>Week 5 Day 1: Isaiah 9:1-6

Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan-

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.

You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as men rejoice when dividing the plunder. For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor. Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire.

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. (NIV)

We can only understand prophecy in the context of when and where it was given. This prophecy, along with the first 39 chapters of Isaiah, was given around 700 BC. Israel was in a bad place as a nation. Enemies had overrun the land. For example, Zebulun (1 Kings 4:16) and Naphtali were in captivity at this writing. Gloom and doom were the order of the day.

What was happening to Israel was not God’s fault. It wasn’t some rogue nation’s fault either. What was happening to Israel was Israel’s fault. As one commentator puts it, “Israel had eliminated itself from God’s agenda.” The result was judgment and cleansing.

For those who feel that God might have given up, listen to the promises from this passage. God offers freedom, just like He gave Midian (Judges 7). He promises to end the war against evil. He promised restoration to the House of David, which ultimately gave us the Savior and our restoration as well. God’s agenda was still moving ahead. Israel just wasn’t on that agenda at that moment.

Where are you in relation to God’s agenda? Are you and God on the same page? Do you know God’s agenda? These are tough questions. You and I have both fallen short. That doesn’t eliminate us from God’s agenda. The question really is: Are you seeking God and asking to be a part of what He is doing?

© Copyright 2009 Allen White

Scripture quotations taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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