Isaiah 9:1-7 (NIV) 1Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan— 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.
In 2 Kings 15:29 (“In the time of Pekah king of Israel, Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria came and took Ijon, Abel Beth Maakah, Janoah, Kedesh and Hazor. He took Gilead and Galilee, including all the land of Naphtali, and deported the people to Assyria.”-NIV), we see the King of Assyria conquering and enslaving the entire area of Galilee as well as the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali. All of this happened because the king of Israel led the people to do evil in the sight of the Lord, and they refused to turn from their sins.
Isaiah prophesies that even though the people turned their faces from God, He would honour Galilee. Out of Galilee would come one who would reign on the throne of David, whose government and peace would never end. This kingdom would be one of justice and righteousness.
We can see this prophecy fulfilled in Matthew 2:21-23 (NIV) when Joseph and Mary settled n Nazareth of Galilee. “So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. ...and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene.” And in Matthew 4:12-17 (NIV) - “When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew to Galilee. 13Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali— 14to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah: 15’Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles— 16the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.’ 17From that time on Jesus began to preach, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’” - where Jesus begins his ministry in the area of Capernaum, which was in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali, again in Galilee.
Even though we turn our faces from God, He is still willing to seek us out and establish His Kingdom for us - a kingdom of righteousness and justice, a kingdom of peace.
During this holiday season, has the chaos of the festivities turned your face from God? How can you keep God’s kingdom of peace at the forefront of this holiday season?
Memory Verse: Isaiah 9:7 (NIV)
Of 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.