Volume. XXVIII, No. 25
Sunday, 22 December 2013


What Child Is This? (Part 2)


 

Continued from last week.

Who is the ‘son’ in Isaiah 7:14?

This certainly cannot be in reference to Hezekiah, no matter how godly he was. Despite this, most of our Jewish friends believe that “the son” in Isaiah 7:14 refers to king Hezekiah, who is the son of Ahaz, not Jesus. How do we explain that? Well, the prophet Isaiah predicted in verse 16 that "before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings." Before we move on, we need to identify “the land” and “the two kings” in Isaiah 7:16. What is the “land”? Verse 8 tells us that “the land” refers to Israel or Ephraim and Syria for they were in confederacy. And the two kings? They would be the king of Israel and of Syria. The prophet Isaiah said, “the land” (i.e. Israel and Syria) would become broken and forsaken within sixty-five years! This did not occur during Hezekiah’s reign, and surely it did not happen before Hezekiah knew to refuse evil and choose the good! It took place 700 years before our Lord was even born or before the child knew to refuse evil and choose good! Moreover, Hezekiah was definitely not born of a virgin—our Lord Jesus was. So, the theory that Isaiah 7:14 refers to Hezekiah simply does not hold water!

As part of the historical and political backdrop, Isaiah also proceeded to predict that the Assyrians, another pagan people, to whom Ahaz had appealed for aid, would destroy Israel and afflict Judah according to Isaiah 7:17-8:10! It was in such a historically critical time in the history of the nation of Israel that Isaiah prophesied, For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” So, let us unpack the meaning of each of these titles of this child.

The Many Titles of This Child

First, Government Shall be Upon His Shoulders (Isaiah 9:6c). This indicates that this promise is messianic. In the Davidic covenant, God promised David that "thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever" (2 Samuel 7:16). In brief, this child would reign and would be the King of kings, is reigning now and will reign forever!

Second, Wonderful (Isaiah 9:6d). The word wonderful in Hebrew (pele') means "miraculous." This is particularly in reference to His virgin birth. Indeed, it is a miraculous wonder! The greatest theologian of all time, the apostle Paul said, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” (1Timothy 3:16) We must not try to figure out the miracle of the virgin birth with the “puny brain” we have. We will never get it. If we can’t even figure out how many stars are out there or how gravity works in the vast space of the universe, let us humbly believe and trust His words! Just simply trust what your Creator of the universe says.

Third, Counselor (Isaiah 9:6e). All of the world’s leaders combined will never be able to solve the problems that are occurring in the world. Given 100 more organizations like the U.N., all the problems we have today will never be solved. Only Jesus, the Messiah, the child who was born 2000 years ago has the counsel and wisdom to solve all of the world's problems; all others will fail! Jesus is not only our source of wisdom, but He is the wisdom of God! Proverbs 8:14 says, “Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.” Oh, how insignificant is man's wisdom when compared  with the infinite wisdom of God.

Fourth, the Mighty God (Isaiah 9:6f). The Hebrew word for Mighty God is ‘El gibbor. ‘El gibbor is also used in Isaiah 10:21, “The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God.No mere human could be called by this name. Psalm 89:13 says, “Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand.” Have we not witnessed the return of the remnant of Jacob in 1948? Without mentioning how the Lord through His people gained victories such as the “six day war” or the “yom kippur war,”  we see the Lord’s mighty hand of protection is definitely upon His people. God is mighty to save, Isaiah said. And He is calling all men everywhere today and saying, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” (Isaiah 45:22) Are you still wandering around in the corridors of your souls looking for a way to heaven? Call upon His name today, for thus saith the LORD: “for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me.

Fifth, the Everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6g). This goes with the previous title, “mighty God.” This signifies that the holy child is one with His Father and existed from eternity past – He has no beginning and no end, the Alpha and Omega. John writes, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.” (John 1:1,2)

Sixth, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6h).

The Aramaic Targum or translation has

"Messiah of peace" (m'shika dishalma') or “Anointed of peace.” Jesus tells us, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27). Such is the spiritual and heavenly peace that passes all understanding which every believer enjoys, even in the most dismal situations in life. And one day, when the Lord Jesus Christ rules this world from Jerusalem, He will bring physical peace to the entire world. Dear friend, you can obtain that spiritual and heavenly peace too by calling upon His name—the name of Jesus! For “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

Seventh, Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. (Isaiah 9:7)  This verse forms a bookend with the beginning of verse 6 or some sort of chiastic structure. In brief, Isaiah said His reign shall have no end (9:7b); His reign will be on David's throne (9:7c); it is a kingdom of justice and righteousness ((9:7d); it will last forever (9:7e); the “zeal” or the “power” of God will accomplish this (9:7f). Why? Because the God who promised this never lies!

Conclusion

So, what child is Jesus? Jesus is the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the all wise and all powerful God, the only begotten of the Father and the Prince of peace who has come to save sinners! Would you come to Him today and be saved?

 


More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

*Kitchen Roster Leader: Today: Bro Edwin D’Mello. Next Lord’s Day: Volunteer

*Hope Bookstore: Open today: 12:30 - 1:45 pm. Christmas cards, Bibles & books available at reasonable prices. Great for Christmas gifts!

*Session wishes all worshippers a Blessed and Safe Christmas!

*Reminder: please do not leave your valuables unattended lying any where in the building.

*Today’s Fellowship Lunch: Adult $5. Child under 5 years old: FREE.

*Next week there is no Fellowship Lunch. Only Coffee & Biscuits fellowship.

*Please note: Christmas Worship Service at 10.00 am. Please come 15 minutes early for “Carols” singspiration. Christmas Fellowship Lunch at 12.30 pm.

*Watchnight Service: please come to share testimonies & encourage one another. 

  

Praise & Thanksgiving

1. Journey mercies: Dns Joyce Gong (Per); Bro Raphael & Sis Bernadette Ng & family (Robe/Adl); Mr Chen Ooi (S’pore); Sisters Xiao Hui Chye’s parents (Adl), Yan Mae Kang (Uluru), Michelle Lee (Adl), Megan Lim, Clara Sim & Sharon Tay (S’pore); & others who have arrived safely at their destinations. 

2. Church Activities, in the past week.

3. God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.

4. Cool change after three days of over 40 deg heat.

5. Visitors & new worshippers.

 

Prayer Items

1. Health & God’s healing - Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (S’pore); Pastor Okman & Sis Myung Ki; Rev Edward & Sis Lehia Paauwe; Rev George van Buuren; Bro Colin & Sis Kathleen Creaser; Bro Len & Sis Margaret Pearson; Preacher Zhang (Sihanoukville); Bros Surish Dharmalingam (Laos) & Elton Law; Sisters Lai Kheng Chiong (KL), Margaret Hooper, Grace Gan’s father (healing), Choon Fong Lee (KL), Corinne Teng, Susan Varadi, Sylvia White & Sis Mavis Wong’s mother (salvation & healing); Mr Swee Liang Ng; Mr Mang Soo Ong; Bro Peng Cheong Wong (Dn Wai Kin Wong’s father); Mrs Maggie D’Mello; Mr Tony Zhang; & others in affliction.

2. Special Prayer: Sis Ruth Ngoma (Post-op recovery); Grandpa Ki (Post-op recovery - S Korea); Bro Kang Fun Tan (Sis Felicia’s father - S’pore); Sis Nita Chong’s cousin (Mr Seck Aik Foo - salvation & healing) & Sis Iris Surman’s brother (healing).

3. God’s comfort & strength: Sis Julie Tan & family, & relatives.

4. Children’s Ministry: Rev Kevin Currell (Vic).

5. iSketch & Tell Studio, YouTube Ministry: Pr Hai Seng Lim.

6. Cambodia Missions - Preacher Zhang & Ministry (Sihanoukville); Khmer pastors & families.

7. Batam Missions: Sis Ang Liang Phoa & Ministry.

8. New Life BPC (London) - God’s guidance.

9. Ministry in Hope BPC - God’s guidance for future - Preacher David & Sis Susan Weng. 

10. Journey mercies: Grandpa Ki (S’pore); Bro Ngie Joo & Sis Sooi Chin Gong (Per); Bro Phil & Sis Iris Surman (UK); Sister Xiao Hui Chye & family (Melb); & others travelling during this Christmas period.

11. Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin.

12. Job - Bro Jonathan Liao (Syd); Sisters Yashu Qin & Sharon Ying (Per); & others looking for  stable jobs.

13. Health in pregnancy: Sisters Kerrie Lam & Monica Tan

14. Safe labour & delivery: Sis Susan Weng

15. Salvation of visitors to Christmas Concert.

16. Hopefuls away in different countries: safety, health & protection.

17. Godly Wisdom - those in authority in Government.

 

 

© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063