for all those who are willing to put their trust in Him:

For unto us a child is born, a son is given (vs.6) – The birth of hope. The joy that is associated with the birth of a child is both present and future focused. The present joy is that the child is here. The future joy lies in the potential for greatness. The birth of the Christ-child also brings both present and future joy. Because Christ is here, we have hope for a better today and an even better tomorrow. The promises of Scripture, that we will never be alone, and that God will never desert us, have now been fulfilled.

And the government shall be upon his shoulders – The responsibility of governing is burdensome. It is no surprise that all who have served as President of the United States look much older after they leave office. God, speaking through Isaiah, informs us that with the advent of the Christ-child, God is ushering in a new kind of government. In God’s government, Christ is the commander-in-chief.

On a personal level, we are encouraged to turn the reins of trying to govern our lives over to Christ. Trust in Christ, who sees all and knows all, even before it happens. Trust in Christ, who is able to equip us for every eventuality and protect our hearts, minds, and souls from all those things that seek to draw us into areas that are detrimental to our wellbeing.

On a political level, our leaders are encouraged to learn from the mistakes of those who have gone before. They are encouraged to examine the history of Israel, and realize that history repeats itself.

There are no new mistakes, only the same old mistakes that take on a different form to suit the time and setting.

It is no coincidence that God has always raised men to speak into the ear of our Presidents – and Billy Graham, John Hagee and Rick Warren are but three examples.

God, through these imperfect vessels, seeks to communicate, “You do not have to do this alone, allow my Son, whom I have given you, to bear the burden of governing, because his shoulders were created to carry burdens.”

Wonderful Counselor – The primary goal of therapy is to assist individuals to better function within their environment. The joke is, people do not listen or heed the advice of their therapist. Let us be honest, most folks lie to their therapist, are not honest with themselves as to the nature of problem, or simply refuse to consistently put into practice the counsel they receive. God offers us a different kind of therapist. He offers us a Wonderful Counselor. Before a therapist can provide any form of assistance, they must first obtain background information on the patient. Jesus already knows our history. Jesus knows the things that are lurking deep down inside our hearts, and those deep wounds that seem like they are never going to heal. Therefore, when we go to Jesus, he already has our prescription. He already has our treatment plan and the steps we need to achieve deliverance. All we need to do is be open to the advice that Jesus gives, internalize it, and then put it into practice. To avoid a relapse, it is suggested that we meet and confer with Jesus on a regular basis.

Mighty God – Every child has a hero. My hero was Batman, the caped crusader. I was always amazed by how Batman would save Gotham City and escape whatever trap the villain set for him. Jesus is our hero. He is our mighty God. It is comforting to know that no matter what trap has been set for us by the enemy, Jesus will show up to rescue us. It is encouraging to know that whatever I face, whatever I go through, Jesus is there to aid me. As the absolute divinity, Jesus does not need to use his utility belt or some other contraption, because Jesus possesses everything we need within him. Everything and everyone within creation is subject to Jesus. That is what Paul meant when he said, “I can do all things through Christ Jesus, who strengthens me.”

Everlasting Father – One of the problems with relationships is no sooner do you get close to someone than they leave or maybe even die. With Jesus, we do not have that problem, because Jesus is from everlasting to everlasting. In Romans, the Apostle Paul asks the question, “What can separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? It is written, for thy sake we face death all day long; we are like sheep waiting for the slaughter. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.”

Prince of Peace – One of the blessings of living in the United States is that we do not experience the ravages of war within our borders. Unlike people in many parts of the world, we have no idea what it is like to wake up to bombs going off outside our homes, or going to sleep wondering whether we will see the next day or be blown to smithereens. The World Trade Center attack and the Oklahoma City bombing were aberrations, not the norm. However, we still have everyday problems that create unrest and angst, and cause us to feel unsettled. To remedy this, God has given us Jesus to be our Prince of Peace to still our hearts and minds. He is able to calm our fears and quiet our anxieties. Jesus is able to take us from the brink of a mental breakdown and make us whole, sound, and complete. Once we realize that we have everything we need in Jesus, we will come to know and experience a true peace that surpasses all human understanding. In most mainline churches, they “pass the peace.” It is a ritual where the rector, priest, or pastor passes the peace of Christ to another person, and this is repeated until everyone receives it. I wonder, if we were to really internalize this simple act, what kind of transformation would occur within us, our homes, our communities, our schools, and even, perhaps, our government? Passing the peace means to let go of whatever you are holding onto, to give it to Christ and to receive the comfort that Jesus offers. When we pass the peace of Christ, we are literally speaking peace into the heart and mind of another individual. We are informing that person not to worry about anything because Jesus is here. Think about it, no more retribution, no more need to take the law into our own hands, no need for hard or hurt feelings – Jesus, our Immanuel, is here!