Monday, December 01, 2014

Renewing Our Hope

Babies change our lives.  No matter how much we plan, we are never really ready for what a new child brings into our lives.  They turn our lives upside down.

In Isaiah 7, 8, and 9, the writer tells about three births.  Commentators make clear that Isaiah expected each of these births to take place within his lifetime or the near future. They were words of warning to King Ahaz of Judah and words of hope for God’s people. 

The following text provided the hope of a just and righteous king who would rule his people with wisdom:

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. (Isaiah 9:6, NIV)

The text above probably was meant to be applied to Ahaz’s successor, Hezekiah, a hope for redemption.  Hezekiah was a good king but ultimately failed.  Isaiah’s followers, however, preserved these words and passed them on to the people of God.  In ensuring years of failure and exile, they held on to these words of hope.  Ultimately, they were fulfilled in the coming of another baby—Jesus.

As we begin this season of Advent, we remember the long years that the people of Israel waited for the birth of the Messiah.  We realize God's faithfulness and we have hope.

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