Isaiah 9 6 For Unto Us A Child Is Born
For Unto Us A Child Is Born
I was intrigued by a picture of a Christian Iraqi shop keeper arranging Christmas decorations inside his shop in Baghdad Thursday Dec. 16, 2004. Today, only 800,000 Christians live in Iraq. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)
I can’t imagine what it must be like to be a Christian trying to celebrate Christmas in Iraq! The vast majority of the population is Moslem. The Koran teaches in the 19th Sura that Jesus was born of the virgin Mary in Saudi Arabia under a Palm Tree.
Of course, there’s almost as much confusion about the meaning of Christmas in American society today. At a Christmas light parade in Denver last year, a Church was forbidden to participate with their float, because they planned on singing Christmas Carols about Christ and His birth. And when Salvation Army bell ringers are not allowed to ring their bells outside of major department stores, you wonder if people in America even know why we celebrate Christmas.
Politically Correct “Night Before Christmas”
‘Twas the night before Christmas and Santa’s a wreck …
How to live in a world that’s politically correct?
His workers no longer would answer to “Elves.”
“Vertically Challenged” they were calling themselves.
And labor conditions at the North Pole
Were alleged by the union to stifle the soul.
Four reindeer had vanished, without much propriety,
Released to the wilds by the Humane Society,
And equal employment had made it quite clear
That Santa had better not use just reindeer.
So Dancer and Donner, Comet and Cupid,
Were replaced with four pigs, and you know that looked stupid!
The runners had been removed from his sleigh;
The ruts were termed dangerous by the E.P.A.
And people had started to call for the cops
When they heard sled noises on their roof-tops,
Second-hand smoke from his pipe had workers frightened.
His fur trimmed red suit was called “Unenlightened.”
And to show you the strangeness of life’s ebbs and flows,
Rudolph was suing over unauthorized use of his nose.
He had gone on Larry King, in front of the nation,
Demanding millions in over-due compensation.
So, half of the reindeer were gone; and his wife,
Who suddenly said she’d enough of this life,
Joined a self-help group, packed, and left in a whiz,
Demanding from now on that her title was “Ms.”
And as for the gifts, why he’d never had a notion
That making a choice could cause so much commotion.
Nothing of leather, nothing of fur,
Which meant nothing for him, and nothing for her.
Nothing that might be construed to pollute.
Nothing to aim, nothing to shoot.
Nothing that clamored or made lots of noise.
Nothing for just girls, or just for the boys.
Nothing that claimed to be gender specific.
Nothing that’s warlike or non-pacific.
No candy or sweets … they were bad for the tooth.
Nothing that seemed to embellish a truth.
And fairy tales, while not yet forbidden,
Were like Ken and Barbie, better off hidden.
For they raised the hackles of those psychological
Who claimed the only good gift was one ecological.
No baseball, no football … someone could get hurt;
Besides, playing sports exposed kids to dirt.
Dolls were said to be sexist, and should be passe;
And X-Box would rot your whole brain away.
So Santa just stood there, disheveled, perplexed;
He just could not figure out what to do next.
He tried to be merry, tried to be gay,
(But you’ve got to be careful with that word today!)
His sack was quite empty, limp to the ground;
No fully acceptable gift to be found.
Something special was needed, a gift that he might
Give to all without angering the left or the right.
A gift that would satisfy, with no indecision,
Each group of people, every religion;
Every ethnicity, every hue,
Everyone, everywhere … even you.
So here is that gift, it will never depart …
May you and your loved ones have Christ in your heart.
Isaiah 9:1 (KJV)
1 Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations.
Matthew 4:12-16 applies this passage to Jesus at His first coming.
12 Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee; 13 And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: 14 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, 15 The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; 16 The people which sat in darkness saw great light;
Zebulun ? Region containing Nazareth
Naphtali ? Region containing N & W shores of the Sea of Galilee, including Capernaum
“Her vexation” ? 732 BC, Tiglath Pileser III of Assyria took the N. Kingdom of Israel into captivity. But Isaiah was prophesying to the S. Kingdom of Judah. Dark days lay ahead for Judah (destruction by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC), but not as dark as they had been for Israel.
2 Kings 15:29 (NASB95) In the days of Pekah king of Israel, Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria came and captured Ijon and Abel-beth-maacah and Janoah and Kedesh and Hazor and Gilead and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali; and he carried them captive to Assyria.
Isaiah 9:2 (KJV)
2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
Ashurna?irpal II (883-859) boasted, “I stormed the mountain peaks and took them. In the midst of the mighty mountain I slaughtered them; with their blood I dyed the mountain red like wool. . . . The heads of their warriors I cut off, and I formed them into a pillar over against their city; their young men and their maidens I burned in the fire.”
“I flayed [him], his skin I spread upon the wall of the city . . .”
Shalmaneser II (859-824) boasted of his cruelties after one of his campaigns: “A pyramid of heads I reared in front of his city. Their youths and their maidens I burnt up in the flames.”
Sennacherib (705-681) wrote of his enemies, “I cut their throats like lambs. I cut off their precious lives [as one cuts] a string. Like the many waters of a storm I made [the contents of] their gullets and entrails run down upon the wide earth. . . . Their hands I cut off.”
Ashurbanipal (669-626) described his treatment of a captured leader in these words: “I pierced his chin with my keen hand dagger. Through his jaw . . . I passed a rope, put a dog chain upon him and made him occupy . . . a kennel.”
In his campaign against Egypt, Ashurbanipal also boasted that his officials hung Egyptian corpses “on stakes [and] stripped off their skins and covered the city wall(s) with them.”
“The city of blood” (Nahum 3:1)
“On whom has not your evil passed continually?” (Nahum 3:19)
A great Light (v. 2) is about to shine for the people of God. And just as the darkness began in the “land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,” the Light will begin in that region, too.
verses 3-4 ? millennium
God used the Assyrians to prepare His people for the blessings of the Millennium. There are “Assyrians” that He allows to come into our lives as well!
verse 5 ? the aftermath of Armageddon
verse 6 ? the One who will bring about the conditions of blessing in the millennium
In ancient times, rulers were given descriptive names. For example:
The 8th century Assyrian king is known as “Sargon,” (Assyrian Sarru-Ukin) which means “The King Is Legitimate”
Or Niqmepa, king of Ugarit (mid-second millennium) whose titles included such names as
- “Lord of Justice,”
- “Master of the Royal House,”
- “King Who Protects”
- “King Who Builds.”
Isaiah mentioned 4 names – or descriptive titles – that can be given to the Lord Jesus Christ. These 4 names tell us why it is so important that we worship Him at Christmas:
I. Wonderful Counselor (?????? ?????? )
a. KJV punctuates as if it were 2 titles, but the Hebrew has the construct state. The first item is a noun used as an adjective: “A Wonder of a Counselor”
b. The typical oriental monarch would be attended by many counselors. But Jesus is a King who is also a counselor. In Him is not only regal authority, but all the wisdom necessary for Him to be a wise and benevolent ruler. In the millennium, people from all over the earth will flock to Jerusalem to hear the wisdom of Christ.
i. This happened with Solomon, a type of Christ (Queen of Sheba)
c. The wisdom that man has attained is mind-boggling:
i. Space flight
ii. Medical advances
iv. Computer technology
d. But the wisdom of God makes man’s mind seem puny!
i. People used to live to nearly 1,000 years. One man’s life was longer than the time that has passed since the Rennaisence!
1 Corinthians 3:19
For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.
1 Corinthians 1:30
But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
II. The Mighty God (??? ???????? )
a. Jehovah’s Witnesses and liberals try to claim that the Bible doesn’t teach the deity of Jesus. But this title teaches His deity as clearly as any verse in the Bible. This title occurs at least 5 other times in the OT as a title of God.
b. Isaiah 10:21 The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God.
c. Deuteronomy 10:17 For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward:
d. Jeremiah 32:18 Thou shewest lovingkindness unto thousands, and recompensest the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them: the Great, the Mighty God, the LORD of hosts, is his name,
e. Also Nehemiah 9:32; Psalms 24:8
f. Acknowledgment of His deity is essential for salvation:
Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus [or that Jesus is Lord], and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
g. This was John’s confession at the end of Revelation (19:10) And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
III. The Everlasting Father (????? ??? )
a. Not His relationship to the Trinity, but His relationship to time.
b. Better translation: “The Father of Eternity” ? “The One who fathers eternity”
c. Micah 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
d. Psalm 90:1-2 Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. 2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.
e. He is above time: The Lamb slain from the foundation of the earth, Rev 13:8. He has already been in our tomorrow!
IV. The Prince of Peace (???????????? )
a. The Mideast peace process will not ultimately succeed. That region will continue to experience unrest until the “Prince of Peace” comes.
b. Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
c. Philippians 4:7 The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
d. This is why the angels could say “Peace on earth, good will toward men.”
Some day, Jesus is coming again, and He will rule the world “truth and grace.” Today, you can have the peace of God in your heart by turning to the Christ of Christmas.