Introduction – BONUS LESSON – December – Isaiah 9:6

           Do you find it easy to read the books of prophecy in the Old Testament?  There seems to be so much doom and gloom and evil and judgment throughout these books.  The prophets were God’s spokesmen to warn the kings and the people of the errors of their ways, but they also brought light into very dark places and hope where there seemed only to be despair.  God’s chosen people were often under great oppression, but the promises that were given to those who had open ears and eyes foretold of a future that was coming.  A future that would be filled with justice and goodness and victory.  A future that would be under the rule of someone from the line of David, who would be their Savior and their Redeemer.  

         Sometimes it feels like we, too, live in a world that is very dark.  The effect of wars, injustice, evil, immorality, greed, and selfish ambition can be seen both near and far.  So when Isaiah said, “that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever because a light is coming and the people will rejoice,” it still brings hope today.  (Isaiah 9: 1 – 3)  Many years later, that Light did come and those who recognized Him did rejoice at His birth in a little village called Bethlehem – Micah 5: 2.  God had sent His one and only Son to bring eternal hope and the gift of eternal life to all those who would believe in their heart and confess with their mouth that Jesus is the risen Lord.  That was the first coming of Christ, the one Isaiah called, “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.”  Now we wait for His second coming when He will come as King and His perfect and eternal Kingdom will be established.  Oh happy day . . .

          As you think about those names during this Christmas season, may you come to know God in some new and meaningful ways.  May you find that “The LORD GOD, is your strength and your song” (Isaiah 12: 2) as you receive His counsel, experience His power and tender compassion, and enjoy His peace through the presence of the Holy Spirit –  every day.



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