Hope foretold - 17 August 2020

Xanthe Hancox

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 honour Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan–The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darknessa light has dawned. Isaiah 9:1-2

The prophet Isaiah’s words foretell the birth of Jesus, and why this brings such hope to the world. It’s a passage that is usually read at Christmas time, but I think it’s impossible to talk about hope without taking a look at what Isaiah has to say.

In the prophecy of Isaiah, darkness and light are used to represent sin and salvation. Without Christ, we are lost in the darkness of sin. But because of the birth of Jesus, we have hope in God’s light, his victory over sin and death. God promises us salvation in Jesus.

In our world and in our lives, it can sometimes feel as though the darkness is overwhelming. It can seem as though sadness and sin have the upper hand, while the light of goodness and joy are hidden in shadow.

But God’s Word promises us that light is coming to the world in Jesus. Isaiah promises a Saviour who will rule the world. Further down in this chapter Isaiah goes on to list the name by which Jesus will be called: “Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6). His reign will bring peace and joy to the world. “Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end.” (Isaiah 9:7).

The Bible is composed of 66 books written over the course of about 1 500 years. The fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies in the life of Jesus is truly miraculous.

Prayer: God of promise, we thank you for the light of hope you have given us in Jesus. Thank you for the certainty of your Word. Amen.

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