Isaiah 8:11-9:7: To Us a Child Is Born
Judah had turned away from the light into the dark: to mediums and spiritists, to ghosts that gibber and squeak (8:19-20). King Ahaz has turned away from the sign God offered him, but a greater King is coming to put things right. This King is a child rather than a mighty conqueror! Yet he has shoulders adequate to the task. He shares God's character as a Wonderful Counselor. He is described as Mighty God. Paradoxically, although a son, he is described as the Everlasting Father! He is the Prince of Peace, and his kingdom shares his character. He is a descendant of David and will rule his kingdom with justice and righteousness forever. All of these characteristics distinguish his kingdom from the chronic instability of Israel and the desperate wobbling of Judah.
Warming Up to God
Think of a time when you have been overwhelmed with the reality of the darkness and evil which is present in our world. How did you find comfort?
Discovering the Word
- Compare and contrast the ways of knowing God which are described in 8:11-22.
- Where are the Israelites looking for wisdom according to 8:19-20?
- The people are very distressed (8:21-22). Why do they curse their king and their God?
- With the help of map 2 (in the introduction) find the regions of Zebulun, Naphtali and Galilee and the road called "the Way of the Sea." This road marked the western limits of Palestine and the Jordan marked the eastern limits. What change from their present condition does Isaiah predict in 9:1-2?
- The light dawns in 9:2-5. What specific changes does Isaiah predict?
- In what ways is the coming of the kingdom of justice and righteousness mentioned in 9:7 good news for the poor, the needy and the oppressed?
Applying the Word
- How has the Lord brought light into your dark corner of the world?
- Which of these titles—"Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace"—particularly describes God as you have known him during a time of difficulty?
Responding in Prayer
Praise God for his character and the way he has revealed himself to you.