Prophecy of the Messiah’s Birth
Verse 1 – Nevertheless the gloom will not be upon her who is distressed, as when at first He lightly esteemed the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali; and afterward more heavily oppressed her, by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, in Galilee of the Gentiles.
Zebulun and Naphtali were two northern tribes hit hard by the Assyrians.
Verse 2 – The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shinned.
Though these events had not taken place as of yet, the description is as if they had already happened.
Verse 3 – You have multiplied the nation and increased its joy; they rejoice before You according to the joy of harvest, as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
Verse 4 – for You have broken the yoke of his burden and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of the oppressor, as in the day of Midian.
In the “day of Midian” refers to when Gideon with only a handful of troops and the power of God, defeated the Midianites and expelled them from the land (Judges 6 and 7).
Verse 5 – For every warrior’s sandal from the noisy battle, and garments rolled in blood, will be used for burning and fuel of fire.
Verse 6 – 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.
Verse 7 – 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. The seal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. (I know we can have zeal for God, but this verse is talking about God’s zeal, and dedication and enthusiasm for mankind.)
Even centuries after this prophecy of the coming Messiah, the Jews still did not believe that Jesus was the Son of God. Even some today with all the signs and scripture to prove it they still do not believe the Messiah has come.
Verse 8 – The Lord sent a word against Jacob, and it has fallen on Israel.
Verse 9 – All the people will know – Ephraim (tribe of Ephraim, second son of Joseph born in Egypt) and the inhabitant of Samaria – who say in pride and arrogance of heart;
Verse 10 – “The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with hewn stones; the sycamores are cut down, but we will replace them with cedars.”
Those that quoted Isaiah 9:10 after 9/11, evidently didn’t read 9:9 – in arrogance they spoke. The leaders of this country thought they would find a scripture of encouragement for the American people. However, the next day, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle addressed the joint sessions of Congress spouting a verse that Isaiah wrote showing the prideful and arrogant spirit of people who would not follow God and took the attitude “We will just rebuild!” However, sacrifice without repentance only brings more judgment and wrath.
And then 4 years later Senator John Edwards, a candidate for president, quoted the same verse. Look what happened to both of those arrogant boobs. John Edwards fathered a child out-of-wedlock and his reputation was ruined, and Tom Daschle resigned after a delinquent tax scandal, law lobbing firm, student loan frauds and so on. Both men’s reputations were made public.
Moral: Don’t take scripture out of context that is meant for judgment and proclaim it over a situation for victory!
Verse 11 – Therefore the Lord shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him, and spur his enemies on,
Verse 12 – the Syrians before and the Philistines behind; and they shall devour Israel with an open mouth. For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still.
Verse 13 – For the people do not turn to Him who strikes them, nor do they seek the Lord of hosts.
Neither did our nation turn towards God after 9/11. Oh some did for about a week, but it was half-hearted. And look where we are with the corruption today and how far away from God as a nation we have come!
Verse 14 – Therefore the Lord will cut off head and tail from Israel, Palm branch and bulrush in one day.
After the first Assyrian incursion, Israel continued in its sinful ways. God soon brought a more devastating judgment in 722 B.C., ending their independence total destruction – head and tail cut off!
Verse 15 – The elder and honorable, he is the head; the prophet who teaches lies, he is the tail.
Verse 16 – For the leaders of this people cause them to err, and those who are led by them are destroyed.
When the leaders of a nation are corrupt and without God, the people will follow. They got richer and richer, oppressed the people, and set up idols to sacrifice their children to them. Does this sound familiar? Pay attention to how God handles Israel.
Verse 17 – Therefore the Lord will have no joy in their young men, nor mercy on their fatherless and widows; for everyone is a hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaks folly. For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still.
I want you to notice: After all this wickedness, God’s mercy – His hand, is still stretched toward His people. All they or any of us have to do is “Reach out” and take hold of the salvation that is freely given.
Verse 18 – For wickedness burns as the fire; it shall devour the briers and thorns, and kindle in the thickets of the forest; they shall mount up like rising smoke.
Verse 19 – Through the wrath of the Lord of hosts the land is burned up, and the people shall be as fuel for the fire; no man shall spare his brother.
Verse 20 – And he shall snatch on the right hand and be hungry; he shall devour on the left hand and not be satisfied; every man shall eat the flesh of his own arm.
The greediness of the people led them to consume everyone and everything in their path. Eventually they turned on themselves.
Verse 21 – Manasseh shall devour Ephraim, and Ephraim Manasseh, and they together shall be against Judah. For all this HI anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still.
Ephraim and Manasseh were two northern kingdom descendants of Joseph’s two sons. They fought a civil war because of their selfishness and wickedness (Judges 12:14). Together, they turned against Judah, kingdom of the south.