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RCCG Miracle Land Dundalk
Wednesday, March 22 2023

Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai

Last week’s study of Chapter 8 concluded with gloom and darkness for God’s people. Verse 22 says: “Wherever they look there will be trouble and anguish and dark despair. And they will be thrust out into the darkness.” The invasion of the Assyrians would be terrible for the Jewish people, especially for the northern regions of the Promised Land, the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali. In today’s study is split into two parts, we will be looking at promises (from a loving God) and Judgement (from a just God).

Verses 1-2: The Promise of Glory

Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair shall not go on forever. Though soon the land of Zebulun and Naphtali will be under God’s contempt and judgment, yet in the future these very lands, Galilee and northern Transjordan, where lies the road to the sea, will be filled with glory. 2 The people who walk in darkness shall see a great Light—a Light that will shine on all those who live in the land of the shadow of death.

From verses 1-2 of this chapter we see that although the land of Zebulun and Naphtali will be under God’s judgment. He now decrees that despite the fact that He has afflicted them for their sins, He will now show them a great light; giving them a way out of the darkness. See Matthew 4:13-16

What does this mean to us?
Jesus is that great light that has shone in our lives. It’s a light of deliverance and freedom from the power of darkness purchased by His blood. But we must accept it, arise, and shine! Isaiah 60:1

Verses 3-5: The Lord Will Make Israel Great Again and They Shall be Joyful!
“3 For Israel will again be great, filled with joy like that of reapers when the harvest time has come, and like that of men dividing up the plunder they have won. 4 For God will break the chains that bind his people and the whip that scourges them, just as he did when he destroyed the vast host of the Midianites by Gideon’s little band. 5 In that glorious day of peace there will no longer be the issuing of battle gear; no more the bloodstained uniforms of war; all such will be burned.”

These verses spell out the consequences of the great light the Lord promised. Israel will again be great, filled with joy because God will break the chains binding His people and the whip that scourges them, just like He granted Gideon victory over Midian in Judges 7.

What does this mean to us?
We must take God for His Words and promises in our lives, whatever the situation or circumstances, He has promised a change! Wherever we have fallen, we will rise and be great again!

Verses 6-7: The Glory of the Messiah and His Reign
“6 For unto us a child is born; unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder. These will be his royal titles: “Wonderful,” “Counselor,” “The Mighty God,” “The Everlasting Father,” “The Prince of Peace.” 7 His ever-expanding, peaceful government will never end. He will rule with perfect fairness and justice from the throne of his father David. He will bring true justice and peace to all the nations of the world. This is going to happen because the Lord of heaven’s armies has dedicated himself to do it!

A child is born, . . . a son is given
God could have sent an angel, or the Messiah could have been God without humanity. He could have also come as a fully-grown man, created as an adult even as Adam was created, but none of these options would have qualified the Messiah to be our Saviour and High Priest as Jesus is. The Child had to be born so that He could fully identify with humanity, and to display in His life the servant nature that is in God, He made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men (Philippians 2:7).

His name shall be called . . .
These are not to be literal names of the Messiah, but aspects of His character, that describe who He is and what He has come to do.
• Wonderful –Full of wonder! The glory of who He is and what He has done for us should fill us with wonder. There’s nothing too difficult for Him.
• Counselor – He knows the answers we need. He is the only One fit to guide our lives and should be our immediate resource as a counselor.
• Mighty God – He is the God of all creation and glory, the LORD who reigns in heaven, the One worthy of our worship and praise. He is Jesus, fully man and fully God.
• Everlasting Father – The idea in these Hebrew words is that Jesus is the source or author of all eternity, that He is the Creator Himself. Not that Jesus Himself is the Person of the Father in the Trinity.
• Prince of Peace – He is the One who makes peace, especially between God and man and puts peace in our hearts.
Jesus our Messiah will not only reign for 1,000 years, though the millennium is a special aspect of His reign, but there will be no end to it. He will rule for all eternity.

What does this mean to us?
We must accept what the Lord Jesus has paid the price for, believe in Him unreservedly and take refuge in His names in every area of our lives.

The prophecy now switches from the coming of the Messiah back to present day Israel, who has heard the Word of God through His prophets but has not listened. This section (Isaiah 9:8-21) is in three parts, the concluding fourth part is in the first few verses of chapter 10, each part concluding with an indication that more punishment was to follow because the Lord’s anger had not been satisfied.

Verses 8-12: Because of Their Unholy Pride, Israel Will Be Defeated By Her Enemies
“8-10 The Lord has spoken out against that braggart Israel who says that though our land lies in ruins now, we will rebuild it better than before. The sycamore trees are cut down, but we will replace them with cedars! 11-12 The Lord’s reply to your bragging is to bring your enemies against you—the Syrians on the east and the Philistines on the west. With bared fangs they will devour Israel. And even then the Lord’s anger against you will not be satisfied—his fist will still be poised to smash you.”

In their pride, the leaders and the people of the Northern Kingdom of Israel said, “Who cares if God judges us? Whatever is torn down, we will rebuild with something better. We have nothing to fear from what God can bring against us.” Instead of humbling themselves before the face of God on account of the many calamities that had already descended on them, they still entertained a light-hearted optimism regarding the future. So, God sent successive waves of enemies against Israel (The Syrians before and the Philistines behind). The destruction of Israel would be complete, and their proud promise to rebuild would be unfulfilled.

What does this mean to us?
God does not tolerate pride. He resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. James 4:6
We must be humble and live our lives in humility before our Maker. James 4: 10 says: “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” Also see Micah 6:8

Verses 13-17: Because They Refuse To Repent, Their Leaders Will Be Destroyed
“13 For after all this punishment you will not repent and turn to him, the Lord of heaven’s armies. 14-15 Therefore the Lord, in one day, will destroy the leaders of Israel and the lying prophets. 16 For the leaders of his people have led them down the paths of ruin. 17 That is why the Lord has no joy in their young men and no mercy upon even the widows and orphans, for they are all filthy-mouthed, wicked liars. That is why his anger is not yet satisfied, but his fist is still poised to smash them all.

Each episode of judgment was followed by Israel’s refusal to turn to the LORD. They refused to turn to God for an explanation of why they were experiencing such evil. They were like dumb animals that resist even more when they are beaten.
“So the Lord will cut off from Israel both head and tail, both palm branch and reed in a single day; 15 the elders and dignitaries are the head, the prophets who teach lies are the tail.

What does this mean to us?
Although God is under no obligation to explain His divine decisions to us, He desires us to understand that His actions are not based out of ill-will but out of necessity as an answer for the sin and evil we humans create on the earth. It is the wickedness of Pharaoh’s heart that was hardened by the Lord. God did not put the wickedness there. See Romans 1:28.

Verses 18-21: Because of Their Wickedness They Will Attack Their Own Brothers
“18 He will burn up all this wickedness, these thorns and briars; and the flames will consume the forests too, and send a vast cloud of smoke billowing up from their burning. 19-20 The land is blackened by that fire, by the wrath of the Lord of heaven’s armies. The people are fuel for the fire. Each fights against his brother to steal his food but will never have enough. Finally they will even eat their own children! 21 Manasseh against Ephraim and Ephraim against Manasseh—and both against Judah. Yet even after all of this, God’s anger is not yet satisfied. His hand is still heavy upon them to crush them.”

The wickedness of Israel was as a raging wildfire: unstoppable, swift, uncontrolled, and devouring everything it touches. However, the people shall themselves by their wickedness, be the fuel for the fire. If they had ceased from their wicked ways, the fire would have no more fuel to continue to burn. But their wickedness prevailed to the point where they lost all sense of reasoning and started attacking each other. Verse 20 says:
“Each fights against his brother to steal his food but will never have enough. Finally they will even eat their own children!”

What does this mean to us?
Proverbs 21:7 says, “Because the wicked are unfair, their violence boomerangs and destroys them". Let’s be wary of any and every form of evil. Psalm 34:21 says: “Evil shall slay the wicked, And those who hate the righteous shall be condemned”

In today’s study, we see how the Lord decreed that despite the fact that He has afflicted Israel for their sins, He will now show them a great light; giving them a way out of the darkness. However, for those who refuse to repent, there are consequences. Jesus Christ shone His marvellous light in our darkness; and we must continue to walk in the light (1 John 1:7). To refuse and be adamant is to grope in darkness (Job 12:25,Isaiah 59:10) and like Israel, suffer the consequences. The fire that burned Israel was not started by God, neither did He fan the flames; it was started, fanned and fuelled themselves. He simply did not extinguish the fire when it started. We are therefore encouraged that in this world of evil, to by the Grace of God, keep our hands clean and our hearts pure and know that there is a glorious future ahead, that the world will see the day of redemption, that the oppressed and the weak will be delivered. (Titus 2:11-13)

Parts of this wtudy was culled from

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