Isaiah 9: The People Who walk in Darkness Will See a Great Light – Messiah!

If God doesn’t like your prideful state, your haughtiness, your attitude and arrogance, He will humble you if you don’t humble yourself first. That said, when He humbles a person, a city or a country, it’s Big Time. Fortunately, God ALWAYS gives a warning before judgment comes. The problem is, many people don’t recognize it, hear it or heed it. They ignore it to their own detriment — their own destruction. That’s where we left Isaiah’s prophecy in chapter 8. He foretold the people of Israel and Judah of the coming Assyrian invasion. God was giving the people fair warning: Repent and turn from your pagan and corrupt ways or else they will enter a time of darkness.

In spite of that, our Merciful and Gracious God gives the world some GOOD NEWS! Though the world is heading to hell in a hand basket, down the wide path to eternal torment, God has sent us a Savior, the Messiah. As Jesus, the Messiah Himself said, “Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!” Let’s dig in…

Isaiah 9 – Hope in the Messiah

Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. The land of Zebulun and Naphtali will be humbled, but there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory.

The people who walk in darkness
    will see a great light.
For those who live in a land of deep darkness, (where death casts its shadow)
    a light will shine.
You will enlarge the nation of Israel,
    and its people will rejoice.
They will rejoice before you
    as people rejoice at the harvest
    and like warriors dividing the plunder.
For you will break the yoke of their slavery
    and lift the heavy burden from their shoulders.
You will break the oppressor’s rod,
    just as you did when you destroyed the army of Midian.
The boots of the warrior
    and the uniforms bloodstained by war
will all be burned.
    They will be fuel for the fire.

For a child is born to us,
    a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
    And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
His government and its peace
    will never end.
He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David
    for all eternity.
The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies
    will make this happen!

The Lord’s Anger against Israel

The Lord has spoken out against Jacob;
    his judgment has fallen upon Israel.
And the people of Israel and Samaria,
    who spoke with such pride and arrogance,
    will soon know it.
10 They said, “We will replace the broken bricks of our ruins with finished stone,
    and replant the felled sycamore-fig trees with cedars.”

11 But the Lord will bring Rezin’s enemies against Israel
    and stir up all their foes.
12 The Syrians (Arameans) from the east and the Philistines from the west
    will bare their fangs and devour Israel.
But even then the Lord’s anger will not be satisfied.
    His fist is still poised to strike.

13 For after all this punishment, the people will still not repent.
    They will not seek the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
14 Therefore, in a single day the Lord will destroy both the head and the tail,
    the noble palm branch and the lowly reed.
15 The leaders of Israel are the head,
    and the lying prophets are the tail.
16 For the leaders of the people have misled them.
    They have led them down the path of destruction.
17 That is why the Lord takes no pleasure in the young men
    and shows no mercy even to the widows and orphans.
For they are all wicked hypocrites,
    and they all speak foolishness.
But even then the Lord’s anger will not be satisfied.
    His fist is still poised to strike.

18 This wickedness is like a brushfire.
    It burns not only briers and thorns
but also sets the forests ablaze.
    Its burning sends up clouds of smoke.
19 The land will be blackened
    by the fury of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
The people will be fuel for the fire,
    and no one will spare even his own brother.
20 They will attack their neighbor on the right
    but will still be hungry.
They will devour their neighbor on the left
    but will not be satisfied.
In the end they will even eat their own children.
21 Manasseh will feed on Ephraim,
    Ephraim will feed on Manasseh,
    and both will devour Judah.
But even then the Lord’s anger will not be satisfied.
    His fist is still poised to strike.

Isaiah 9 NLT

Some Historical Perspective

Map of the Assyrian Army invading Israel from the north.
Map of the Assyrian Army invading Israel from the north. Image by Sweet Publishing from, (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The Assyrians and later the Babylonians invaded Israel from the north. They used the well-traveled trade route that ran from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean, the Via Maris. The northern tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali we in Galilee. When the Assyrians took the Israelites as captives, they then sent other Gentiles to live in Galilee.

By the 1st century, Galilee was heavily populated by Greeks and Romans. Nazareth was one of them.

This explains Nathaniel’s reaction when Philip invites him to meet Jesus of Nazareth, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” (John 1:46)

Before the invading armies reached the other tribes, Zebulun and Napthali were the first areas trampled. Yet, Isaiah tells these two tribes that they will be compensated for all their suffering.

John wrote…

The Word gave life to everything that was created,
    and his life brought light to everyone.
The light shines in the darkness,
    and the darkness can never extinguish it.

John 1:4-5 NLT

Galilee, which was Jerusalem’s doormat will emerge from the “darkness” and be given a special blessing. They will have the privilege of seeing a great light.

Jesus was the fulfillment of that promise!

Jesus was headquartered in Galilee for the majority of his ministry. He did most of His miracles on the Sea of Galilee. That’s where he called up many of his disciples. The cities of Capernaum, Bethsaida, Chorazin were all part of the tribe of Naphtali. Jesus was the great light that shined in Galilee.

Jesus Messiah – Yeshua Ha-Mashiach

Jesus came from His Heavenly Throne to be born a baby, fully human, yet fully divine.

The Savior with 4 Names

“Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” That IS WONDERFUL! That’s Good News! That is HOPE!

King Jesus will rule a Monarchy not a democracy. That’s why it says “The government will rest upon His shoulders.” Jesus will sit on the Throne of David. He is the Messiah.

Yet, even after all the punishment, the people would still not repent. They still worshiped the pagan gods and idols. They still carried on their corrupt business and immoral practices. That is how it will be in the future during the Great Tribulation. It’s in the Book of Revelation…

20 But the people who did not die in these plagues still refused to repent of their evil deeds and turn to God. They continued to worship demons and idols made of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood—idols that can neither see nor hear nor walk!

Revelation 9:20 NLT

How hard-hearted or thick-minded could people be?

The last passages of Isaiah 9 are echoed by Amos and Hosea — plenty of warning. Repent or else! The “or else” is horrible. Just like hell is horrible — eternal torment.

It’s YOUR Choice!

Just like Israel had a choice back then, you have a choice now. Hell or Heaven? Where you spend eternity is a choice you make NOW while you’re still alive and of sound mind. Nothing you do in a church can save you — no priest, sacrament, eucharist, indulgences, or baby baptism can save you. On your own, you will never be good enough to enter the presence of God in Heaven.

Salvation is Only THROUGH JESUS!

If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, which can happen at any moment, this is what you have to do…

Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.

  • Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
  • Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180 degree turn in your life and surrender your life to Him.
  • Be Baptized by water baptism — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
  • Receive the Holy Spirit in your heart.

Invite Jesus into Your Heart and Receive the Gift of Grace and the Confident Hope of Eternal Life…

Handel’s Messiah: For Unto Us a Child is Born

Soli Deo Gloria! To God Alone Be the Glory!

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