Ditch the patch and turn to the son: a call to live in light
04/12/2022 - Matt Destry
This passage was written at around the time of the fall of the northern kingdom, to Sennacherib’s invasion of Judah in 701 b.c, to the period of the Exile — around the time of Israel’s exile to Babylon.
The first question we might ask is: who is the prophet talking about? Who is the son that will be born?
Two ways to understand OT prophecy…two meanings: now and not yet
one: the time and culture of the day
two: the cosmic meta-narrative ‘in Christ’
Time and culture of the day:
The son is most likely Hezekiah, born to Ahaz. People would look back to his birth as a significant moment, given his greatness as a reformer and as one who saw Yahweh marvellously preserve Jerusalem from falling to Assyria.
The big story:
The combination of qualities in the coming ruler obviously points forward to the Messiah, whose victorious career fills the soul of the prophet with joy. Many Millenia on, we can see this now as completely fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
What is the message (for them and us)?
- The first to fall will be the first to rise – God’s restoration
But there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he has made glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.
2. Hope and joy for people walking in darkness – God’s audacity
The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shone
You have multiplied the nation;
you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
as with joy at the harvest,
as they are glad when they divide the spoil.
3. Freedom from slavery, victory over enemies – God’s strategy
For the yoke of his burden,
and the staff for his shoulder,
the rod of his oppressor,
you have broken as on the day of Midian.
For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult
and every garment rolled in blood
will be burned as fuel for the fire.
4. Because of a son – God’s incarnation
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon[d] his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
What is our hope in?
His name reveals his character
People have called him
Points (here’s what to do)
God’s restoration ..When hope seems lost…
Remember that the first to fall are called to be the first to rise
God’s audacity ..When exile is your only expectation…
Remember you have been set free from slavery and death
God’s strategy ..When you’re worried about your future…
Remember you are spiritually and eternally safe
God’s incarnation …When things seem out of control…
Remember that God is in control of human history