The Expected Birth of the Messiah
His Coming Anticipated
Day 3-Tuesday, December 1st
1. Recognize the Context:
Historical Context- As mentioned yesterday, Ahaz, the king of Judah (735-715 B.C.), was under attack from Israel and Syria. The prophet Isaiah was sent to Ahaz in order to encourage the king to trust God. Instead, Ahaz went to the Assyrians for help. Because of his response, most of chapters 7-8 identify the reign of Ahaz with darkness and warn of coming judgment for Judah. Again, we see God did not leave his people without hope. In the future, a Messiah would come in the line of David as promised.
9:1-2 Announcement of the coming light in the midst of darkness
9:3-5 Victory over oppression as they had experienced in the past
2. Read the Scripture: Isaiah 9:6-7
6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.
3. Reflect on the Scripture:
In verse 6, the future birth of this Messianic king is announced. He is given four distinct character descriptions.
1. Wonderful Counselor-He will be a supernatural or miraculous counselor, one who will be wise in planning and providing good counsel.
2. Mighty God-He will be like God in his might and power.
3. Everlasting Father-Or a “Father forever,” he will demonstrate constant care for his children.
4. Prince of Peace-He will establish Shalom (Hebrew for peace), well-being, security, and prosperity.
Verse 7 declares this future ruler will be in the line of David, and the Lord Almighty will bring it to pass. God guaranteed it would happen, but the people of Judah were not given a timetable for his plan to unfold. It would take centuries. They were instructed by the prophets to trust God, which often proved difficult for them. As we consider these descriptive phrases, we realize that no mere human then or now could embody these characteristics, on a global or personal level, only Jesus the Messiah (Christ).
4. Relate to life:
Remember, it is important to be a doer of God’s Word, not merely a hearer or reader (James 1:22-25). Here are some practical ways to actively respond to God’s Word. Consider these or create other ways you can apply the message.
Today, prayerfully review these characteristics and consider the following questions:
1. How has Jesus demonstrated His extraordinary wisdom in this world? What about in your life?
2.How has Jesus demonstrated His mighty power in history? What about in your life?
3.How has Jesus expressed the Father’s love in history? What about in your life?
4.What does it mean for Jesus to be the Prince of Peace in our world today? What does this mean in your life?
To do: (Actions with the Holy Spirit's help)
Consider writing out the answers to the questions listed above, and spend more time meditating on them.
In view of the prayer suggestions above, what is one thing you want to incorporate into your life today? Think about your attitudes, actions, and words.
Is there someone you need to share this message with during the Advent season? Identify this person. What words and actions, with the Holy Spirit's help, will make this possible?
To study: (Always make sure to read the immediate context of the given passage.)
The Gospels have countless examples of these characteristics. Here are a few. To reconsider the wisdom of Christ, read through Matthew 5-7, also known as the Sermon on the Mount. Hear anew the words of wisdom from Jesus on how to live as his follower.
To review the mighty power of Christ, read Matthew 8-9. Imagine being there to witness these miracles firsthand.
To return to the love of Christ, read John 13-14, in which Jesus demonstrated and discussed love.