The Book of Isaiah
THE GREAT LIGHT OF SALVATION - Part 2
Text: ISAIAH 9:1-7
1. It has been almost a month now since we left off in our series in the book of Isaiah. We had special services on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. And last week we heard an excellent message on soulwinning from evangelist Chris Miller.
2. You will recall that it was during the reign of wicked King Ahaz that Isaiah made these amazing prophecies concerning the coming Messiah (7:14; 9:6, 7).
3. It was a very dark period in the nation’s history. But in the midst of this darkness, the prophet Isaiah had a great message of hope (cf. 9:2). God was going to send the Light to scatter the darkness.
4. We know from the NT that that Light was the Lord Jesus Christ.
5. John 3:19, 20 says, “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.”
6. Our Lord said in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
7. Our Lord said in John 9:5, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
8. Our Lord said in John 12:46, “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.”
I. JESUS CHRIST IS THE LIGHT OF ISRAEL (9:1, 2).
1. The Bible teaches that Jesus was sent to be a Light to the people of Israel (Isa 9:1). John 1:11 says, “He came unto his own, and his own received him not.”
2. But He also is “the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world” (John 1:9; cf. 4:42).
3. These verses do not teach that every one in this world will be saved, but I believe these Scriptures teach that every one can be saved.
4. Why did Jesus say, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,” if some people were predestined to hell?
5. Jesus is the Light of Israel, and thank God He is also the light of the world. I started to preach this text the night of our Sunday School Christmas play, and I quoted the words to that great Gospel song, written by PP Bliss.
The whole world was
Come to the light, ’tis shining for
No darkness have we
6. As we study the book of Acts, we see that the original churches were comprised mostly of Jews, but as the Gospel was proclaimed around the world, more and more Gentiles were being saved (cf. Acts 13:46; 28:28).
7. Zebulun and Naphtali (9:1) were located in the northern part of Israel, the area that was first plunged into gloom and anguish when they were judged by God, and taken away into captivity by the Assyrians.
8. They were the first to be “lightly afflicted” (9:1), i.e. the first to be depopulated by the heathen.
9. “Galilee of the (Gentile) nations” (9:1) was our Lord’s boyhood home and an area where He ministered. It was called “Galilee of the nations” because it was under Gentile domination.
10. Nazareth, our Lord’s hometown, was in Zebulun. “The way of the sea” (9:1) describes a major international highway running through this region.
11. “The people that walked in darkness” (9:2) would be the first to see “a great light” (cf. Matt. 4:12-17).
12. Those “that dwell in the land of the shadow of death (misery, ignorance, poverty, etc.), upon them the light shined” (9:2).
13. They were in the darkness of paganism and religious tradition. Darkness had spread all over the land of Palestine, and men were groping in the darkness.
14. Like America today they were seeking after wizards and religious charlatans (cf. Isa. 8:19, 20).
15. They were in great darkness, and God allowed the prophet Isaiah to look down through the corridors of time and see the coming Messiah, the Light of the world, the Alpha and Omega, the Prince of Peace, the King of kings and Lord of lords.
16. As we study the great Messianic prophecies of Isaiah (this applies to the other prophets also), we need to remember that they often saw both the first and second coming together (like two mountain peaks with a valley in between them).
II. JESUS CHRIST IS THE DELIVERER OF ISRAEL (9:3-5).
1. Note the repetition of the word “joy” in Isaiah 9:3. The people of Israel were “religious” but most of them had no real joy (like most religious people today, cf. 9:3a).
2. The word “joy” is used 28 times by the prophet Isaiah, this is the first time.
3. The prophet uses two similes here: that their joy will be like that which is experienced after gathering in the harvest, and the joy of dividing the spoil of battle after the victory (9:3). This has reference to the second coming of Christ.
4. The apostle Paul quotes Isa. 59:20 and writes: “There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob” (Rom.11:26). If one takes the Bible seriously, and by that I mean literally, it is difficult to understand how people can say that God is finished with the Jews.
5. When the Messiah returns, Israel’s yoke of burden will be broken (9:4). The “staff of his shoulder” and “the rod of his oppressor” refer to the sticks used to beat the ox as he toiled – all these tools of oppression shall be broken (9:4).
6. Isaiah alludes to the victory God gave the Israelites over the Midianites “as in the day of Midian” (9:4b; 10:26). At that time, Gideon and a few valiant warriors defeated the armies of the Midianites (Judges 7:8-22).
7. God saved them “in the day of Midian” not by their military power but by His power; and not by human might so that they could not boast of their own strength (cf. Judges 7:2).
8. That is the way God works. The apostle Paul said, “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” (II Cor. 12:10).
9. King Ahaz, an unsaved man, did not understand this basic Biblical principle. Rather than trusting the Lord, King Ahaz went to the king of Assyria for help (cf. II Chron. 28:21).
10. During the coming great tribulation, Israel will once again be in dire straits, far worse than they were during the Assyrian invasion, even far worse than they were during WWII (cf. 9:5).
11. Our Lord said that we can expect “wars and rumors of wars” until He returns. Than He will establish peace on earth (as “The Prince of Peace” – 9:6).
12. Than all the weapons will be destroyed (9:5b; cf. 2:4; 11:6, 7; Ps. 46:9; Ezek. 39:9).
III. JESUS CHRIST IS THE HOPE OF ISRAEL (9:6, 7).
1. The apostle Paul, imprisoned in Rome, said to the Jewish leaders, “For the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain” (Acts 28:20). The Lord Jesus Christ is the Hope of Israel.
2. As Paul expounded the law and the prophets, he told his listeners that Jesus was the Christ, the Jewish Messiah, and he expounded Isa. 9:6, 7.
3. “A child is born” signifies His perfect humanity. “A son is given” signifies His absolute deity.
4. “And the government shall be upon His shoulder” (9:6) is a figure of speech derived from the ceremonial robe worn by a king as a symbol of his authority and rule.
5. The following names are more descriptions than titles. They are descriptive designations of His person and work. “Wonderful” is a noun, not an adjective.
6. “Counsellor” refers to His wisdom in government – He is “greater than Solomon.” Isaiah 28:29 says, the LORD of hosts “is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working.”
7. The cults do not deny that this prophecy is about the Lord Jesus Christ, yet they still manage to deny His deity. But He is “The mighty God,” “Emmanuel” – “God with us”(7:14; 8:8, 10).
8. Rom. 9:5 says Christ is “over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.”
9. First John 5:20 says Christ is “the true God, and eternal life.”
10. First Timothy 3:16 says Christ is “God manifest in the flesh.”
11. “The everlasting Father” (9:6) confuses some people, because that is the name of the first member of the Godhead. But what this means is that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Creator of all things, including time. “All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3).
12. He is the everlasting Father in the sense that He is the “Father of Eternity.” He confers eternal life on all those who believe in Him.
13. The Lord Jesus Christ is “The Prince of Peace” (9:6). When He was born, the heavenly host praised God, and said, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14).
14. Ephesians 2:14 says, “For he is our peace.”
15. There are 31 references to “peace” in Isaiah; this is the first.
16. There are several features of our Lord’s rule during the millennial kingdom that Isaiah brings out:
· Our Lord’s rule will be world-wide with no limit – “there shall be no end” (Isa. 9:7).
· Our Lord will sit upon “the throne of David” (9:7). There is no valid reason for not taking this literally. The angel Gabriel said to Mary, “And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David” (Luke 1:31, 32).
· Our Lord’s kingdom will be characterized by justice, and His rule will be “for ever.” (Isa. 9:7).
· Our Lord’s rule will be sure and certain. “The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”
1. There are many rumors and reports regarding an imminent attack on Iran’s nuclear weapons.
2. Many reports indicate that Israel will attack, supported by Great Britain and the United States.
3. These reports could prove accurate, but Israel’s biggest problem is not Iran. Nor is it Hezbollah. Nor is it Hamas or the PLO.
4. Israel’s biggest problem is they have rejected their Messiah. And there can be no peace in Israel until they receive the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6; 48:22; 57:20, 21).