700 Years before Jesus was born here is what a Prophet called Isaiah said about him. The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder. For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor. Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. (Isaiah 9 v 2 – 7)
Isaiah was given these words by God – he was an Old Testament Prophet. God revealed to Him the present as it was and the future as it will be. God spoke to His people through the Prophets to challenge their wicked ways, rebellion and sin.
The people to whom Isaiah was prophesying were a sinful nation who had rebelled against God. They went through the motions of religion but the way they lived their lives was in rebellion to God and full of injustice.
Let’s look back at Isaiah’s calling – When Isaiah is called by God to prophesy he is in the Temple. He sees God’s glory shinning before Him in majesty and light but all he could see was the darkness of his own unworthiness. He says, “Woe to me! I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty”.
In other words in the greatest light of all, the light of the glorious majesty of God, if you see it, you will be blinded, plunged into darkness, and then you will see yourself as you really are. I guess it is a little bit like looking directly into the sun and being blinded and unable to see for some time afterwardsNot only is Isaiah undone by his own sin he sees the darkness of the sin in the society around Him – the injustice, exploitation and everyone living for their own desires.
The concept here is that when we come into the presence of God we cannot stand – we are undone. How can we with all our sin stand in the presence of a Holy God? Tomorrow we will see that in His glorious light there is hope as we look further at Isaiah’s prophesy about the first Christmas.