Preparation before the incarnation
Isaiah 9:6-8; BCBC/IOUC; 7/26/2021; Rev. Paul Wang
The theme of our summer camp this year is “the Son of Man is near”. Where do we start? Let’s start with the preparation before Christ’s incarnation! This is the origin of the topic of today’s sermon, let’s look at the first point first:
Moved by the Prophet
The prophet Isaiah was called the great prophet, not because he wrote the longest book of Isaiah, but also because of the richness of the content he wrote. Some people even say that the entire Bible can be restored from the book of Isaiah alone. So, how did the prophet Isaiah make moving prophecies?
First, hope in the darkness
Isaiah may be the prophet with the longest lifespan, the highest status, and the most influential prophet. Wouldn’t it? As a relative of the emperor, knowing more information and having more experience of the dark side of the times. The North Kingdom has perished, and the South Kingdom is at stake. May I ask if there is a long way to go, what is the way out? His uncle King Uzziah died, and Isaiah has since gone on a path of no return. He did not rely on relationships to become an official, to make a fortune, and to realize his ideals in life. Although he didn’t find any job, serving the Lord in obscurity was his lifelong pursuit. God chose him and let him see the vision “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. (Isaiah 9:2)”
Second, preparation in weakness
Maybe this is why it is not easy for people to believe in Jesus. How could God’s provision be a baby? And he still lives in Nazareth, Galilee, that’s a lot of Gentiles! ”Not only that, why is the Galilee of the Gentiles glorified beyond the Jordan River (Isaiah 9:1)” At this time Galilee has been destroyed by the Assyrian Empire, and beyond the Jordan River is the Galilee region Of a province. It was against this background that the prophecy of Christ’s coming into the world was sent out by a weak prophet, a weak message, a message about a baby! The baby was even born in a manger, in a carpenter’s home. No matter how you look at it, there is no taste of being gracious. He was born to live for God, and he did not seek the glory of the world. This is very important if we are to imitate him!
Lastly, the Son of men was born for me
Jesus Christ, Jesus is the name of the Son of Man, ：and Christ is the name of the Son of God. His divine and human nature is the truth we must understand. 經文說The scripture says: ”For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,(Isaiah 9:6 NIV) This is the relationship with us! Christ came to the world as a man, of course he lived for God, but he was born for us! He died for me, I live for Him! This sentence is not comprehensive, it should be that he lived for me, lived for God, and died for me! We are united in the goal of living for God. In addition, they belong to each other! God gave us the Son of Man. From then on, Christ belongs to me, and I belong to Christ! This mutual affiliation lasts forever! Nothing in the world can separate us from the love of Christ, right?
Paul says, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? (Romans 8:35)” Let’s see the second point:
Glory in the heaven
This should be one of the key points of the book of Isaiah, and it is also the earliest description of the attributes of Christ in the Bible, which demonstrates the glory of Christ.
First, wonderful counselor
It is easy to understand “wonderful”, but “counselor” is not often used. The counselor originally referred to the people of insight who wandered around the countries during the Warring States Period, such as Shang Yang, Li Si, and Zhang Yi. These people represent the most intelligent people in Chinese history, so the strategist refers to wisdom in general. The wonderful counselor points out the unexpected, out of expectation, and incomparably good wisdom. This is the attribute of Christ, right? Satan’s tricks, the power of the world, ”and the voices of the masses all thought that by shouting “Crucify him!” they would destroy God or God’s works! No one knows that Christ corrupted the power of death through death. Who can think of it? Therefore, the cross is the highest wisdom in human history. Can you understand it?
Second, almighty God
The original text of Almighty is gibbowr (mighty), which means capable. People are usually used to adding something, as if they can express the power of God. English prefixed with al in front of mighty becomes almighty. It’s not necessary, right? Since it is the power of God, of course it is omnipotent, so why superfluous? Of course, adding the prefix al to express the worship in your heart is understandable. However, we must also know that the power of God does not need to be added or subtracted. he power of Christ is precisely this power, and it is also the power to rise from the dead.
Furthermore, Everlasting Father
Strictly speaking, Isaiah’s title here is a bit unclear. Because here is talking about the attributes of the Son, Christ, but the title of Heavenly Father is used. Why does Isaiah mention the Father when he talks about the Son? In fact, the Jews at that time didn’t understand it either! Because calling God the Father does not happen until after the Lord comes, Isaiah makes sense to say so. Explain that the revelation of the Father must be revealed to us by the Son, Christ Jesus.
Lastly, Prince of Peace
The Prince of Peace here is sat in the original text and Prince in the English language, which means prince. One is identity, the only child in the arms of the father. The second is the mission of peace, which is the mission of the gospel to persuade people to reconcile with God. Isaiah is telling us that what is coming is the only beloved Son of the Father, who will come to become incarnate, die on the cross, and execute the plan of salvation designed by the Father.
Advent of Word
This one is even more amazing, think about it, right?
First, a message has been sent against Jacob
I guess the people in the southern kingdom of Judah were really confused when they heard Isaiah’s words. Why is it a word? It is a word, or a phrase, the original is dabar, and the English is word. This discourse was given a personality, and with a verb, entered into Jacob’s house. Why enter Jacob’s house? Because this is God’s promise to Jacob’s family.
Second, this is heavenly Father’s sending
Christ the Son is the word sent by God, the living word. He didn’t come as He wanted, but He was sent by Heavenly Father. Explain that the Trinity God is a team, working with each other and working together! This is the truth basis for our churches to be sent by God to co-work with each other. Why should we love each other? What is the possibility that we will be united in one heart? Isn’t it clear? Then look to the Father, imitate the Lord, and obey the Holy Spirit!
Lastly, this is life’s changing
The arrival of God’s words will surely bring about a change in life! From Jacob to Israel, what witnessed was the change in human life! Jacob has liked to fight for everything since he was a child, right? Contend at birth, followed by red bean soup, game and father’s blessing! Until the ford of the Jabbok, wrestling with God, God changed his name to Israel! Since then, Jacob’s life has changed!
Well, that’s all for today’s sermon “preparation for the incarnation”! Thank the Lord for leaving a revelation in the Bible through the touch of the prophet. The attributes of Christ show the glory of God and change our lives! Lord, I want to thank you!
Let us pray…..
6 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. 7 Of the greatness 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. The Lord’s Anger Against Israel. 8 The Lord has sent a message against Jacob; it will fall on Israel.