In our study of Isaiah chapter nine, we look at the prophecies concerning the first and second coming of Christ into this world. In chapter 8, we saw the prophecy of judgement on God's people and delivering them over to their enemies. Now, we see the prophecies of God's deliverance out of the hand of the enemy (the devil).
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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-
These were dark days for God's people but, here, He promises the return of light. Galilee was a despised area of the land to the Jews because it was an area where Gentiles had gathered to live. This verse speaks about the first coming of Christ (as a baby) from this area.
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.
This verse once again speaks to the fact that a light (Christ) was coming into the land. God is light and so His Son is as well. The land was dark because God had left them and turned them over to their enemies.
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.
Now, Isaiah turns to the prophecy of the second coming of Jesus. We know that because this verse has not been fulfilled as the people of Israel even today do not rejoice before the Lord. There is not even a temple for the Jews to worship God as they gather at the wailing wall. This verse brings hope in the victory that is to come as they will rejoice in the final days.
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. Every warrior's boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire.
God has always rescued His people from the hands of those who had them enslaved. This prophecy is speaking about the final time that this will happen and how they will be judged by fire. These events will happen as described in Revelation 16 and will be followed by a thousand years where the Jews will reign on earth with Christ.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
When Jesus returns, this prophecy will be fulfilled. The name Wonderful actually comes from the Greek word which means secret. The whole world will look to Him at that time for knowledge and will acknowledge Him as the Son of God and Creator of the world. Finally, there will be peace on the earth.
Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.
Jesus will reign over the Jews (David's kingdom) when He returns and the nation will have true unending peace. It will be obvious to everyone that it is the Lord Almighty that has done it and He will be glorified.
The Lord has sent a message against Jacob; it will fall on Israel.
Now, the Lord gives Isaiah a message for His people that was for the situation they were in. They had turned away from God and He had brought judgment upon them in hopes that they would repent and turn back to Him. We notice that it says "a message against Jacob" and we know that it is continuing to speak of judgment on His people.
All the people will know it - Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria - who say with pride and arrogance of heart, 'The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with dressed stone; the fig trees have been felled, but we will replace them with cedars.'
The people of Israel had turned away from following the ways of God and had the attitude that their ways of thinking were better than God's. Many times we may not be actually saying or thinking that our ways are better but, when we try our ways of doing things instead of God's way, our actions demonstrate that the attitude is problem today as we see in Psalm 2.
But the Lord has strengthened Rezin's foes against them and has spurred their enemies on. Arameans from the east and Philistines from the west have devoured Israel with open mouth. Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away, his hand is still upraised.
God has brought enemies victory over Israel and yet He is still angry with His people. We have been so focused on the fact that God is love that many believers do not even understand that God is also a jealous God. If it takes bringing enemies against you to get you back on track with Him, then that is what He will do.
But the people have not returned to him who struck them, nor have they sought the Lord Almighty.
The purpose of the judgment that was brought on God's people was to bring them to repentance. This is where our will is broken and our minds are brought into agreement with what God says is right. This leads to a changing of direction from our path to His path. It was this way throughout the Old Testament and it is the same for us today. Does it seem like God is against you? If that is the case, then we need to examine our lives to see if this repentance has happened and we are indeed following God's will for our lives.
So the Lord will cut off from Israel both head and tail, both palm branch and reed in a single day; the elders and prominent men are the head, the prophets who teach lies are the tail.
The leaders of Israel had led the people of God in the wrong direction. Even after God's correction they did not tell the people to repent and turn to God. Therefore, God says that He will remove them from their positions. That same type of responsibility applies to Christian leaders today in that, if they are leading God's people astray, God will remove them from their office in due time. It may be from a scandal which has happened many times recently or it could simply be God calling them home but either way they will be removed from their positions.
Those who guide this people mislead them, and those who are guided are led astray.
We see from this verse that not all of the blame is placed on the leaders. Those that follow them also receive blame and judgment. That is why it is important for us to read and study God's Word and let the Holy Spirit speak to our hearts because, in the end, we are all responsible for our own walk with the Lord.
Therefore the Lord will take no pleasure in the young men, nor will he pity the fatherless and the widows, for everyone is ungodly and wicked, every mouth speaks vileness. Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away, his hand is still upraised.
David knew of God's love but he also knew that God was a jealous God. This verse speaks to the fact that all of the people have turned away from the things of God and so His wrath is poured out on them. Today, we pretty much ignore the fact that God is going to pour out His wrath on those that turn their back on His offer of grace and mercy (see Revelation 16). But, whether we want to acknowledge it or not, it is coming soon.
Surely wickedness burns like a fire; it consumes briers and thorns, it sets the forest thickets ablaze, so that it rolls upward in a column of smoke.
Briers, thorns, and weeds are usually symbols of sin and disobedience in the Bible. This verse speaks to the fact that all who walk in those ways will be consumed in the fire of God's wrath.
By the wrath of the Lord Almighty the land will be scorched and the people will be fuel for the fire;
On the right they will devour, but still be hungry; on the left they will eat, but not be satisfied. Each will feed on the flesh of his own offspring.
This verse speaks about a time to come in which things get so bad that the people resort to eating human flesh. At first, we may say that this could never happen but Revelation 13 speaks of a time when people cannot buy food unless they worship the beast. When people get desperate, they do desperate things. For those of us who are in Christ, we will not be here to worry about this but we need to warn those that are not saved that it is coming.
Manasseh will feed on Ephraim, and Ephraim on Manasseh; together they will turn against Judah. Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away, his hand is still upraised.
The judgement on God's people will be so severe that they even turn on their fellow Jews. These events have already happened once but they are also going to happen again in the last days.