December is a time to remember just how thankful we are to be loved and appreciated not only by our friends and family but by God, don’t you think? It is a time of beautiful music, lovely decorations, good food, concerts, and special television programs, special programs at school and church, and expectation of some good old fashioned family time! With the ending of another year as I write my Christmas letter to put into my Christmas card to family and friends I am reminded of what has happened each year and it is a time to think about all the good things God has given me. I am sure you do the same. What if Jesus had never been born, would we still be celebrating Christmas? If Jesus had never been born then we would have no reason to celebrate. No presents exchanged, no tree to decorate, no Santa Claus, no stockings hung on Christmas Eve, no candy canes, no peanut brittle, no chocolate trees, no traditional Christmas lights, no holiday shopping. Worst of all there would be no hope of salvation. Most of us are not Jewish by blood so we would not have a clue who God is or anything about Him. I don’t know about you but I am so glad that Jesus was born and brought such hope into the world.
Then the LORD spoke again to Ahaz, saying, “Ask a sign for yourself from the LORD your God; make it deep as Sheol or high as heaven.” But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, nor will I test the LORD!” Then he said, “Listen now, O house of David! Is it too slight a thing for you to try the patience of men, that you will try the patience of my God as well? “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel. “He will eat curds and honey at the time He knows enough to refuse evil and choose good. “For before the boy will know enough to refuse evil and choose good, the land whose two kings you dread will be forsaken. Isaiah 7:10-16, (New American Standard Bible 1977 or NASB 1977).
But there will be no more gloom for her who was in anguish; in earlier times He treated the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali with contempt, but later on He shall make it glorious, by the way of the sea, on the other side of Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles. The people who walk in darkness Will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, The light will shine on them. Thou shalt multiply the nation, Thou shalt increase their gladness; They will be glad in Thy presence As with the gladness of harvest, As men rejoice when they divide the spoil. For Thou shalt break the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders, The rod of their oppressor, as at the battle of Midian. For every boot of the booted warrior in the battle tumult, And cloak rolled in blood, will be for burning, fuel for the fire.
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this. Isaiah 9:1-7, (NASB 1977).
Do you see how these two passages from Isaiah speak of the future birth of a future King to rule with fairness and prosperity? Notice how this King will enter the world, from a virgin. Now that is something the world knows little of, women who are virgins. And yet there was to be one who would be a virgin and would be blessed among all women for all time and Mary was a sweet young girl who loved God enough to do as she was asked to do regardless of the consequences to her, her reputation, her family, her future happiness, her future husband or anything else. Oh if we all were like Mary, mother of Jesus! Notice also what the King would do?
- No more gloomy days for this Kingdom as He will make the land near the sea and on the other side of Jordan glorious again
- Gentiles are involved somehow
- People that walked in darkness will now walk in light
- The Light (Jesus) will shine on them and they will be in the spotlight
- The nation will multiply greatly in number
- Gladness of heart will be those who are in this Kingdom
- Rejoicing will be heard from their well-spring of gladness
- They will divide the spoils or goods as they take the land and increase the wealth of the Kingdom
- Their burdens will be made light
- No longer will these people be oppressed
Now that is an awesome list of things Isaiah was prophesying and the good news is that you are living in that prosperous Kingdom today if you are a follower of Jesus Christ. No task is too great, no burden too heavy for our Lord to help us carry because the one who sits at the right hand of God the Father is protecting His own. Now that is reason to celebrate His birth, wouldn’t you say? Let’s make this Christmas the best one yet as we celebrate, as we pause to give praise to our Creator and Sustainer. Let’s thank the One who made this all possible. And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. Merry Christmas everyone.
Until next time…Katherine