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Prince of Peace

Prince of Peace

Isaiah 9:1-7

1 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 nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan—

2 The people walking in darkness
    have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
    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 warriors 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.
5 Every warrior’s boot used in battle
    and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning,
    will be fuel for the fire.
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.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL
VERSION ®. NIV®. COPYRIGHT © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by
Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


Discussion Questions

  • The “nevertheless” at the beginning of 9:1 is surprising. How does the transition help us to better understand the gospel? (does the kindness of God seem deserved? Explain).
  • Cory mentioned a principle: God uses what is weak and seemingly insignificant to display His own power to save. Why is it noteworthy that God will honor Galilee of the Nations? What did Nathaniel say when told that the Messiah was from Nazareth in Galilee (see John 1)?
  • What does it mean that Christians have an indestructible joy?
  • Do you agree that Christians can feel more deeply than others (both the gloom/distress/darkness and the joy)?
  • Why do you suppose the Midianite defeat was used to illustrate the release from oppression that the Prince of Peace will bring? How does that further advance the principle in question 2?
  • A child is the solution. How do the titles for this child in verse 7 strike you? What stands out to you?
  • The zeal of the Lord will accomplish this. The whole section is filled with past tense declarations of the work of God. Why is it important to view this prophecy with such certainty? What if the fulfillment is a long ways off?

APPLICATION
  • What are your key takeaways from the sermon?
  • What opportunities have you had to apply the key takeaways?
  • How has that helped you to grow spiritually?

12.3.2023

Transcript

Prince of Peace

*This transcript is generated from the sermon audio. This document has not been edited for spelling, grammar, or exactness.

All right, track down a Bible. This is the important stuff. Track down a Bible if you’re able, and get with me to Isaiah, chapter nine. Isaiah, chapter nine. We have Bibles in the book racks here, the chair in front of you, and in the Bibles that we have here on site, isaiah, chapter nine, is on page 593, five, nine three. I’m going to read verses one to seven and then we’ll pray and we’ll get to work. This is Isaiah, chapter nine, starting in verse one, reads like this

Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who are in distress. In the past, he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naftali. But in the future, he will honor Galilee of the nations by the way of the sea. Beyond the Jordan, the people walking in darkness have seen a great light. On those living in the land of deep darkness, a light has dawned. You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy. They rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder. 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. It will be fuel for the fire. For to us a child is born. To us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. He will be called wonderful Counselor, mighty God, everlasting Father, prince of peace, 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.

Let’s pray. Lord, we’re asking right now as we’ve opened Your word, we’re praying that by Your Spirit, through Your word, you would speak to us. We’re grateful for this birth announcement, and we’re praying, Lord, that you would incline our hearts to worship the Prince of Peace, our Savior, Jesus Christ. We pray in his name. Amen

Isaiah lived 800 years prior to the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. And because of the Spirit of God and the prophecy that God had given him, he spoke of the arrival of Messiah. This is a birth announcement, and there’s an anticipation then of hope of what this child will ultimately do. And so during this Christmas season, we’re looking at this expectation. We’re looking at what Isaiah beheld from a distance, and we’re recognizing this incredible reality that he was anticipating with hope. He’s actually a very helpful guide for us in this season. And so we’re going to spend the next four Sundays, this Sunday included, looking at Christmas through the eyes of Isaiah. And we’ll find some pretty incredible things there. But here we have this birth announcement and we’re able to look back through human history and recognize the fulfillment of this in the birth of Jesus Christ, Jesus of Nazareth. But here it’s forward looking. They’re expecting these things. They’re looking forward to them in hope. So let’s note here what this means for us. Here it is. The Prince of peace brings us light, joy and liberation. The prince of peace brings us light, joy and liberation. So we’ll look at each of those in turn and then at the end, we’ll spend some time reflecting on this prince of peace.

THE PRINCE OF PEACE BRINGS LIGHT

First off, the Prince of peace brings light. Look at verse one. It says, nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who are in distress. It’s interesting where chapter nine is actually starts in the middle of a paragraph. So there’s an argument that’s been coming through here. There’s a depiction of what’s going on and then we pick it up kind of midstream, which is a little bit confusing. But what it’s saying is nevertheless, something is happening. Now, what he’s describing previously is the fact that the Israelite people are experiencing distress. They’ve been invaded and there’s a foreign army that overtook them. The Assyrians came in, they wrecked shop. And the people are living in darkness. They’re living in distress. And it’s bad. It’s very, very bad. In fact, if you just glance up, if you do have a Bible open in front of you, you can look up into the previous section and it says that they’re distressed. It’s that same word that we find in verse one. But it’s distress in verse 21 that they are famished and they become enraged. And here’s what they’re doing, which I don’t recommend anyone do this, but they are looking upward and they’re cursing their king and their God. That’s how bad it is. It’s like they’re shaking their fist at God. This is not what we signed on for. This is horrible. And they’re in gloom and distress. And here the voice of the Lord through Isaiah the prophet says, nevertheless, here’s what I will do. It’s almost jarring, this transition. It’s going very, very poorly. But then God says, but I’m going to do something. It’s going very, very poorly. You’re living in gloom and darkness and distress. But nevertheless, here’s what I’m going to do. Light is coming. They will no longer live in that gloom. Here’s why. Because God is going to do something. And he’s going to do something in an unexpected and unprecedented way. In verse one, he says in the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naftali. But in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations by the way of the sea beyond the Jordan. So God’s going to do something. God’s going to step in. What’s surprising is the place in which this plan is going to unfold. The starting point of it is not where we would expect if you and I were to draw this one up. We would not pick this place. We would not pick Galilee of the nations because that’s a Podunk area, that’s the middle of nowhere, that’s very far north and just a very remote place and not significant in any way. If we were going to draw up the plan and we said, God’s going to show up, we would circle Jerusalem, capital city, urban center city. This is the place of influence, the place of prominence. But God says, I’m going to honor Galilee. This is a surprising feature, but it’s a part of the good news of the Gospel and the Christmas narrative. Here’s the lesson that we learn. God is able to take what is weak and seemingly insignificant, and he uses it for his glory. That’s how Christmas works. God is able to take things that are weak and seemingly insignificant, and he’s able to use that for his purposes. So when he looks at what he’s about to do, gloom and darkness, but nevertheless, I’m stepping in now. He’s going to honor Galilee of the nations. He’s going to honor this remote place up in the north, this place that’s filled with foreigners. That’s why it says Galilee of the nations. But also it’s called Galilee of the nations because God’s plan always involves his heart for all peoples, that he’s going to begin something that’s going to result in the Gentiles, which is what that word is, the nations. The Gentiles will come to saving faith. So he’s picking this place very purposefully. Do you guys remember when the disciples first started following the Lord? This is John. Chapter one. They meet Jesus of Nazareth and they’re excited about it, and they start to pull in friends and buddies and coworkers and things like that. And they’re like, you got to come see this dude. So in John chapter one, Philip goes up to Nathaniel and he’s inviting him, you got to come. There’s this dude. I need you to meet him. And he actually describes it like this. He says, we have found the one that Moses spoke about in the law. We found him. And then he says, the one that the prophets also spoke about, we found him. He says here’s his name Jesus of Nazareth. The Son of Joseph. And do you guys remember what Nathaniel said? He goes, Nazareth. Like, are you sure? Has anything good ever come from there? You think you found Messiah and he’s there? That doesn’t even make sense. That’s the middle of nowhere. Okay, this one hits me close to home because I grew up in Rockton, but I’m west of Rockton. I’m out there. I grew up on the tree farm, and so my address was Rockton, but I went to Shirland, to a little farm community. Shirland out there in the school. And the school had about, I don’t know when I was there in the late eighty s and the ninety s, it was like 20 kids in a class like every class had like 20 kids and you know everybody in the entire school because it’s K through eight. But it’s small enough that you just know everybody on a first name basis. But Shirland is a feeder school to Hononegah (High School). And so when you graduate 8th grade and you go to Hononegah, you go from 20 kids in your class to hundreds of kids in your class. And so what would happen is people would find out, oh, you’re from Shirland. And it would be like a pitiable thing, like, oh, you went to Shirland. I’m sorry for you. We’ll take care of you, okay? There was this vibe about that place where people thought nothing could come from there. This is a place know insignificance. But that’s the point when God is bringing about his saving work. He circles not Jerusalem but Galilee and he honors Galilee because the principle that runs through the Christmas narrative and through the Gospel message itself is God takes what is weak and seemingly insignificant and it is there that he displays his glory. That’s good news for us, right? Because a lot of times we still want to do it the way of the world. So we get excited when prominent people become Christians. You guys remember a few years ago it was stupid but it just is in my brain. So it’s coming out. Kanye west started having church services and the Christian subculture was like, oh boy, this is amazing. We got him on our team now things can get done. As you know, it didn’t go well for us or for Him or however you want to describe that. But a lot of times we think if God’s going to do anything prominent it’s going to be the way that we would expect. He’s like, no, that’s not how I roll. His plan is to use the weak and seemingly insignificant things to accomplish his grand purposes and that means that he looks at us and he goes, you can be a person that God uses in a profound way. A lot of times we imagine we have to do something grandiose for our lives to matter. And it’s encouraging for me to say as a pastor, you know what, what you can do is you could probably go to work and be a faithful Christian and that will be significant in the kingdom of heaven. You can do your ordinary life purposefully with intentionality for the sake of the gospel and you might be surprised at how influential you are. And that’s good news. At least it’s good news to me. But this light is coming. Verse two. The people walking in darkness have seen a great light on those living in the land of deep darkness. A light has dawned. There are people who are living in this condition and it’s symbolic, obviously, but it’s talking about despair and darkness and gloom. It’s talking about this situation that just feels oppressive. It’s talking about a situation that’s dangerous. I remember being in Nairobi, Kenya, in Africa and there was a curfew. We would arrange our day so that when nightfall came we were back on the compound. And you know, darkness has this intrinsic thing to it where you begin to recognize this is not good. And it’s saying there are these people who have been living in darkness but God is dawning this light on them. They have seen a great light. Those living in the land of deep darkness, a light has dawned. We know from the Gospel books that this light is Jesus of Nazareth. In John, chapter one as Jesus is being described there john says the true light that gives light and life to everyone was coming into the world. He was describing Jesus there. So God looks at the situation as despairing as it may be and he says nevertheless, here’s what I’m going to do. The Prince of peace is able to bring light.

THE PRINCE OF PEACE BRINGS JOY

Secondly, the Prince of Peace is able to give us joy. The prince of peace is able to give us joy. Look at verse three. You talking about God. You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy. People who experience the work of God experience joy and rejoicing. Look at how verse three goes on. It says, they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder. So people who recognize the handiwork of God experience joy. What we have then is this confident hope in God. Notice and all the commentators point this out notice that when Isaiah describes this he writes it in the past tense. It’s crazy. But from his perspective he has such confident hope that he’s able to say this is as good as done. What God is going to do in the sending of the Prince of peace is as good as done. And he writes in the past tense you have enlarged the nation and increased their joy. People who experience God experience our affections being changed by what he is doing. And I’ve come to think about it like this. I believe that Christians are a people who feel things more profoundly than anyone else. And what I mean by that is the followers of God in this case are living in darkness and God’s light is dawning. But the dawning of the light doesn’t mean that the darkness didn’t happen. No, we were fully aware of that. They’re living in that. They’re walking in that way. They’re living in the land of darkness. They’re living in what’s called the death shadow here. They’re living in this death shadow. And Christians are a people who are not flippant about that. We feel the darkness, the gloom, the distress, the despair. We see all of that. And I believe that Christians are a people who can feel that profoundly because we’re not winking at it. We’re not pretending that it’s insignificant. We’re not being dismissive of it. What I would say is we are a strange breed because on the one hand, we can look at the despairing things in the world and we can weep deeply over them, but it does not lead us to despair. It doesn’t lead us to a situation where we’re like, there’s no hope here because the truth of the Gospel is nevertheless God. Nevertheless, God is at work and a light is dawning. So on the one hand, we feel deeply the pain and the brokenness and the sin and the effects of it. But on the other hand, we look forward to the work of Christ and what he accomplishes through his life, death and resurrection. So we feel both of those things at the same time. I would put it like this. You could be sitting there weeping as you observe the world around you and the ruin of what sin has done to people. And you can weep, and then you can wash your face and you can come to church and you can raise your hands and there’s no, like that’s inappropriate, like that’s disconnected. No. You feel deeply and you weep over it. And then you wash your face and you praise God because there’s confident hope in what he’s done. They rejoice. They rejoice as those at the harvest, as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder. The harvest. It’s a party. It’s a harvest festival. When you bring in the first fruits and you sit around the table and you go, this is wonderful. Look at what God has done. We did all this work this year, but he supplied a bountiful harvest for us. And you celebrate or the plunder of victory. The warriors rejoice when dividing the spoils of their victory. It’s meant to convey to us that they’re sitting around enjoying the work of God. That’s what Christians are meant to do. The Prince of Peace gives us joy. And this is incredible news. I love the title of John Piper’s advent devotional. Now, I’m not recommending another one. We already have like three on site, but he has one. And the title itself is really, really good because here’s what he labeled it the dawning of indestructible joy. The good news of the Gospel, the arrival of Messiah is the dawning of indestructible joy. And he’s drawing from the language of Isaiah that the light is breaking in. It is dawning on the world and on human history. And it creates in us a people who experience joy. And no circumstance can mute that joy. No circumstance can remove that joy from us because we are confident in the fulfillment of the promises of God in Jesus Christ. But let me just get just very specific on this because I was thinking about it this week and I was thinking about the world in which we live. And if you start to just kind of list out what are the things that are going on in our world right now and how does that affect us? These are things over which we can weep. We can feel the darkness and we can lament the fact that these are realities. And I just jotted down a few of them. There are many more that we could put on this list as well. But if you think about the Israeli Palestinian conflict, that’s an item that we can weep over. Or if you think about the upcoming presidential elections, even me saying that starts to make me nervous. Like, oh yeah, we got one of those coming. Great. Because it’s so fun to lead a church in those seasons. And then you look at the economy, maybe you look at the economy and you start to think through, what does this mean for us? What does this mean for our future? Or you look at socially contentious issues that even the mention of them creates conflict. You look at all these different things or the future of the church. I was sitting this week looking at some of the reports and I was just wrecked by it, of the condition of the church right now and the trends within the church. And it’s incredibly discouraging to know that 42% of pastors have considered leaving the ministry in the last six months. It’s incredibly discouraging to look at the amount of people who back in 2000, there was a high percentage that would say they’re Christians. And then that just plummeted, it’s going down. And then you start to think through real people who are abandoning the faith because they look at the organized church or whatever the case might be, and they’re discouraged by that. And you just start to look at these different things. And what I’m saying is, as believers in Christ, on the one hand, we weep over that stuff, but on the other hand, we do not despair over those things because we have confident hope in the work of Christ. We live in distress and darkness. Nevertheless, God is bringing his light to bear and it brings us joy.

THE PRINCE OF PEACE BRINGS LIBERATION

The next thing that we find is that this prince of peace brings liberation. He brings liberation. Look at verse four. It says, 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 saying, you know, the people of God are going to experience liberation from oppressive forces. And it’s a lot like what happened with Gideon and the Midianites, which is an interesting place for him to go. It highlights the point that we’ve already made. God uses weak things to accomplish his grand purposes. Gideon was an individual that angel of the Lord visited. This is actually from the Book of Judges, chapter six to eight. There’s a period of time in which God would raise up deliverers to save the people of God. They were called judges. And it was a bad time in human history and a lot of things were going wrong, but God kept stepping in and intervening and he raises up these deliverers. So Gideon gets a visitation from an angel of God, and the angel of God says to him, greetings. Something to the effect of mighty warrior of God. And he goes, who are you talking to? Surely not me. Because he’s actually threshing wheat in a wine press, because he’s scared out of his mind. He doesn’t want to be caught by the enemy. He’s fearful. That’s what the Bible tells us in Judges, chapter six. And God says, I know, I know who I’m talking to. I know exactly who I’m talking to. But as the story unfolds, Gideon is very fearful and God is very persistent. And he gives him the first assignment. I want you to go cut down the astral poles, the false items of worship of your dad, and I want you to do that. He does it by nightfall because he’s afraid that somebody might see him. He does that there. And then he says, okay, here’s what I want you to do. I want you to go up against the Midian army. And Gideon’s like, I don’t dude, like, can you give me some give me a sign. I’m not sure I should do this. Give me a sign. And God gives him a sign, comes back the next day, can you give me another sign? Because I’m just not confident in this thing. Another sign. And then he finally says, okay, fine, I’ll do this thing. And I’m paraphrasing, by the way. You can read it for yourself. Fine, I’ll do this thing. And he goes out there and then he’s got this army. Gideon’s got this army to go against this massive, vast Midianite army. And God says, you got way too many people. You never say that when you go into a fight, right? Like, too many. Send some home. But that’s what God says. He goes, You’ve got too many people. I don’t want this to be confusing for you. This is my fight, not yours. I don’t want you to try to steal my glory. So God says, Send them home, and he sends a bunch of them home. And then God says, still too many. In fact, I’m going to give you a way in which you can kind of partition them out. How they drink the water. If you’re familiar with the story, it’s a Sunday school story that deserves to be rescued from Sunday school. But they’re drinking the water, sends a bunch more home. He ends up with 300 people and he’s going against this massive army. He’s going against this massive army and God gives him the strategy for it. And it is unconventional. We want you to scream and break jars, okay? That’s the plan. And it creates confusion. And they win. This group of 300 defeat the massive Midianite army. So when Isaiah mentions this here, what is he doing? He’s saying, this is how God works. This is how God has historically worked. He takes what’s weak and seemingly insignificant and he accomplishes his grand purposes. And so when we experience liberation, it’s a lot like Gideon defeating the Midianites at the hand of God, and we rejoice in those things. I don’t know if I mentioned this, but I don’t want to leave it in the dust either. You guys remember when Mary was called by the angel of the Lord? And she’s like, what are you talking about? The angel visits her and says, greetings you who are highly favored. And she goes, I think you got the wrong address. You meant to be at the ledges in Roscoe. You turned left, you ended up in Think. I don’t think you know where you’re and the angel no, no, I know exactly where I’m at. She’s this teenage girl, unwed, and God is looking at her and saying, I’m going to use you. She’s like, I don’t get it. And the angel tells her, here’s how this is going to go down. She writes a song. Do you guys remember that song in Luke, chapter one, the Christmas Song? And she writes about the theme of the song is God’s ability to take the humble and the lowly and to elevate it. It’s a beautiful thing, but that’s what we’re seeing here. Over and over in this text, over and over in the Christmas narrative, over and over in the good news of the Gospel, God takes what seems insignificant and he uses it to accomplish his grand purposes, including Gideon and the Midianites, a fearful individual defeating a massive army. And here’s what happens. Relief. It’s like the oppressive things are broken over the knee of God, the rod of oppression, the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders. God takes that and he just snaps it like a twig. That’s the good news of the Gospel. That’s what Christ has come to do. The things that are broken in this world, he is going to set right. Goes on to say in verse five, every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire. These different things that they had to have in times of war. He says, you can retire those. You don’t have to put them in the basement on a shelf and wonder if you’re going to bring them back out. He says, Go ahead and throw that in the fire, because what Christ is coming to do will result in liberation from oppression. You won’t need those boots, you won’t need those garments anymore. Those are fuel for the fire. The good news of the Gospel is that Christ’s arrival marks a decisive moment in history whereby we can say, God is undoing all that is broken and oppressive. God is working his plan and it brings us joy and it brings about liberation.

THE PRINCE OF PEACE

Well, how’s he going to do this? How does God do this? What’s his plan here? And it’s interesting because his plan is a child. Look at verse six. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given. God’s strategy is not a campaign. It’s not enlisting more and more people to train and be ready for these things. His plan is very simply this a child. For us a child is born, to us a son is given. It’s that announcement of God breaking into human history. Barry Webb, in his commentary, he points out this is what God is doing in chapter seven to nine. It’s interesting that all of God’s purposes in history in these chapters are associated with the birth of children. Again, it’s that principle. God uses what seems weak and insignificant, but that is the plan. Can you imagine this little boy being born in the middle of nowhere and placed in a manger? That’s the plan. Which is why when the magi show up and they knock on the door of King Herod, there’s another King Herod, where’s the child that was born, the king of the Jews? And he goes, what are you talking about? I’m the king around here. But there’s a king. And in that moment, in that first century, he is born in a stable and placed in a manger. And you look at that and you go, God, are you serious? That’s your plan. That’s your plan. A child. But this is no ordinary child. Look at verse six. The government will be on his shoulders. We think about the world in which we live and the leadership which we desperately desire. The plan of God is not some political party or some human strategy. The plan of God is his son. And this child has been born to us, and this son is given to us. And the government will be on his shoulders. And he has an incredible batch of titles here in verse six, he will be called Wonderful Counselor, mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. As we look at how he’s described here, you can’t help but realize this is no ordinary baby. This is God. He is the wonderful counselor, the mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. And his work, what he’s going to do is limitless. Look at verse seven of the greatness of his government and peace. There will be no end. That’s good news, friends. As we think through what he is doing, he is going to rule and reign in a way that is righteous and just. His government, the greatness of his government and the peace that he brings, there will be no end. All those things that I listed a few minutes ago, as we look at the world and its brokenness, the darkness that we find, and the interpersonal conflict and the pain that we all experience as well, and you begin to wonder, how could we make this better? How could these things be resolved? How could we enter into a world in which there is peace? And God says, I’ve got a way. I’m sending my son. And this Son is going to rule and reign and bring peace. And of that peace there will be no end. And we have that announcement in advance. We recognize that his first advent was the breaking in of that kingdom. That when he arrived as a baby, that was the inauguration of his kingdom and his rule. But we also recognize that he’s coming again, and the peace in which he brings is not yet fulfilled. And so we look forward to his second coming with hope and anticipation. But look at verse seven. 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. Jesus is the king and his rule. And his reign is just and righteous and beautiful. And he rules from that time on and forevermore. To surrender to this King is the best choice you could ever make. To submit yourself to his rulership in this moment is the wisest thing that you could possibly do. Because God is doing a work in this world that results in light and joy and liberation. And it is on account of Jesus of Nazareth, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. So we look to Him, recognizing the good news of the Gospel, that he is our King, who’s also a suffering servant. And he went to the cross and he died for us so we could be forgiven and set free from sin and death and the devil. But in this moment, as we celebrate Christmas, we are acknowledging God has a plan. The world is dark. Nevertheless, God has a plan and it is his son. And he has sent his son. And this Son is the One in whom we can place our hope and our trust. And we can be confident that in Him all the promises of God are coming true. And we know for sure it will work. Look at verse seven at the end there. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. I can’t give you a better seal of approval. I can’t give you a better guarantee of its effectiveness. God says My zeal will do this, and it will. He has sent His Son, the Prince of Peace, to bring light and joy and liberation. Would you look to Him and trust Him for salvation and for hope? Let’s do that right now.

Lord, we ask in these moments in this season help us to look to the Son. Help us to look to Jesus of Nazareth. Help us to look to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, the Prince of Peace. Lord, we thank you for Your saving work. We thank you for the dawning of indestructible joy. We pray, Lord, that you would give us the heart of Christ so we could look at the brokenness of the world and feel deeply. But we could do that with confident hope that you are making all things new. Lord, we pray that you would help us as your people to live faithfully in this moment so that we could be ambassadors of your reconciling. Work it, lord. Help us to do this, please. We pray in your name. Amen.