Blog In Audio:
I hope you are having a great Christmas season. We had a wonderful time together as a church family yesterday. I am looking forward to a gathering with all my family on Wednesday as we celebrate Christmas. All of my children and grandchildren are home for the Holidays, and I know we will have a great celebration.
The prophetic words of Isaiah present some great truth as to the true gift of Christmas. It amazes me how clear this version of the Scripture is as to revealing two options for two different kings, and not two versions of difficulty for the nations. We must keep in mind that chapters and verses were not in in the original text, so a separation of Isaiah chapter 8 and chapter 9 can be a hindrance to understanding the context of the gift of the Child born in Bethlehem and destined to be born in our hearts.
Isaiah 8:12 – 9:6 in the Hebrew Tanakh
12 “You must not call conspiracy all that that people calls conspiracy, nor revere what it reveres, nor hold it in awe. 13 None but the LORD of Hosts shall you account holy; give reverence to Him alone, hold Him alone in awe. 14 He shall be for a sanctuary, a stone men strike against: a rock men stumble over for the two Houses of Israel, and a trap and a snare for those who dwell in Jerusalem. 15 The masses shall trip over these and shall fall and be injured, shall be snared and be caught. 16 Bind up the message, seal the instruction with My disciples.” 17 So I will wait for the LORD, who is hiding His face from the House of Jacob, and I will trust in Him. 18 Here stand I and the children the LORD has given me as signs and portents in Israel from the LORD of Hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion (the children called – hasten the plunder, hasten the spoil).
19 Now, should people say to you, “Inquire of the ghosts and familiar spirits that chirp and moan; for a people may inquire of its divine beings—of the dead on behalf of the living—20 for instruction and message,” surely, for one who speaks thus there shall be no dawn. 21 And he shall go about in it wretched and hungry; and when he is hungry, he shall rage and revolt against his king and his divine beings. He may turn his face upward 22 or he may look below, but behold, distress and darkness, with no daybreak; straitness and gloom, with no dawn. 23 For if there were to be any break of day for that [land] which is in straits, only the former [king] would have brought abasement to the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali—while the later one would have brought honor to the Way of the Sea, the other side of the Jordan, and Galilee of the Nations.
1 The people that walked in darkness have seen a brilliant light; on those who dwelt in a land of gloom light has dawned. 2 You have magnified that nation, have given it great joy; they have rejoiced before You as they rejoice at reaping time, as they exult when dividing spoil. 3 For the yoke that they bore and the stick on their back—the rod of their taskmaster—You have broken as on the day of Midian. 4 Truly, all the boots put on to stamp with and all the garments donned in infamy have been fed to the flames, devoured by fire. 5 For a child has been born to us, a son has been given us. And authority has settled on His shoulders. He has been named “The Mighty God is planning grace; the Eternal Father, a peaceable ruler”— 6 In token of abundant authority and of peace without limit upon David’s throne and kingdom, that it may be firmly established in justice and in equity now and evermore. The zeal of the LORD of Hosts shall bring this to pass.
As I read these verses in this Tanakh version, this is the impression that comes to my spirit:
Be careful not to call what religion or the world calls conspiracy, conspiracy. Be careful not to hold in awe what religion or the world holds in awe. Surely it is the will of God that we seek! Only God can give us the way to life. He can change us, but we cannot change Him. He can change our will, but we cannot change His! He can change our way, but we cannot change His way. Only He can plunder every enemy and He alone can give us our true life of destiny.
Any other life source is not a life source at all. It is demonic and promises no hope. All other sources are sources of death and not life. No other source can satisfy. Only He can deliver us from our difficulty and pain. Only He promises true light and a day of increasing glory. Any king in the family tree of the knowledge of good and evil, any king of religious or worldly ways, cannot bring true hope. The only King of hope is the King who comes from and for the family tree of Life! He alone brings the honor of true life; even for those who have not known Him or sought Him before.
We were in darkness, but He has come as the bright light. We were in gloom, but He has given us day. He gives us true hope, joy, and purpose in life. He defeats our enemies and give us life answers. He has freed us from all our bandages. He has ended our wars. It is by His gift of grace that through Him we can know our heavenly Father and find true peace! Only He can cause us to know the life of true sons of God. It is though God’s gift of a child who has proven to be God’s son. The future is limitless in Him. True life comes to us by His authority of life. It is an eternal life for true justice and blessing in every way.
We are blessed with the gift of Christmas!
Merry Christmas to you all. Enjoy the life of Christ within! Christ in you is the hope of glory and Christ in you is the testimony of the baby born in Bethlehem. He has reconciled us to our Father in heaven and we can know a life of being sons and daughters of God in His family of Love!
Blessings – Merry Christmas,
Ted J. Hanson