Main point summary
The person of Christ is the foundation of miraculous change in nation's history - to glory, light, growth, extravagant joy, freedom, peace.
1 But there will be no g gloom for her who was in anguish.
In the former time he h brought into contempt the land of i Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
but in the latter time he j has made glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations. 2
1 i The people k who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of l deep darkness, on them has light shone.
m You have multiplied the nation;
you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you as with n joy at the harvest,
as they o are glad p when they divide the spoil.
q For the yoke of his burden, r and the staff for his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, you have broken
as s on the day of Midian.
t For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire.
u For to us a child is born,
to us v a son is given;
w and the government shall be x upon 1 his shoulder,
and his name shall be called 2 Wonderful y Counselor,
z Mighty God,
a Everlasting b Father,
Prince of c Peace.
The person of Christ is the foundation of miraculous change in nation's history - to glory, light, growth, extravagant joy, freedom, peace. (please keep in mind - these are notes on future sermon, not final product) - Let consider and see the wonderful, remarkable change that happens in these verses: From gloom and anguish to light and glory. But lets go first to the context of Isaiah 9. Context of Isaiah 9: In 8:7 Isaiah prophesies about the future invasion of Assyria from the north, " 7 therefore, behold, the Lord is bringing up against them the waters of the River, mighty and many, the king of Assyria and all his glory. And it will rise over all its channels and go over all its banks, 8 and it will sweep on into Judah, it will overflow and pass on, reaching even to the neck, and its outspread wings will fill the breadth of your land, O Immanuel.” Isaiah 8:7-8 ESV Assyrians will devastate the land, especially " ... the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali ..." Isaiah 9:1 ESV The northern part of the kingdom will be in contempt. We can read about this description of ruin in 2 Kings 15:29 , 2 Kings 17:6 . Isaiah summarize this state of the nation as a gloom. What is the state of gloom? Lets give definition in the context of Isaiah, and John as "walking in darkness" is peculiar to John. 1. Gloom is a place of near darkness, which could be described as " depression , despair , misery , sadness " In darkness you do now where you go, where the next blow comes from, where you'll stumble. Miserable condition of sadness. Jonathan Edward puts it like this in his sermon Sinners in the hands of an angry God - " It implies that they were always exposed to sudden, unexpected destruction; as he that walks in slippery places is every moment liable to fall, he can’t foresee one moment whether he shall stand or fall the next; and when he does fall, he falls at once, without warning, which is also expressed in that Psalm lxxiii. 18, 19: “Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction. How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment!” We can definitely say this even more about those who walk in gloom and deep spiritual darkness - " And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit. " And they do not know when. Lesson: Do not walk in darkness - your fall will be sudden. You do not know when you'll fall. Darkness is not a place you want be. Do not love sin. It will find you and bring you death. 2. Gloom is a place of God's judgement This is what happened to the nation of Israel - God judged them and they found themselves in the place of gloom. Peter says that gloom is a sign of God's judgement and destruction - God committed angels to gloomy darkness, and he prepared gloom for the ungodly sinners. " 4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; 2 Peter 2:4 ESV " 17 These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm. For them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved." 2 Peter 2:17 ESV Lesson: do not walk in darkness, it will lead you to judgement and condemnation. 3. Gloom is a place of broken relationships Walking in darkness has a special attention in John's writings. 1 John 2:9-11 says this - " 9 Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. 10 Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. 11 But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes." As John is pointing out darkness is a place of hatred, a place of broken relationships between people. It's not a place to look for love and and acceptance. So do not seek for love there. True love is in the light. And it is Christ himself - " 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men." John 1:4 ESV Lesson : Seek for true love and acceptance in Christ. It's a sure place to find it - 9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:9-10 ESV Is it not what happens to the nation of Israel - God's judgement is changed to acceptance in His Son? Calamity is overcome by grace. Now against this background of gloom that Isaiah 9 bring the promise of comfort. Isaiah 9 - it's comfort in ruin, it's a precious promise of light in gloom and despair. In verse 1 Isaiah states that there will be no gloom and anguish. Then he explains what he means - - Contempt will change to glory and honor (1b-1c); - darkness(no knowledge of the way, fear) turns to light (2a-2b); - little(Isaiah 1:8-9) to many(the nation grows) (3a); - Anguish to joy. - place of judgement to place of acceptance Several things that we notice in the text - - This remarkable change happens because of the birth of the child - grace in "giving" - the extravagant joy that Messiah's presence brings . Lets take one at a time. 1. This remarkable change happens because of the birth of the child in verse 6a. It is the coming of the person that changes everything. Verse 6 starts with the ultimate reason for such a remarkable change - " For to us a child is born" With Messiah's coming to ".. . the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali ... " there will start a dawn of the new day. Matthew quotes Isaiah pointing to fulfillment of the prophesy - " And leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, 14 so that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: 15 “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles— 16 the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.” Matthew 4:13-16 ESV It is the excellency and glory of person of the Son that brings glory, grows, joy, freedom, peace. As John is saying " 16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace " (john 1:16) Lesson: Christ is the ultimate reason for changes (in the sense of Isaiah) in Christian life. Even in gloom the change is possible with Christ. Christ is deliverance for his people. "Even in darkness, nay, in death itself, there is nevertheless good ground of hope; for the power of God is sufficient to restore life to his people, when they appear to be already dead." (Calvin) Deliverance form Babylon that Isaiah describes is only a shadow and prelude to what God is about to do in Christ. Where are you in your life? Complete, "deep" darkness, maybe fruitless? maybe in slavery to sin? Christmas is the reason for hope. The call of Isaiah is - there is hope because there is a child, the Son of God. (Practical) If you want to comfort someone - bring them to the Person of Messiah as Isaiah does. In complete ruin and grand calamity there is a promise - the Son. 2. Notice grace in the text . He is given. Isaiah says that the reason for the change is the birth of the child. He will be born, meaning that he will be fully human. But notice that he is also "given". It is the Father who gives him to the nation to bring about miraculous change. The other word for "given" would be grace and love - 9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 1 John 4:9-10 ESV The Father looks down at all this misery and in love He gives his Son who will bring the greatest change in Israel's history. We have light because of the love of the Father in giving his Son - 16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 ESV 3. The person that brings extravagant joy. This is remarkable how rich is the description of joy in Isaiah 9. We can call this joy extravagant joy. Isaiah gives illustrations of that joy - - It's the joy that grows - " ... you have increased its joy ..." Isaiah 9:3 ESV And surely God is the producer of joy (3b) - " in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore." Ps.16:11 - as of the harvest - ... as with joy at the harvest, ... Isaiah 9:3 ESV This is abundant, sufficient, complete, ripe, juicy joy as during the harvest. He will bring his sheep into the fold. God continually works over adding believers to the church. - and the joy of victory - ... as they are glad when they divide the spoil ... Isaiah 9:3 ESV The enemy is conquered and subdued. He will conquer death itself - "o death where is your sting?" - joy of freedom - ... the rod of his oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian. Isaiah 9:4 ESV Freedom from sin. Christ breaks the tyranny of sin. Isaiah bring the illustration of the victory of Gideon over the Midians. In the day of Midian when Gideon overcame the enemies it was completely God's victory. All that 300 soldiers were doing - blowing the trumpets. So this freedom is completely God's doing. " The Lord therefore, he says, will not employ the agency of a great multitude, but will achieve a victory for himself from heaven" (Calvin) Lesson : fighting long time with sin? Come to Jesus, He will give the joy of freedom from sin. - joy of peace and safety . 5 For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire. Isaiah 9:5 ESV Peace with God and one another. " 1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." Romans 5:1 ESV "Hence it follows that life, without this King, is restless and miserable" (Calvin) The final and greatest reason for joy as was pointed out before is the person of Messiah - 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; ... Isaiah 9:6 ESV Peace with God and one another. Can a child bring such a miraculous change? It is just a small baby. He needs care and protection from Herod himself. Yes, but he is also the Son of God. ( Practical ) Whom do you see in Christ? You need to see both - God and man in one person. He can do fulfill these prophesies, bring you out of gloom, give you his joy that the world cannot take away because He is - in words of Calvin - " whenever, in short, it appears to us that everything is in a ruinous condition, let us recall to our remembrance that Christ is called Wonderful, because he has inconceivable methods of assisting us, and because his power is far beyond what we are able to conceive. When we need counsel, let us remember that he is the Counsellor. When we need strength, let us remember that he is Mighty and Strong. When new terrors spring up suddenly every instant, and when many deaths threaten us from various quarters, let us rely on that eternity of which he is with good reason called the Father, and by the same comfort let us learn to soothe all temporal distresses. When we are inwardly tossed by various tempests, and when Satan attempts to disturb our consciences, let us remember that Christ is The Prince of Peace, and that it is easy for him quickly to allay all our uneasy feelings. Thus will these titles confirm us more and more in the faith of Christ, and fortify us against Satan and against hell itself. "