Sermon: Salvation Comes In the Most Surprising Way Isaiah 9:1-7

Salvation Comes In the Most Surprising Way

Isaiah 9:1-7

Truth Taught- Jesus Christ is the promised child who will be Immanuel and the King who fights for His people. 

Introduction

Through chapters 7-8 of Isaiah, the believers or as they are sometimes called the believing remnant have a different outlook with different expectations. They trust God and in hope begin to live their lives in peace and joy while they await the promises to be fulfilled. They are no longer fearful because they know God is with them. Their enemies truly are like smoke and a burning flax. The remnant have learned a tremendous truth…if God is with us, who can be against us?

Or text today is yet another life giving promise. God tells His beloved remnant that while during the days of judgment they walked in darkness away from His presence but now that the judgment of God is over there will be a great light to guide them and to save them.

What I want us to see today is that in this case, God’s promise was what sent light. They were in all reality still in darkness because the Light God promised would not come for another 800 years. It was their faith in God’s promise that gave their hearts light and joy and peace even though they would not see the promise fulfilled in their lifetime, they knew it was sure.

This reminds me of the passage in Hebrews speaking about the Great Cloud of Witnesses.

Hebrews 11:13 (ESV)

13 These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.

This is exactly what we find in the Isaiah text. The people of God saw this light from afar but didn’t receive it. It would be their descendants who would receive the Light.

It’s much like the promise of Jesus’ return. We have His promise that He is coming again, but as of right now He has not returned. Over the last 2000 years since that promise was made many Christians have died believing His promise. It’s the reality of the promise that allows all who die before the promise is revealed to die in faith believing it will happen. For all believers, we see His return from afar maybe we will receive His back or maybe we too will die believing the promise. In reality it makes no difference because through the eyes of faith we see Him and His return.

In very much the same way, that’s what Isaiah is speaking about concerning Jesus’ first coming…

So far in our Christmas with Isaiah Series we are beginning to see a great divine pattern. I pray together we’ll see the pattern continue in our text today.

In Isaiah 7 from last week, we saw that there was a great threat to God’s people. Judah was being threatened by the Northern Kingdom and Assyria. We saw that there was great need in Judah. God declared that they were not to fear because He would be with them and all the threats coming from their enemies would amount to nothing…

Isaiah 7:4 (ESV)

And say to him, ‘Be careful, be quiet, do not fear, and do not let your heart be faint because of these two smoldering stumps of firebrands, at the fierce anger of Rezin and Syria and the son of Remaliah.

God proved that He was with Judah through the Immanuel Sign…a virgin will conceive.

So, the answer to their fear was God’s presence with them. However, it came in a very unexpected way.

We see a pattern of disaster and then hope.

Same pattern shows up in the first time the Gospel is spoken of by God.

Genesis 3:15 (ESV)

15    I will put enmity between you and the woman,

and between your offspring and her offspring;

       he shall bruise your head,

and you shall bruise his heel.”

Disaster…the curse and the fall on Adam and Eve. The hope comes as God promises victory through One who was to come, namely Jesus Christ, the One born of the woman. But, victory comes in a very unexpected way. In order for Jesus to win and gain the forgiveness of sin He will need to die Himself. Very unexpected way to win.

 

Father, You have Gathered Your people that You may let us hear Your words, so that we may learn to fear You all the days that we live on the earth, and that we may also teach our children…amen

 

Isaiah 9:1–7 (ESV)

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.

 

  1. OT Hope was Found in a Child

Do you see how unexpected God’s deliverance is? Hope does not come through superior armies or making vital allegiances or treaties with other nations. Hope comes from God. So, beloved Judah could trust in their own strength or in some strategic treaty OR Judah could trust in God. Here’s where God presses His people. When you trust in Me, it will be so unlike anything you could come up with that it is going to seem foolish, but don’t let the sign of My promise fool you. Trust in Me God says no matter what things look like.

God says trust in Me and this child that I’m going to give you. He will be your Deliverer.

   For to us a child is born,

Hebrew prophets often did something that probably drove grammar teachers crazy even in those days, the Prophetic Idiom they often used was speaking of God’s promises that have yet to happen in the past tense as if they had already taken place. Their point in doing this is that God’s promises are so reliable and so sure that even though they haven’t actually come true yet they will. SO sure are the prophets that they can write and speak of them in the prophetic past tense.

What’s so amazing is that God tells them through the prophet that your hope will be in a child…
That’s why here Isaiah writes…

   For to us a child is born,

to us a son is given;

Isaiah 7:14 (ESV)

14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

It’s no mistake that Luke in his Gospel writes it the way he does…

Luke 2:11–12 (ESV)

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”

Wait a second for unto us or for us is born a child, a baby and He is going to be our Savior. Not a King or a President or an alliance or a treaty or any other human plan for safety but an infant will be our Savior?

OT people trusted in God’s promise that a child will be born and this child will be their Savior.

 

  1. NT Hope is Found in the King

Look with me at who this child is when He is grown…

   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.

 

  1. Wonderful Counselor

This phrase, in the original, claims that when the child is grown He will have supernatural godly wisdom. He will have wisdom superior to Solomon’s wisdom whom the Bible claims was the wisest man to ever live.

This divine wisdom points to the deity of Jesus and is being contrasted with King Ahaz’s human wisdom who trusts in his ability and wisdom rather than in God’s wisdom. Beloved Jesus has supernatural wisdom. Let’s always listen to what He tells us in His Word. He is The Wonderful Counselor.

Jeremiah 23:5 (ESV)

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.

Isaiah 53:11 (ESV)

11    Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;

       by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,

make many to be accounted righteous,

and he shall bear their iniquities.

 

  1. Mighty God

Isaiah does not say that the child will be like God. He doesn’t say that He will speak and act like God…He writes that He IS God. Clearly given the context we are to see that this child will be a warrior. That’s the behind the scene picture of Almighty. He is powerful and none can stay His hand.

Exodus 15:3 (ESV)

   The Lord is a man of war;

the Lord is his name.

Isaiah 42:13 (ESV)

13    The Lord goes out like a mighty man,

like a man of war he stirs up his zeal;

       he cries out, he shouts aloud,

he shows himself mighty against his foes.

This is what Judah needed to hear. This is what we need to hear. Jesus Christ is a King of Valor and King of War and there are none who can defeat Him.
Revelation 19:11 (ESV)

11 Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war.

 

  1. Everlasting Father

This phrase everlasting or eternal Father does not mean that Jesus is God the Father. Axctually in the ancient world the name father was given to everyone who has authority over you, especially a king.

And that He is called “Everlasting Father” means that He will be the ruler of His people, He will be their eternal king, He will be the endless monarch. And so the attributes of God’s rule are ascribed to Him in the phrase, “Eternal Father,” or “Everlasting Father.” It means that His reign will know no end. And of course that’s emphasized right here in verse 7. “There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace and on the throne of David and over his kingdom to establish it and uphold it with justice and righteousness, from then on and forevermore.[1]

 

  1. Prince of Peace

He is the one who is going to bring peace for His people. What’s the answer to the crisis that the people face — a wicked king, nations attacking them? The answer is — a child who is going to be the “Prince of Peace.” And Micah picks up on this in Micah 5 verses 4 and 5 where it says, “He will arise and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God, and they will remain because at that time he will be great. To the ends of the earth this one will be our peace.

Romans 5:1 (ESV)

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

  1. Jesus is the Child and the King Who Will Save Us

Matthew 4:12–17 (ESV)

12 Now when he heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee. 13 And leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, 14 so that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:

15    “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,

the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—

16    the people dwelling in darkness

have seen a great light,

       and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death,

on them a light has dawned.”

17 From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Do you see what Matthew does here? He identifies the child for us. He identifies the King for us…the one who is…

   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.

The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. This is an Old Testament way of saying, “The deliverance I’m going to bring, I’m going to do it. It’s going to be by My grace.” Isn’t it interesting that God says to His people in Christ is He doesn’t say, “Go out and do something valiant and save yourselves. Perform these tasks for your own deliverance.” No, He says, “I’m going to do this. I’m going to do what’s necessary for a Savior to be provided for you and for you to be rescued. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. I will bring this child into the world. I will bring about your salvation.” Oh, things were going to get worse for Israel before they got better and Israel was going to have to wait for six hundred years for this prophecy to be fulfilled, but it was, and for everyone who believes on this child there is hope and there is joy. [2]

Do you know this child? Do you know this King?

[1] Ligon Duncan same text

[2] Ligon Duncan

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