In the past [the LORD] 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 –
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, 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.
And 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.
In Matthew 4:13-16, Matthew references the second verse of this passage in Isaiah. Matthew describes that after hearing that John the Baptist, his cousin, was put into prison, Jesus went to Capernaum, which was “by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali – to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah…” Matthew goes on to quote Isaiah 9:2 with minor variations, demonstrating that Jesus was the one to whom Isaiah 9:1-7 was referring. Joseph and Mary, faithful adherents to the law, would have known these verses in Isaiah well.
What is the impact on the people when the light dawns according to verses 3-4?
Their nation is ______________________.
Their joy is __________________________.
Their yoke that burdened them is ________________________.
The warrior’s equipment is destined for _____________________.
What words come to mind as you read the names by which Jesus will be called?
- Wonderful Counselor
- Mighty God
- Everlasting Father
- Prince of Peace
How might referring to Jesus by these names as you pray this week impact your relationship with him and your ability to endure the circumstances in which you find yourself?
Everlasting Father, thank you that the promise spoken by Isaiah was true. Thank you that you invited all the nations into relationship with you, through Jesus. Thank you for joy and for shattering our slavery to sin. Thank you for the peace that you bring and will bring. Father, I am holding onto other promises you have made in your Word — that Jesus will come again and will wipe every tear and eradicate all mourning and death. Remind me of these things, Father. Help me keep my eyes fixed on what you have promised.