“The Glorious Restoration of the Kingdom Through the Messiah”
INTRODUCTION What is the Meaning of Isaiah 9
You can open your Bible to Luke chapter 1. We will notice two passages in the New Testament before we turn back to the cross reference in the Old Testament.
Luke chapter 1 and we will look at verses 67-79. If you are reading through the events surrounding the Christmas story, you’ll come across this prophecy of Zacharias of his own son John the Baptist …
Luke 1:67-79 67 And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying: 68 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people, 69 And has raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of David His servant— 70 As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from of old— 71 Salvation FROM OUR ENEMIES, And FROM THE HAND OF ALL WHO HATE US; 72 To show mercy toward our fathers, And to remember His holy covenant, 73 The oath which He swore to Abraham our father, 74 To grant us that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies, Might serve Him without fear, 75 In holiness and righteousness before Him all our days. 76 “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; For you will go on BEFORE THE Lord TO PREPARE HIS WAYS; 77 To give to His people the knowledge of salvation By the forgiveness of their sins, 78 Because of the tender mercy of our God, With which the Sunrise from on high will visit us, 79 TO SHINE UPON THOSE WHO SIT IN DARKNESS AND THE SHADOW OF DEATH, To guide our feet into the way of peace.”
And that last verse, verse 79, is a quotation of Isaiah 9 referring to the Messiah.
And now, on our way back to Isaiah 9, let’s stop at Matthew chapter 4. And let’s read Matthew 4:12-17 12 Now when Jesus heard that John had been taken into custody, He withdrew into Galilee; 13 and leaving Nazareth, He came and settled in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali. 14 This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: 15 “THE LAND OF ZEBULUN AND THE LAND OF NAPHTALI, BY THE WAY OF THE SEA, BEYOND THE JORDAN, GALILEE OF THE GENTILES— 16 “THE PEOPLE WHO WERE SITTING IN DARKNESS SAW A GREAT LIGHT, AND THOSE WHO WERE SITTING IN THE LAND AND SHADOW OF DEATH, UPON THEM A LIGHT DAWNED.” 17 From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
In verses 15-16 is a quotation back in Isaiah 9:1-2. And so let’s turn back there and we’ll read the context, we’ll read again Isaiah 8:19-9:7
And as we are turning back there, we’re turning back 700 years before Christ. Isaiah 1:1 tells us that Isaiah ministered under four different Kings of Judah. And these four kings … Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah … reigned from 790 to 686 BC. Isaiah reigned within that timeframe and had quite a long ministry.
And in chapters 7-8, Isaiah is describing the distress, the darkness, and the overall gloom of King Ahaz’s reign.
And as we will note later, Israel’s enemies have come up against her. The Assyrians have taken over part of the northern kingdom of Israel.
As well during this time there are false counselors making false predictions. So you have the darkness of the reign of Ahaz, false counselors, false predictions and the judgment from Assyria having begun. Not exactly a delightful situation …
Let’s read Isaiah 8:19-9:7 19 When they say to you, “Consult the mediums and the spiritists who whisper and mutter,” should not a people consult their God? Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living? 20 To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn. 21 They will pass through the land hard-pressed and famished, and it will turn out that when they are hungry, they will be enraged and curse their king and their God as they face upward. 22 Then they will look to the earth, and behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish; and they will be driven away into darkness. 1 But there will be no more gloom for her who was in anguish; in earlier times He treated the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali with contempt, but later on He shall make it glorious, by the way of the sea, on the other side of Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles. 2 The people who walk in darkness Will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, The light will shine on them. 3 You shall multiply the nation, You shall increase their gladness; They will be glad in Your presence As with the gladness of harvest, As men rejoice when they divide the spoil. 4 For You shall break the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders, The rod of their oppressor, as at the battle of Midian. 5 For every boot of the booted warrior in the battle tumult, And cloak rolled in blood, will be for burning, fuel for the fire. 6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. 7 There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.
So, what has happened is that, as 2 Kings 15:29 describe, Tiglath-pileser III has besieged Damascus and he has invaded the region of Galilee. This is what Isa. 9:1 is describing, when Isaiah describes gloom and deep darkness.
God has treated this land with contempt, He is disciplining it, because he has sent the King of Assyria against it. And now there is this gloom and darkness in the land…. There is oppression and the land is in a state of judgment because they have separated themselves from God’s covenant and from His blessings.
But now what will the Lord do? He will turn this humiliation and judgment into glory … But how? By gloriously restoring the kingdom through the coming of the Messiah.
So, I’d like to preach on “The Glorious Restoration of the Kingdom Through the Messiah” from Isaiah 9:1-7.
And you remember we discussed last time that it is nearly impossible to speak of the first coming of Christ apart from the second coming of Christ. And that is because when the Old Testament prophets see in their visions of the coming of the Messiah, they see it without understanding the length of time the Messiah would take to accomplish this work.
The Old Testament believers fully expected that when Messiah came he would usher in the kingdom right then and there.
But we know, as we piece together the OT scriptures, that He came first to die for the sins of the world as Isaiah 53 indicates and then later he will come to rule the world on earth.
So first in verses 1-3, Glorious Kingdom Restoration is described and then in verses 4-7, the explanation of how the kingdom could be gloriously restored.
Glorious Kingdom Restoration Described (Isaiah 9:1-3)
What the Lord does: new situation by act of God (v1)
So again, the context in verses 1 to 7 of chapter 9 is that Assyria has just come and taken over the northern part of the kingdom of Israel. And there is gloom and anguish and judgment and humiliation seeing as they are being disciplined by God for their sins. The light of God’s glorious presence has now been turned into darkness because of the hiding of his gracious face.
That’s why Isaiah can write in Isaiah 9:1 But there will be no more gloom for her who was in anguish; in earlier times He treated the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali with contempt, but later on He shall make it glorious, by the way of the sea, on the other side of Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles.
In this first verse, we see what the Lord does…. He uses the lowly to display His greatness.
The land that is in judgment and in deep darkness and distress experiencing the gloom of anguish and humiliation because of the very judgment of God … It is this very land, Isaiah says, that will no longer experience gloom and indeed he will make this land glorious.
So the point is that this is a prediction that most would view as unlikely to be fulfilled. How could the most judged part of the nation of Israel, judged for its sinfulness, be a part of the glorious restoration of the kingdom? This is the least likely area of Israel ….the far northern section where there was such oppression from the Gentiles …. “Galilee of the Gentiles” … which is so dominated by pagan people… This is the least likely area we would think that God would honor by sending his light as verse two describes.
ILL: And so again we see the ways of our gracious Lord. By using the weak, he confounds the mighty. He is the master of irony… He uses the weak and oppressed things in order to display himself as strong. If a master painter displays his skill with the most expensive paint brush, that is one thing. But if the master painter paints a masterpiece and, later you find out, it was accomplished by a toothpick, that’s quite another thing. That painter has skill! God uses the weak to display His strength.
APP: And that area of Israel was the lowest of the low…. And it is when we ourselves are the lowest of the low, that we find grace. It is those who think of themselves as the least, these shall be great. Jesus said the last shall be first and the first last. The one whom is master among, you shall be servant of all …. It is kind of this way geographically as we see here in Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and of course in our individual lives…. The humble receive grace and are exalted in the presence of the Lord.
TRANS: So in this first verse, we see the LORD acting on behalf of His people. The lowliest is this northern part of the kingdom and for these people who walk in darkness, they see a great light.
What the Lord’s people enjoy: darkness to light (v2)
Isaiah 9:2 The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them.
When the Lord accomplishes his work of eliminating the gloom and darkness from his own judgment upon his people and makes that land glorious …. The people will know it because they will see a great light.
There will be a great light in that northern part of the kingdom.
So these people, because of God’s judgment upon them, they are walking in darkness…. they’re living out their lives with a frown of God upon them. The land is judged because of their idolatrous sins.
They walk in darkness and it says they live in a dark land, or they live in the land of the shadow of death. This describes such a trouble that it seems to cast it’s shadow upon the people of the land … a death shadow … a death-like shadow … such troublesome judgment this is. The Assyrian army has cast a very troubling shadow, impending death.
And it is in this very land that a great light appears and this light will shine on the people of that land. And Matthew proclaims this light in his gospel as Christ Jesus coming. John the Baptist had been taken into custody and Jesus left Nazareth and came and settled in Capernaum which is in that very region of Zebulun and Naphtali.
And Matthew says that at Jesus’ coming ….at that time Jesus fulfilled Isa. 9:2 … And then Jesus begins his public ministry from there, from that once oppressed land ….and he is preaching …. And he is preaching “repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
This is the light that came to the land. Jesus himself, the proclamation that he delivered …. Calling on people everywhere to repent….
And he was calling upon of those people of that land who were underneath the impending death shadow of the judgment of God and He called upon them to repent … He came so that he might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.
This is all the work of God. We think of how it’s worded here with darkness and light. It reminds us of God creating light at the beginning of the creation. He says “let there be light …. And there was light.”
And now Jesus coming… The very light of the world, Jesus comes into the world in order to dispel spiritual darkness… It is the very act of God himself.
TRANS: God will do it, it’s an act of God. And the people will enjoy a great light in the Messiah, his preaching and work. And now what follows ….
What follows: the Lord increases his people and they will rejoice before him (v.3)
… Is that the Lord will increase his people and cause them to rejoice in his presence ….verse 3…
Speaking to the Lord directly…
Isaiah 9:3 You [LORD, You] shall multiply the nation, You shall increase their gladness; They will be glad in Your presence as with the gladness of harvest, as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
The first line of verse three, says that he shall multiply the nation. And the rest of the verse deals with the joy in that nation.
There is coming a day, from Isaiah’s perspective, in which God’s people will be multiplied.
This would be, in part at least, the inclusion of the Gentiles. In Christ, the Gentiles receive entrance into the Kingdom of God as Gentiles. This would also include the increase of believing Jewish people.
Isaiah 26:15 You have increased the nation, O Lord, You have increased the nation, You are glorified; You have extended all the borders of the land.
Isaiah 54:1-3 1 “Shout for joy, O barren one, you who have borne no child; Break forth into joyful shouting and cry aloud, you who have not travailed; For the sons of the desolate one will be more numerous Than the sons of the married woman,” says the Lord. 2 “Enlarge the place of your tent; Stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, spare not; Lengthen your cords And strengthen your pegs. 3 “For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left. And your descendants will possess nations And will resettle the desolate cities.
And this is why John can write in Revelation 7:9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands;
So this future day is a day of expansion. But it is also a day of joy. Isaiah 9:3 …You shall increase their gladness; They will be glad in Your presence as with the gladness of harvest, as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
The increase of gladness… they will be glad in the Lord’s presence as with the gladness of harvest and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. This is a day of joy like after the harvest….
Of course, back then, they were harvesting their own food… Great joy when the food came in and they knew that they had food for the future. This is also a joy like after the battle when they would divide the earnings of victory over their enemies. God promised to them that they would be victorious over their enemies, if they would trust him and do his word.
They have victory over their enemies and then divide the goods among themselves. So in creation at harvest and in His providence at battle, the joy in that future day will be a joy like this … There will be all kinds of great joy in the day.
TRANS: But the question becomes … How will that happen? How will the Lord turn that judged land in which there is gloom and darkness and anguish because of the domination of the Gentiles …. How shall he make it glorious? What does it take for the people who live in darkness to see a great light and to see the light shining on them? How will the Lord in the end, multiply the nation and increase their gladness …. Yes, even to increase it greatly? How?
Verses 4-6, we have the explanation of how this glorious kingdom will be restored. You can see he’s explaining this because each of those three verses starts with the same word … “for.” God will do this will cause the land to be glorious and those people will see a great light…. he will multiply the nation…how? …
Glorious Kingdom Restoration Explained
What the Lord does: his act of deliverance (v.4)
Day of deliverance
For, verse 4, Because God will deliver them from their enemies.
Isaiah 9:4 For You shall break the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, as at the battle of Midian.
God can make that dark land glorious again and cause those people to see a great spiritual light and multiply that nation and increase their joy because he will simply break the yoke of their burden and he will break the staff on their shoulders as well as the rod of their oppressor.
In other words, all the discipline will end. God will gloriously restore the kingdom by ending the suffering. He is simply going to do this. Their oppressors and their enemies will no longer hurt them.
And the language that Isaiah uses looks back to God’s deliverance of his people from the land of Egypt. God acted in Egypt. The language we have here “yoke” and “burdens” and “shoulders” and “oppressors” … These are all terms that are used in the Old Testament to refer to what God did to deliver his people from the land of Egypt.
And this act of deliverance was a crucial moment in the history of God’s redemption. And the point is that once again God will prove himself faithful by relieving his people from their oppressors.
So Isaiah looks back to God’s action to defeat Egypt at the Exodus.
But in this verse Isaiah also looks back to God acting to defeat Midian in the book of Judges … Isaiah 9:4 For You shall break the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders, The rod of their oppressor, as at the battle of Midian.
The judge during the Midian conflict was Gideon…an unlikely hero. He considered himself to be the youngest in a family, which itself was least in all of the tribe of Manasseh. But God used him in such a way that made it clear God not Gideon, was delivering his people from their oppressors. You remember the story, how the Lord made Gideon whittle down the number of people who were to go out and fight. First those who were afraid and trembling were to go home.
But the people were still too many. Then everyone who lapped the water with his tongue as a dog does were to be separated from those who knelt down to drink.
And the number of the men who lapped the water was 300 men and the Lord chose those 300 men to deliver Israel from the oppression of the Midianites. Clearly the Lord will do it.
They went to battle against the Midianites and they looked down into the valley and they were more numerous than locusts the Bible says. Camels without number…. And those men were probably thinking … “yeah right, how shall we 300 men defeat all those men?”
Then a man comes up to his friend and Gideon listens in and the man says “Behold … I had a dream and a loaf of barley bread tumbled into the camp and struck their tent and it fell down flat.”
And the friend interprets it as God giving victory to Israel over Midian and Gideon overhears the dream and its interpretation and he bows and worships the Lord.
And Gideon divides the 300 men into three companies. They have trumpets and empty pitchers in their hands with torches inside of those pitchers and Gideon instructs them… that “When I blow the trumpet then you also are to blow your trumpets all around the And say “For the Lord and for Gideon.”
And they do that and you can imagine the confusion in the camp of the Midianites. You have those many torches and that many trumpets around the camp the trumpets blowing and the torches raised… the Midianites would think that each one of those 300 men has behind him ten times 300. And it says …. that the Lord set the swords of the Midianites against their ownselves throughout the whole army and they were killing themselves in the darkness, thinking that each was the enemy.
So it was clear that day that the Lord was the one who gave the victory. And they’re yoke of burden was broken. The rod of infliction … that too was broken. And so Isaiah is saying it will be so again. God will do it again, he will break the yoke and break the rod and lift the burdens and conquer your enemies. All suffering will soon be gone.
What the Lord’s people enjoy: the fruits of victory (v.5)
Day of peace
And when He does that, that day will be a day of peace.
Isaiah 9:5 For every boot of the booted warrior in the battle tumult, And cloak rolled in blood, will be for burning, fuel for the fire.
War shall cease in that day. When Messiah comes, Isaiah is saying, the tools of war will be destroyed and the kingdom of the Messiah will come and his kingdom will be one of peace. Isaiah had said earlier in Isaiah 2:4 And He will judge between the nations, and will render decisions for many peoples; And they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, And never again will they learn war.
The psalmist predicts in Psalm 46 …
Psalms 46:9-10 9 He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariots with fire. 10 “Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
One day the Lord will be exalted among all of the nations when he makes those wars to cease to the ends of the earth and he breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two and burns the chariots with fire and then, at His word, all of the nations will cease their striving and they will know that he is God and that he is exalted among all the nations and in all the earth. …. Ah glorious day … are you longing for that day?
TRANS: But how will war cease … ? And now the climax of the passage and this is the key explanation of exactly how the Lord will do this….
How will the Lord will gloriously restore His kingdom…how will that northern part of the kingdom no longer be a land of gloom but a land of light… He multiplies the nation, increases gladness, and breaks the yoke of His people’s oppressors…. He will do this by an act of his own will he will break the yoke from off their necks … every army boot destroyed …. And this will all happen because of verses six and seven…. Of a child’s birth who will rule…
What follows: the king and his rule (vv.6-7)
“…what a mere child?” Oh … but this is no ordinary child….
Isaiah 9:6-7 6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. 7 There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.
Just like with the conflict of Midian, God used an unlikely source to accomplish His great purposes. And here in verses 6-7, it will be a child born whom God will raise up to establish peace for His people.
And, we have 5 descriptions of the coming Messiah …
And I’ll mention these quickly …
1. He is a Child Born, A Given Son
Verse six is worded carefully… “a child is born, but a son is given.” The Son was not born, but given. God the Son is not born but as a human child, he was born. The birth of this child of points to his humanity and him being the “Son given” points to his deity.
2.He will rule over God’s people
It says “the government will rest on his shoulders.” This means that he will rule … That He will rule…. It all rests on his shoulders. Zechariah 14:9 And the Lord will be king over all the earth; in that day the Lord will be the only one, and His name the only one.
The government will rest on his shoulders; he will be the one to rule.
And the 3rd description of the Messiah …we have 4 phrases concerning His character…
3. Four descriptions of His character
Isaiah 9:6 …And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
“Name” is often Bible language to refer to someone’s character. We have four names here it says in verse six… His name will be called these four things … But keep in mind, these are descriptions of his character.
There are four here, the first one is “Wonderful Counselor.” This could be two separate ones, but since the others are linked with another description, it makes sense to put “Wonderful Counselor” together as well.
So, the first name is …
Literally a “wonder of a counselor.” In that day, people will gladly listen to him teach and to give his viewpoint on whatever matter he chooses. And certainly when Jesus came the first time, people flocked to hear him speak.
And his counsel is wonderful or extraordinary, or exceptional. His counsel is supernatural … it is beyond ordinary human wisdom.
He is God … The Messiah is God himself; The Jewish people should have known that the Messiah was to be God. Thus they should not have been surprised when Jesus made the claim to being God.
Third name … the…
This is his relationship to those in His kingdom. He is eternal. But someone asks, “how can the Son of God be a Father?” And again this is his name, his name shall be called everlasting father. And name has the idea of his character. He is character, as He relates to His subjects, is a father figure … He is a father figure to those over whom he rules. He cares for them, is concerned for them, provides for them this is His name, His character…. And so this is not in relation to the Trinity but in relation to His people … a father figure…the one ruling over the kingdom.
And finally …
Prince of Peace
His name shall be called Prince of peace. He is the prince who gives peace. He gives well-being and harmony, absence of war, peace with God, prosperity. His rule is one that creates and enables peace.
And in Israel’s day, this is what is still what is longed for! And I trust you long for it, too…And one day God himself will give it.
TRANS: Now, the fourth description of the Messiah … He is a born child and a given son, he will rule over his people, we have the description of his character in four ways …. And now verse 7 the 4th description…. His eternal rule of peace, righteousness, and justice
4. His eternal rule of peace/justice/righteousness
Isaiah 9:7 There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore.
In that day he will rule on the throne of David from then on and forever. His kingdom will last for eternity… There will be no end to the increase of his government or the increase of his peace … It will be from then on … It will be for ever more … His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom that will not pass away his kingdom is one which will never be destroyed. The Messiah will rule in that day on David’s throne for ever…
And his rule will be one of peace. That will never change. He will possess the ends of the earth. He will be the one before whom all kings will bow. The bow will be broken and the chariots destroyed…. No more war, his rule for eternity will be one of peace.
5. Accomplished/Guaranteed by the zeal of the LORD
And lastly this morning this is all accomplished… this is guaranteed by the zeal of the Lord of hosts. Last line of Isaiah 9:7 …The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.
The Lord of hosts … The Lord over armies …a host is an army… The Lord of armies will accomplish this …. In particular his zeal will accomplish this… it is guaranteed to come about.
And thus, we cannot bring in the kingdom. This is not an action that we ourselves do. When the Lord Jesus Christ comes a second time his rule will be forever as described in this passage and it is guaranteed to come about; the Lord’s zeal … His passionate commitment to the glory of His own name will ensure it.
And so, we can’t bring it in ourselves; it’s his zeal that will do it, not any of ours. This is why then we must pray “your kingdom come” and be busy working for Him and doing His will, the work of His kingdom.
CONCLUSION What is the Meaning of Isaiah 9
The people of Isaiah’s day were downtrodden and defeated. Gentiles had ransacked the land… “Galilee of the Jews” had become “Galilee of the Gentiles” …that would have almost been a blasphemous thought! But Isaiah is predicting a reversal. A child would be born ….
Scoffing Israelites say … “Yeah right! What good could a child do in a situation like this.” Yeah and the 300 men of Gideon’s army could’ve scoffed, too, and said “How could 300 men defeat the Midianites who were without number?”
But if the people of Israel would simply trust in the holy one of Israel they would have blessings upon blessings and God would have defeated their enemies. It’s the same for us today ….
Are you trusting Him and reaping blessings…and are you doing kingdom work, or are you living life your own way and obeying your own commitments, and not those of Jesus Christ? No, you can’t bring in the kingdom, but you can pray and you can participate in his work in the earth.
If he were come today, would he find you waiting and watching?
Behold, earth, this is the appointed Child … the Child born in Bethlehem. He shall be great!
God will one day defeat His enemies with this child born in Bethlehem … behold, you kings of the earth! Show discernment … Psalms 2:11-12 11 Worship the Lord with reverence And rejoice with trembling. 12 Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, For His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!
Ironically, the kings of the earth will bow before this Child and the beasts of the end times will be devoured, as it were, by a Lamb. The Lord is the king, who knows how to take the weak things of the world to confound the mighty. Cast yourself upon him and He will exalt you.
Let’s look forward to the day when He comes again …. Joy to the World, 92. We sing at Christmas time, but these same themes are true of Christ in His second coming …explain.