Isaiah 9:2 “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.”
2020 is being described as one of America’s darkest and gloomiest years on record. A rundown of just the top stories might be convincing to many. Here are only four of the darkest events in 2020.
On January 9, the deadly coronavirus emerged in Wuhan, China. Within a few months it spread around the world, infecting over 20 million people and killing over 750,000. America has seen over 13.5 million cases, with over 250,000 total deaths to date. The ensuing lockdowns of major cities have driven thousands of both small and larger businesses to bankruptcy and made once bustling downtowns into ghost towns.
The video of George Floyd’s death at the hands of law enforcement sparked both peaceful demonstrations and violent riots across the country, fueling the narrative of police brutality and racism. City governments who voted to defund their police departments watched violent crime grow exponentially on their streets.
The fascist group “Antifa”, ironically describing themselves as anti-fascist and anti-racist, is now labeled as a terrorist group as their violence against innocent Americans across the country continues to escalate.
The newly elected Democratic leadership will enthusiastically support the party position of late-term abortion, even up to birth, as well using taxpayer funds to pay for abortions. They also promise to enact a litmus test for judicial nominees, ensuring that all their judges back Roe v. Wade.
Some are proclaiming that it cannot be long before God brings some level of judgment upon America for turning our backs on Him. But if history teaches us anything, it is that God is long suffering and merciful, desiring to save and not destroy. This is the theme of Isaiah, and in part 4 of our series on Isaiah’s answer for saving America we look at what he meant, and still means today, for being a light at a time of darkness.
After God calls Isaiah to be His prophet to Israel, He sends him to warn Israel of the pending invasion by Assyria, one of the cruelest empires that ever existed. Assyria built its strength through conquest, then by absorbing nations into their culture after killing their fighting men. Isaiah warned Israel’s King Ahaz not to seek an alliance with Assyria but instead to trust God to protect Israel. He refused and sealed Israel’s fate.
Although Israel seems doomed, Isaiah then prophesies that their captivity under the government of Assyria will not be permanent. There will be a future King who will rule not only over Israel but the entire world, and this his King’s government is for eternity. God explains in Isaiah 9:6-7 that this future King is Messiah.
“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given. And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever.”
In this prophecy, God has promised all of mankind that one day His only Son will be born into our world to rule it with peace and justice forever. This is one of over 30 of Isaiah’s prophecies that provide clues for identifying this future Messiah. And it is given shortly after the famous prophecy that explains the birth God’s Messiah will have when He does come into this world: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name ‘Immanuel’, which means ‘God With Us’” (Isaiah 7:14). It will be a virgin birth.
There is a third prophecy we are examining this week is given just before the Isaiah 9:6-7 prophecy that provides even greater evidence for who Messiah is. It identifies the geographical region from which He will emerge and defines His presence as the “great light” that shines upon a land filled with darkness. This same great light is later announced in chapter 1 of the Gospel of John: “In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” (John 1:4-5).
From where will this “great light” emerge? Isaiah gives us the exact location in the preceding verse: “By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan. In Galilee of the Gentiles.” (Isaiah 9:1b). In this one article, we have found three incredibly specific prophecies in just 2 of the 66 chapters in Isaiah that point to only one person in history: Jesus Christ. And as He Himself tells us: “As long as I am in the world, I am the Light of the world” (John 9:5). To every Christian who claims to follow Jesus Christ: now is the moment in America for two things: 1) let the light of Christ in you shine brightly for all to see, and 2) publicly proclaim His name.
The Evidence of Faith’s Substance – Article #425