October 6: A Light in the Darkness (Isaiah 9:1-7)
Worship Preparation - October 6 2013
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.
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.
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.
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
Isaiah 9 offers hope to those in the midst of despair. To a people facing political, social and spiritual turmoil, God gives a promise of freedom and peace through a promised son and heir of David (2 Samuel 7). In the face of repeated failure and inability to walk in light of his commands, God provides hope through this messiah (“anointed one”) who will come to establish a kingdom. This coming messiah will graciously invite all peoples to enter his kingdom through faith.
Review and Apply
- In what areas of your life are you in anguish or gloom? Why?
- To what or whom have your turned to seek relief from this anguish?
- How does Isaiah describe the hope and joy that is offered to a people in darkness? How do the metaphors of joy at the harvest and dividing the spoils enrich his description?
- Normally we say a child born to his parents. But what is the significance of the child in this passage being born “unto us” (v. 6)?
- Describe that nature of the kingdom that is promised here. How is the promise of this king/kingdom enable us to live with joy even through darkness and anguish.
- How does the certainty of this future kingdom affect our view of present circumstances?
- If faith in Christ brings us into union with Christ, then how does our union with this Mighty God, Wonderful Counselor affect our relationships with other in the community of faith and in the world around us?