Isaiah 9:1–7 (NLT): Hope in the Messiah

1 Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. The land of Zebulun and Naphtali will be humbled, but there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory.

2  The people who walk in darkness

will see a great light.

For those who live in a land of deep darkness,

a light will shine.

3 You will enlarge the nation of Israel,

and its people will rejoice.

They will rejoice before you

as people rejoice at the harvest

and like warriors dividing the plunder.

4 For you will break the yoke of their slavery

and lift the heavy burden from their shoulders.

You will break the oppressor’s rod,

just as you did when you destroyed the army of Midian.

5 The boots of the warrior

and the uniforms bloodstained by war

will all be burned.

They will be fuel for the fire.

6 For a child is born to us,

a son is given to us.

The government will rest on his shoulders.

And he will be called:

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

7 His government and its peace

will never end.

He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David

for all eternity.

The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies

will make this happen!

One of my favorite verses from the Psalms speaks of deep calling out to deep. It describes one of my favorite things about God. He is not afraid to go into the depths of the darkness around me, and in me, to find me. When He does find me, He pours into me light, goodness, and mercy out of His depths… and the only thing deeper than the darkness in our world, is the depths of God’s goodness.

The names given to Jesus, his titles are not flimsy titles. They carry a depth that goes far beyond President or CEO. Whose strength is deep enough to bear our burdens… to truly be an authority in our lives that we can trust? For a child has been for us, a son given to us; authority rests on his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace!

His authority will continually grow and everywhere his authority touches there will be endless peace. Justice and righteousness find their home in Christ. Until we put ourselves under His authority, we will not even know what real peace feels like. This tiny child holds the whole world in His hands, and in the depths of those hands we have never been safer.

  • Where have you experienced deep darkness in your life?
  • When have you seen the light of God shining in or around you?
  • What burdens do you carry today that you can give over to the authority of Jesus?

Wonderful, merciful Savior

Precious Redeemer and friend

Who would have thought that a lamb could

Rescue the souls of men

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