For this Advent season we offer you a Bible reading for each day which points to the first coming of the Lord Jesus at Christmas and his return in glory!
2The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned.
3You have enlarged the nation
and increased their joy;
they rejoice before you
as people rejoice at the harvest,
as warriors rejoice
when dividing the plunder.
4For as in the day of Midian’s defeat,
you have shattered
the yoke that burdens them,
the bar across their shoulders,
the rod of their oppressor.
5Every warrior’s boot used in battle
and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning,
will be fuel for the fire.
6For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.
A few comments
These verses burst with hope and joy! In the place of darkness, God’s light dawns (2). Slavery, oppression and injustice are smashed (4). Wars are ended and there is a lasting peace – no need for soldiers’ weapons or uniforms any more (5). What awesome power will bring about such a transformation, such an overthrow of the powers of darkness? “A child…” (6). But this is no ordinary boy. He will be:
“Wonderful Counsellor” – a leader with the wisdom to know what to do in the face of all the crises and complexities of life
“Mighty God” – not just a leader sent from God, but God himself come to help his people.
“Everlasting Father” – this is more than just another way to say ‘God’. In calling himself ‘Father’ God tells us that he is loving protector and provider.
“Prince of Peace” – he will bring an end to war between groups of humans. Best of all though, he will bring an end to the hostility between us and God.
Finally, in verse 7 we see that unlike our annual celebration of Christmas, the rule of this king will never end.
Point for Prayer
Meditate on and pray through all that this passage tells us about Christ. What difference does it make to the difficulties we face, and the tragedies we see on the news, when we know that this king has come, and one day will make all things right?