God’s Word of Joy
Isaiah 8:21—9:7: Isaiah’s wife bears him a son, and the LORD tells the prophet Isaiah to give his newborn son a name that symbolizes that the kings of Israel and Syria will be destroyed quickly by their Assyrian foes (8:3). Because King Ahaz preferred to seek an alliance with Assyria rather than relying on God (8:1-15), today’s reading includes Isaiah’s warning of the Assyrian attack and God’s coming judgment against Judah. After a time of trouble is foretold, Isaiah speaks words of hope about the coming of a righteous king and his reign of justice and peace.
A Time of Trouble
21The people will wander through the land, discouraged and hungry. In their hunger and their anger they will curse their king and their God. They may look up to the sky 22or stare at the ground, but they will see nothing but trouble and darkness, terrifying darkness into which they are being driven.
1 There will be no way for them to escape from this time of trouble.
The Future King
The land of the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali was once disgraced, but the future will bring honor to this region, from the Mediterranean eastward to the land on the other side of the Jordan, and even to Galilee itself, where the foreigners live.
2 The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light.
They lived in a land of shadows,
but now light is shining on them.
3You have given them great joy, Lord;
you have made them happy.
They rejoice in what you have done,
as people rejoice when they harvest grain
or when they divide captured wealth.
4For you have broken the yoke that burdened them
and the rod that beat their shoulders.
You have defeated the nation
that oppressed and exploited your people,
just as you defeated the army of Midian long ago.
5The boots of the invading army
and all their bloodstained clothing
will be destroyed by fire.
6A child is born to us!
A son is given to us!
And he will be our ruler.
He will be called, “Wonderful Counselor,”
“Mighty God,” “Eternal Father,”
“Prince of Peace.”
7 His royal power will continue to grow;
his kingdom will always be at peace.
He will rule as King David's successor,
basing his power on right and justice,
from now until the end of time.
The Lord Almighty is determined to do all this.
A child is born to us! A son is given to us! And he will be our ruler. He will be called, “Wonderful Counselor,” “Mighty God,” “Eternal Father,” Prince of Peace.”
Reread 9:2-7. In Christian tradition, verses 6 and 7 are interpreted as referring to the coming of the messianic king. How are this king and his kingdom described? What promise is given? What verses speak to you of hope?
Lord God Almighty, your reign is eternal. You are our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, and Prince of Peace. Trusting in your promises, I am filled with hope and I praise your glorious name. Amen.
Isaiah 44:1-28: The LORD is the only God.