January 27, 2008pm        First Light II         Isaiah 9:1-4
By Ronald E. George Jr. at the Fayetteville Baptist Church

Can doom and gloom be a good thing?  The land of Zebulun and Naphtali had seen it’s share of problems.  But things were going to get better.  Just as the light dawns it seems to become the coldest.  Isaiah speaks of the coming of the child who shine the light to the people living in the dark.  What has God done? 

Isaiah 9     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—
                2 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of deatha a light has dawned. 3 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. 4 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.

1.  God’s Judgment had come:  What is the source of death and disaster in our world?  It all began when Adam ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden.  Death, disaster, and disease have brought the doom and gloom of sin home for the entire human race.  Zebulun and Naphtali were hard hit by the Assyrian invasion.  We often wonder why problems and disasters have come.  Could sin be an answer?  Is there a solution to the problem.  Isaiah gives us the light of hope in chapter 9. 

2.  God gave hope, so there is no more gloom for those who were in distress.  Do we live in the gloom of the world?  How is our perspective on life?  Or what is our perspective on life?  Is it doom and gloom or is there a silver lining that we live and share with those in the world?

3.  God humbled them and he has humbled us, but what have we learned?  Do we need to be humbled?  Can we receive the Lord and all that He has to give unless we are humbled?  The whole don’t need a physician.  God isn’t to blame for sin, but he has allowed us to go down so that we might look up. 

4.  How has God honored us?  God chose the gentiles as well as the Jews to come to light and out of the darkness.  But Christ’s ministry centered in this area.  Why?  Maybe it was because they lived in the dark and needed a light.  Could we find some place where it is dark to minister in the name of the Lord?  God has honored us by coming into our lives and shining the Light.  God has given us the light.  Unto whom much is given then much is required.  Since we have been given the light of the world then it is our privilege to send the light.  Have we and have you sent the light? 

5.  God walked among us as he did in the land of Galilee.  Walking in the darkness of the world:  what is it?  In the dark but don’t know it.  Now we are called upon to walk in the land of the dark and shine the light to those who live in the darkness. 

6.  God restores the joy that they had in the garden.  The light has dawned.  There is a better way.  We are walking in the light.  We are feeling the joy. 

Isaiah 12:2 Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.” 3 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. 4 In that day you will say: “Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted. 5 Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world. 6 Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.”

7.  God has removed the yoke of bondage.  The people were in bondage to Assyria, but now they had been delivered.  Jesus came to remove the yoke of sin from the necks of those who believed.  We now can live without the fear of death, hell, and the grave.  He has defeated our enemies.  We can rejoice like Gideon who defeated the great army of the Midianites. 

Invitation:  How are we shining the light?  Are we preaching it and living it.  Have we repented for the kingdom of heaven is near.  Are we inviting them to come and follow the Lord as we are following the Lord.  Come and follow Jesus.  Take Jesus throughout the land and teach, preach the good news, and heal every disease and sickness among the people.  So that they may know.  Make them fishers of men.  Are we a fisher of men or keepers of the aquarium? 

 

a Or land of darkness

The Holy Bible : New International Version (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984). Is 9:1-4.

The Holy Bible : New International Version (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984). Is 12:2-6.