Christmas – Isaiah 9
Isaiah 9 contains three very important prophecies about Jesus: where he would live (vs. 1), a list of His titles, and what His kingdom would be like (vs. 6, 7). Nazareth is by the Sea of Galilee in the land of Naphtali and foreshadows Matthew 2: 23 in that He would be called a Nazarene. Handel immortalized verse 6 and 7 but these names/titles are important: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. Verse seven clearly puts this ruler in David’s family and places justice and righteousness as keystones in His government. The last line is often overlooked but it too is important – The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.
These promises came to Judah and Israel not in a “great time” period but at a very low one. Just like Father to encourage His people when things look bleak. Ahaz, the fifteenth ruler of Judah, was actively rebelling against God (2 Chronicles 28 and 2 Kings 16). So God used Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel to do some cleaning up of Judah (see Fifteen – Cleaning Up to Celebrate). Idolatry and oppression by foreign kings, and bloodshed was the life of the people of God when Isaiah spoke this prophecy. Hezekiah, the son of Ahaz, certainly stepped up and turned things around for Judah but only Jesus could fulfill the names in verse six.
Pic of angels: http://www.squidoo.com/vintagechristmasimages
Nativity scene by Mark Johanningmeier