Nevertheless, the gloom of the distressed land will not be like that of the former times when he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali. But in the future he will bring honor to the way of the sea, to the land east of the Jordan, and to Galilee of the nations.
The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
a light has dawned
on those living in the land of darkness.
You have enlarged the nation
and increased its joy.
The people have rejoiced before you
as they rejoice at harvest time
and as they rejoice when dividing spoils.
For you have shattered their oppressive yoke
and the rod on their shoulders,
the staff of their oppressor,
just as you did on the day of Midian.
For every trampling boot of battle
and the bloodied garments of war
will be burned as fuel for the fire.
For a child will be born for us,
a son will be given to us,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
He will be named
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
The dominion will be vast,
and its prosperity will never end.
He will reign on the throne of David
and over his kingdom,
to establish and sustain it
with justice and righteousness from now on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord of Armies will accomplish this.
Of all the Old Testament books, few give us as many clues or teasers about the Messiah as the book of Isaiah. This lengthy passage from Isaiah 9 is one of the more popular ones. It has been memorized and cherished by many. It has been quoted on countless greeting cards, but its sentiment is not its only benefit. There are numerous clues and truths that can be seen. We are first told that God is going to remove His contempt from and bring His Messiah out of the land of Galilee, which also explains the Pharisee’s disdain for Jesus. Additionally, the Messiah will bring light and relief to a dark and oppressed people. At His birth, he will possess all the deity and power of God and will hold the weight of the world’s government on His shoulders. Finally, He will rule and reign with justice and righteousness forever.
What are some thoughts we can consider as we apply this passage to Jesus?
- As the earthly descendant of David and the divine Son of God, how is Jesus uniquely capable of delivering a dark and oppressed people?
- How does Jesus fulfill and epitomize each of the names given?
- Wonderful Counselor- How does Jesus guide and His people?
- Mighty God- Does Jesus possess the omnipotent power of God? Then why did He endure what He did?
- Everlasting Father- How is Jesus distinct from the Father but still one with the Father?
- Prince of Peace- How has Jesus brought peace into a world that is still tumultuous?
What hope does this passage give us for the second Advent of Jesus?