Gracefully Truthful

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Discover the original intent of Scripture. Make good application to our everyday lives.
Become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Read His Words Before Ours!

Isaiah 9:6-7

6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

The Original Intent

1) What is the significance of the phrase “For to us…”?

Isaiah was commissioned by God (Isaiah 6) to speak to His people and share a message of both condemnation and hope.

In chapters 7-8, God sends Isaiah to the king, priests, and His people to declare that they have been living in a way that is not acceptable in His sight. They have refused to follow God’s ways and continued doing as they please. The message of darkness and gloom is clear, and then it comes… 

As Isaiah opens chapter 9, he writes in verse 2 that those “…who walked in darkness have seen a great light…” . Isaiah brings a message of hope to God’s people; a child is coming who will change everything.

The Everyday Application

1) What is the significance of the phrase “For to us…”?

Just like Israel, we all choose our own way at times.  We reach for independence and autonomy, believing that our ideas and plans are best.  When things don’t work out to our advantage, we wonder where God is in the midst of it all, sometimes even venturing to blame Him for the mess we have created.  When our circumstances are dark and difficult, we may even feel like God is working against us. 

Darkness leads to hopelessness and deep longing to see light.  Yet when we choose our own way, the darkness only grows darker still. However, when we open our hearts to the truth of Christ, the words are life-altering: 
“For to us…”  US!. 
Me.  You.  Every.  Single.  One.  Without exception.  Our deep longing for light can only be satisfied by The Light that comes through the person of Christ and the hope that He can and will change everything for us. 

Where in your life are you seeing the light of hope that comes through Christ?  Where does the darkness seem to grow even darker with each passing day?  How do you need to allow the light and hope of Christ to invade those dark places?

The Original Intent

2) What does the writer mean by the “increase of his government and peace” having no end? 

When Isaiah shared God’s word with the people of Judah, he was ministering and speaking to those who were living under threat of oppression from the Assyrians. He was reaching out to a people who did not know the security of peace and whose government was under the constant threat of being overtaken. 

To say to those same people, living in such dire circumstances, that a child would be born whose reign and government would be like no other, marked by peace, was the hope of dawn to a new morning.  God promised a day would come when His people would be firmly established for His greater purposes.

The Everyday Application

2) What does the writer mean by the “increase of his government and peace” having no end? 

If you take 15 minutes to watch the news, the sense of oppression, threat, darkness and danger can overtake your thoughts.  Chaos surrounds us, so how do we respond to reality of this out of control world?  God says to His people in Isaiah 8:12-14:  “Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread.  But the Lord of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.” 
When we know the truth of Christ, nothing should leave us uneasy.  We have no reason to engage in the fear-driven conversations that mark the discussions of our culture.  Angst and worry about what is coming next find rest in what will come later.  Our attention turns instead to the work He has for us today while we wait.  

How do you find yourself responding to the uneasy state of our current culture?  Is there a particular topic that seems to pull your attention away from peace, that leaves you wondering about what may happen?  How do you need to shift your focus?  How does the hope of Christ change your perspective?

The Original Intent

3) What is the meaning and purpose to the names ascribed to Jesus?

God’s words through Isaiah about the Child to come bear witness to His history with Israel and her as a rebellious people.  The names that God reveals about the baby to be born bring to mind stories of Israel’s history. 

Wonderful Counselor:  a promise for guidance.  At one time, Israel had received counsel through the ark of the covenant and the presence of God in His temple. 

Mighty God:  a promise of deliverance.  The same God who brought His people through the Red Sea would again save His people through the promised Child. 

Everlasting Father:  a promise for belonging.  Through the Child to come, God’s people would no longer experience the pain of oppression they had known in Egypt or their current need to “fit it” with the surrounding nations, but would have security in the simplicity of being God’s people. 

Prince of Peace:  a promise for rest.  God’s people would again experience a peace even greater than they had known under the rule of Solomon. 

In each name God revealed, He reminded His children of their past, but also pointed to the hope of the future to come.

The Everyday Application

3) What is the meaning and purpose to the names ascribed to Jesus?

Jesus Christ is the I AM of all that has been taken from us, all we need, and all we dream of having.  We each have a personal history with God and how He has revealed Himself to us.  The practice of remembering His faithfulness to us and work on our behalf is a powerful exercise that builds our faith, hope and trust in the times to come.  

How has God taken care of you in the past that you need to remember for the difficulties of today? How did He reveal His character to you in those moments?

Take time to reflect on those moments in your life, the truth they showed you about God, and how they can give you hope in any of the difficult circumstances you face today.  Pray or journal about what He brings to mind.

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Eve, Day 8 Journey Study

She and Yosuf laughed together and enjoyed their journey, she was afraid to mention that she felt the baby was going to be born soon, but he could tell without her saying. He saw her quietly grab her stomach and breathe slowly through contractions. Every time, he nudged their donkey to move a little faster.

It filled the space between them and the silent moments of travel.

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Dec 4 - Dec 22, 2017 -- Journey Theme #26

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