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The Prophet Series: Isaiah part 6; chapter 9: A Son will be born to us


Review:

Chapters 1 and 2 are a unit. Ritual is not knowing worshipping God (chap. 1) and the unbelieving will miss something spectacular (chap. 2), which is Israel’s future.

Chapters 2 through 5 are a unit. Warning against being a fool; signs of spiritual sickness; a very short summary of the history of the world or the certainty of God’s decree; and finally, Israel as God’s vineyard to whom He sings through tears, and in which song He pronounces six woes.

Chapters 6, 7, and 8 all stand alone, as do many others as we shall see. It is a love of dedication to knowledge that will bring a believer to understanding of this entire book. This very large prophetic book is a picture or type of the entire Bible; the entire revelation from God. The Bible can’t be known in an outline or an overview. It takes years of study, and so does the understanding of the Book of Isaiah. So why take on such an enormous project in a blog series? I’ve asked myself the same question, and the answer always is, “Why not? Why wait?”

Preparation for the Prescott conference forced me to lay aside this work for a while, but now we are back on schedule.

Chapter 6: Isaiah’s commission.

Chapter 7: Israel’s civil war and the sign given to the king of Judah - “A virgin will be with son.”

Chapter 8: God condemns Israel for refusing the waters of peace, and prophecies that they will refuse the great Cornerstone, with the result that they will be broken to pieces.

In chapter 8 there is encouragement for the remnant, the minority amongst the people who place their faith in Yavah as their Redeemer, but the encouragement is not that they will escape the coming flood from Assyria. God tells them to hold on to His word and to beware of false teachers. The same encouragement is given to us in the New Testament.

 

Isaiah chapter 9:

The prophecies of Isa 7-12 were made during the reign of Ahaz, king of Judah, a terrible king and a phony besides. During his reign, Judah experienced dark days.

This wonderful chapter is connected with chapters 7 and 8. In chapter 7 the sign was given by God that a virgin would be with son. In chapter 9, the son is presented again with five excellent titles.

 

ISA 9:6

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;

And the government will rest on His shoulders;

And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,

Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

 

Handel composed a wonderful tribute to this chapter. This link is to the London Symphony Orchestra’s version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MS3vpAWW2Zc

Chapter 8 ended with condemnation upon the people who would seek guidance from mediums and spiritists rather than their God. Because of this they walk in darkness. Chapter 9 continues with their darkness, but with the holiest and happiest of all prophecies - a light will shine in the darkness; the Son of God will appear.

 

ISA 9:2

The people who walk in darkness

Will see a great light;

Those who live in a dark land,

The light will shine on them.

 

JOH 1:4-5

In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

 

The great ministry of the Lord would occur mostly in Galilee, around the sea that bears its name, and Isaiah’s prophetic eye caught this glimpse.

 

ISA 9:1

But there will be no more gloom for her who was in anguish; in earlier times He treated the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali with contempt, but later on He shall make it glorious, by the way of the sea, on the other side of Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles.

 

In that northern land, living among Jews were non-Jews and half-breeds called Samaritans, and so Isaiah sees a Galilee of the Gentiles. Nazareth was in Zebulun, and when His own people rejected Him, Jesus moved His headquarters from there to Capernaum, which is in Naphtali. This explains why Jesus pronounced such a severe judgment upon Capernaum, for He spent much of His time there which granted them far more access to His light and His miracles than most. Matthew sees Jesus fulfill this prophecy.

 

MAT 4:12-16

Now when He heard that John had been taken into custody, He withdrew into Galilee; and leaving Nazareth, He came and settled in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali. This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying,

"The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,

By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles — 

"The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great light,

And to those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death,

Upon them a light dawned."

 

ISA 9:3

Thou shalt multiply the nation,

Thou shalt increase their gladness;

They will be glad in Thy presence

As with the gladness of harvest,

As men rejoice when they divide the spoil.

 

Then in verse 3, Isaiah’s prophetic eye lunges forward, past the rejection of the Messiah during His first advent, and into the far future when the Abrahamic Covenant will be fulfilled by His return. The Son born to us will return to fulfill all that was promised to Israel. This glory is stated before the prophet will return to the rejection of the Son. 

Leading up to that success (the Second Coming), verses 4 and 5 reveal the pain and tribulation that will precede it. Before returning to the condition of his own present time or the time of the first advent of the Messiah, the prophet moves back from the second coming to the history of Israel’s dispersed affliction. It is the dispersion of Israel throughout the world and the anti-Semitism that would never fully leave earth’s stage. There would be “wars and rumors of wars” and so often the Jew would find himself hated and blamed in the midst of the conflict.

 

ISA 9:4-5

For Thou shalt break the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders,

The rod of their oppressor, as at the battle of Midian.

For every boot of the booted warrior in the battle tumult,

And cloak rolled in blood, will be for burning, fuel for the fire.

 

The returning Lord, Himself covered in blood from battle, would break the yoke of Israel’s oppressors when these conditions of war and anti-Semitism would reach their zenith during the great Tribulation (ISA 63:1-6).

 

ISA 63:2

Why is Your apparel red,

And Your garments like the one who treads in the wine press?

 

The dual nature of Christ: God and Man

 

ISA 9:6-7

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;

And the government will rest on His shoulders;

And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,

On the throne of David and over his kingdom,

To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness

From then on and forevermore.

The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.

 

A child will be born: humanity. A Son will be given to us: Deity (the Son of God). He had come from the glory that He had with the Father from all the past eternity, given in grace for our redemption, who linked His Deity with our humanity apart from its sin, and, thus was God and Man in one blessed adorable Person.

 

King:

The government will rest on His shoulders. He is to exercise supreme, permanent rule over all the universe.

 

Wonderful:

I have never heard anything other than Wonderful Counselor put together, but before me, in his commentary, Dr. Ironside suggests that Wonderful and Counselor are separate titles. He says, “It may be that we should link the two words Wonderful and Counselor, but if we separate them we may see in this first word a suggestion of the mystery of His Sonship, which no man can apprehend, as He tell us in MAT 11:27, and as we also learn from REV 19:12. Under this name Wonderful He appeared of old to the parents of Samson (JUD 13:8). Only the Father understands this mystery of godliness (1TI 3:16). It is beyond human comprehension. Nevertheless, as we read the divinely inspired records of His lowly birth, His sinless life, His vicarious death, and His glorious resurrection, we find our hearts exclaiming again and again, Is He not wonderful! He stands supreme, above all the sons of men, the blessed, adorable Son of God, His heart touched with the feeling of our infirmities; His grace manifested in a thousand ways; His lovingkindness reaching down to the utterly lost and depraved. His name is Wonderful because He Himself is wonderful and also because of the work which He accomplished.”

 

Counselor:

He is the Revealer of the Father’s will. He is the eternal Word. The Father has spoken through Him. “We have the mind of Christ.” We are His pilgrims, traveling through a dangerous world, but He has revealed to us the way, the truth, and the life, and He is a light to our path.

 

Mighty God:

I laugh that the cults water this down by suggesting that His title would be “Almighty God” if He was God. Anyone who believes that line doesn’t care to know God at all. “Almighty” is the Hebrew title Shadday. What is used of Christ in this passage is gibbor which symbolizes strength. It is used of men in many passages, but when it is used of the King of kings who is God (Hebrew El gibbor), it refers to His strength and the strength of His kingdom.

 

Everlasting Father:

The Father of Eternity is a better translation. This does not confuse the Son with the Father, though He and the Father are one (JOH 10:30). But He is the one in Whom all ages meet. He is the Father of the Ages.

 

Prince of Peace:

Because Israel and the world rejected Him, there will be no peace on earth until His return. The power of the oppressor will not be broken until the Lord comes a second time. However, until that time, He has given every individual believer His peace.

 

JOH 14:27

"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”

 

The promise of the angels at the birth of Jesus was not “Peace on earth” but “And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased." (LUK 2:14) He made peace by the blood of His cross to all who put their trust in Him. Upon Him we cast our burdens because He cares for us. He has given us His Spirit in our hearts crying out Abba, Father, and from Whose fruit we experience peace (GAL 5:21).

The promise of verse 7 is that there will be no end to His government or His peaceful rule. The Son of David will sit on David’s throne, prophesied as an eternal throne, when He returns. He now sits on His throne in heaven, and He will take His earthly throne when He returns to establish His earthly kingdom. “The zeal of the Lord will perform this.” Nothing could stop His incarnation - not Satan, not Herod - and nothing could stop His beautiful death, resurrection, and ascension; and nothing will stop His return and victory, and in addition, our victory with Him.

 

Back to a sober present.

After this heavenly prophecy that seems to take all who believe it out of this world, behind a heavenly door where all the noise, clamor, and pride of this world is silenced, Isaiah then takes us back to the present local conditions. It’s like coming back down from the Mount of Transfiguration. He does this in three strophes, each of which end with:

 

ISA 9:12, 17, 21 - In spite of all this His anger does not turn away,

And His hand is still stretched out.

 

The people of the Northern Kingdom were proud despite all the discipline that God brought upon them with which He purposed to open their eyes. God promises that He is going to bring adversaries that will destroy them. He will cut off the leaders who lead the people to err and the prophets who feed the people lies.

God finishes the chapter by describing wickedness as a fire. Sin sets the briars and the thorns to a small flame. Men think little or lightly of the solemn warnings that God gives concerning the evil effects of sin, and they joyously continue in it, encouraging others to do the same. The people become the fuel of the fire, and the fire begins to grow until it mounts up to total destruction.

In the midst of all this dark smoke and destruction is the light of the child given to us, the Son born to us, whose light shines upon us that we may make it through and glory in His strength and wisdom. 

 

To Him be the glory forever and ever, 

Pastor Joe Sugrue

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