(21 verses, 3:10 to read)
What I am about to READ
Chapter 9 contains two distinctly different prophecies, one of blessing and one of woe.
MARK and LEARN
Isaiah 9:2-7 is read in our churches on Christmas Midnight, and perhaps at other times during the Advent and Christmas season. This chapter contains the prophecy regarding the birth of the Christ, the Son of David, that He would be God in the flesh and that his kingdom would have no end.
The Messiah described here in chapter 9 would execute justice and righteousness, as a king judges with equity and wisdom. This King however would judge not upon one’s merits or worthiness, but upon his graciousness and loving-kindness.
Vss 1-2 are quoted by the evangelist Matthew as a prophecy of Christ. For when John was beheaded and Jesus withdrew to Capernaum, that is, in Galilee, this fulfilled the words of Isaiah which described the light coming to dawn upon Galilee.
Vss 8-21 take on a different kind of flavor altogether. Where the first verses were full of hope and promise, these verses pronounce judgement on sin and unbelief. These verses describe the folly of both leaders and false prophets. The Northern and Southern kingdoms, Judah and Israel quarrel with one another. Even the Northern Kingdom is not unified as Manassah and Ephraim fight with one another. Isaiah likens this quarreling to cannibalism: “each one devours the flesh of his own arm” vs. 20.
The events of 8-21 are the consequences of turning away from the ways of God to one’s own ways. Justice is not upheld and the people fall into sin, disbelief, and despair. The First Commandment is in play here and governs the execution of the rest of the commandments. Without fear and trust in God above all things the rest of the Decalogue easily falls short as well.
Lord Jesus, you are the Light who has come to shine on our darkness. Come and lighten the darkness of our hearts blackened by sin and unbelief. Cleanse our hearts by faith in your shed blood and bring us into your everlasting kingdom. Amen.