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Isaiah 9:2-5, paraphrased…
Israel, Thy people that walked in darkness have seen a great light. It has shined upon them. You have multiplied them and gone before them and given them new joy. You have broken the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulder, and the rod of their oppressors, just as you delivered Gideon in the battle of Midian. Their enemies have become confused and the garments of their enemies are rolled in blood – they are conquered: but, this is nothing. It is all kindling for the fire.
Israel has fought the good fight. They are ready to take of the spoils of the enemy. Isaiah shows up on the scene, and he says “Those spoils are worthless to you. You might as well burn them up.” Why? Israel fought for those things – sacrificed their lives for them! They were oppressed, but now they are free…and leave the spoils? Isaiah tells them why:
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” ~Isaiah 9:6-7
The worldly spoils…the things the world promises us happiness with…they are nothing. For unto us is given a greater gift. “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son…” This Christmas is new hope. A chance to remember over two-thousand years ago, when a seemingly ordinary baby was born, in an ordinary stable, to an ordinary young mother, to accomplish God’s extraordinary plan for redemption .A plan birthed before the foundations of the world.
Lay aside every weight, and the sin that so easily besets you. Push those things that compete for your love and your affection away. Turn to the child, the son that is born to you. Stand at the manger, and look up at the cross. He came for one reason…and it was to bring a light into your heart that could not have come in any other way, shape or form. Run to the cross, and fall down, and worship Him.
“Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our God, our maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Today, if you will hear his voice, do not harden your hearts…” ~Psalm 95:6-8
And so may you say, “For me to live is Christ!”