Isaiah 9:1-7 The Kingdom Has Come
The prophet’s role is to speak the word of the Lord.
The prophets speak to the presentto proclaim the truth of God’s word applied to their current context.
The prophet often also speaks regarding the future: judgment, rescue/redemption, God keeping his word, rescue or restoration.
When God, through the prophet, speaks about the future its often:
- Stop the current disobedience or judgment is imminent.
- For my faithful who are suffering or despondent for the ethical climate they are living in, hang on and stay faithful, things will be made right.
God speaks through the prophet to announce and advance his actual rule in spite of the opposing forces of evil that stand against him and his faithful people.
Isaiah 9:1-7 is the prophet’s message from God to the faithful, that in spite of God’s judgment on idolatrous of Israel, he would make things right and that there is hope for those who trust in the Lord.
Background: Syria/Ephraim/Assyria. What are God’s faithful to think/do in the middle of the conflict and the unfaithfulness of others as they lament the state of their world?
- Those who trust God are to know they are protected by God. 8:9-10
- Those who trust God are to honor God above everything else. 8:11-15
- Those who trust God are to hear and obey God’s word. 8:16-20
- Those who trust God must know that dark times will come. 8:21-22
- Those who trust God are to know that God will not leave things as they are. Hope in God! 9:1-7
Hope in God!
- God is “zealous” in working for his people, and his zeal is how he will sustain his faithful people. 9:7
Zeal – jealous as a husband (sole desire for), state of ill will ranging even to anger, deep devotion…
Arabic cognate – “red faced”
Isaiah 42:13 (ESV) The Lord goes out like a mighty man, like a man of war he stirs up his zeal; he cries out, he shouts aloud, he shows himself mighty against his foes.
- God will bring relief where there was distress and spiritual light where there was darkness and salvation where there was condemnation and multiplication where there was subtraction. 9:1-3
- God will bring victory in an unlikely manner in order to show it is by his power. 9:4
- Gideon and his 300 being an unlikely hero, points us to one who will fulfill this work in a similarly unlikely manner. Hmm. Who might that be?
- God will destroy the forces of evil. 9:5
- God will bring his kingdom to victory through a king. 9:6-7
- According to Matthew and Luke, Isaiah 9:1-7 is fulfilled in the birth of Jesus. He is the promised one, and his kingdom is the one that is established and is increasing.
- God is zealously working to keep his people. Look at the providence of God making Christmas even happen! God dropping providence bombs all over creation in zeal!
- The Light of the world has brought the light of salvation for those in the darkness of idolatry. God the Father sent Jesus to be born in these places where darkness had a stronghold. It’s almost like God taunting the enemy.
- Remember, the gospel writers are telling a history of what has already happened because the Light of the world has lived, died, rose and ascended and sent the Spirit. Salvation and kingdom have come, and they are recounting it for us.
- God has brought victory from what the world considers weakness. A child. A young couple. Poverty. No place to stay. No place of influence. Not considered as significant. Jesus!
- God has effectively defeated evil by the cross, the realization of that victory is growing daily.
- Colossians 2:13-15 (ESV) And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.
- The kingdom of God has come via the King of the universe.
- Believe (belief is the foundation of actions)that in the coming of Jesus, God has begun the invasion of the dark kingdom and is keeping his word.
Christmas is our D-Day. It marks the beginning of a conflict that will end all conflicts. Christmas is the “cosmic conflict” that the prophets speak about in the OT.
Easter is our VE and VJ Day.
Every day since has been God’s people telling the world that victory is ours with an invitation to join for all who will repent and believe.
We live in an age of realizing what has already been secured.
- Acts 2:16 quoting Joel, Isaiah, Ezekiel, etc. says they are fulfilled in Jesus sending the Spirit.
- Acts 13:32-33 reminding us that what God promised to the Fathers in the OT, he fulfilled by raising Jesus.
Isaiah 9:7 “Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore.”
- Jesus Kingdom is real and tangible and increasing, and heaven is not some “Platonic” thing out in the sky. Rather, the heavenly kingdom is here. Restored. Renewed.
- This truth of Jesus kingdom affects our current practices.
- We don’t abandon our world or isolate ourselves from it, we take it by engaging all domains of society through our vocations as church planters (we need to deconstruct western church and reconstruct it based on Scripture alone).
- We wait for the Lord in faith.
By wait we don’t mean doing nothing.
We mean biblical waiting = faithfully trusting in and obeying the Lord in spite of how things appear. Striving to bend our emotional responses around the baseline of what we know to be true, not what my circumstances are presenting at the moment.
We live in the middle of an “already / not yet” reality. The kingdom has come, but the war is not over and there is a battle raging.
Between the time of Isaiah’s writing of what is to come and its fulfillment in Matthew 4:15-16 will be 700 years and some change.
The faithful of Isaiah’s day will not see God’s promise fulfilled in their time.
Wait = “long obedience in the same direction”. – Eugene Peterson