Mary, the mother of Jesus, was a blessed yet humble instrument God used to bring about His redemptive plan of salvation for the world. Yet, it didn’t start that Christmas day when Christ was born. God had already announced the coming of a child to deliver His people from the tyranny of sin. The Israelites couldn’t wait for Him to come and deliver them from political oppression. Now we can see predictions of Jesus’ coming birth and regency proclaimed by Isaiah hundreds of years beforehand.
The book of Isaiah is a glorious glimpse of the Messiah during a dark time of Israel’s history. The book starts describing God’s holiness and contrasting it with the unrighteous of Israel. Hence, judgment is the natural result of this discrepancy. The people have not kept the covenant. The message of Isaiah is that God’s people, who are supposed to represent Him, have broken the convent with idolatry, social injustice, and religious ritualism (Hays, 99). More than any kind of sacrificial pretense, the Lord is interested in their hearts. Within the judgment of Israel, the glory of God is magnified in His salvation and fulfills the demands of justice and righteousness that humankind can’t possibly attain. The holiness of God is introduced in chapter six, which leads to the conclusion that mankind is utterly sinful. In Isaiah’s commission he needs cleansing too. The wages of sin must be met—that is God’s justice. God is the only one without sin. And it’s only His righteousness that is sufficient for our cleansing.
Isaiah begins to speak of the sign of a child (7:14). Isaiah gloriously looks to the coming of a child that will redeem God’s people from their deserved punishment. The titles used for the coming child include: Immanuel, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Father of Eternity, and Prince of Peace. These titles reflect the divinity of the child and His righteousness. The child is to be born of a virgin. This women was Mary who humbly acknowledged her own unrighteousness and His holiness in her song of praise in Luke. The birth of the child would be the fulfillment of this prophecy. Isaiah envisions a day that is marked by peace as a result of a child being given to deliver God’s people from oppression and from their own sinful bent. “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.” (Isaiah 9:7).
Isaiah demonstrates how Gods justice and righteousness will be established in the world through judgment that will later bring a time of peace and restoration (Hays, 110). The time of judgment that Isaiah elaborates on in this section would be necessary first, unless Israel would repent of their idolatry, social injustice, and self-righteousness. The prophet goes back and forth preaching about judgment with signs of hope sprinkled throughout. In the latter part of chapter ten, Isaiah offers the hope of a remaining remnant of faithful Jews that will return and the Messiah would come from that stump.
The message in this passage is that God can be trusted to deliver His people from even from the most ruthless adversaries or wicked leaders (Hays, 110). The section from Isaiah 7-39 highlights the justice and righteousness of God, which calls for Israel’s need to be delivered. Not only did God’s people fall prey to the temptations of the nations around them but God Himself gave them over to the oppression of the wicked. He did this to draw them to genuine repentance and restoration. Otherwise, they wouldn’t realize they needed God. Isaiah is showing Israel that the Lord is just and must punish their sin, but also that He is righteous; and that, unlike them, God will not utterly forsake them. We can find hope here in knowing that no matter what happens in this world or how evil it becomes, God will redeem the earth and bring His sons and daughters to glory in a heavenly kingdom that will never be shaken.
Praise God for Jesus and His glorious salvation that was planned long ago. We can be grateful and boast of His awesome gospel during this thanksgiving season as we look forward to celebrating His birth!
Thanks for reading and following. I hope and pray you have a Happy Thanksgiving with loved ones basking in His numerous blessings!