Read Isaiah 9:1-7
For many, verses 6 and 7 were very familiar. In fact, you may have read them or heard them in the days leading up to Christmas. They were prophetic statements about the birth of Jesus…and yet, they were made nearly 700 years prior to His entrance into the world.
This was a time of animosity between the Jews themselves. The once unified nation had split into 10 northern tribes called Israel and 2 southern tribes called Judah. What’s more, there was animosity between the northern tribes and Assyria. In addition, Isaiah predicted future conflict between Judah and Babylon. In many ways, “peace” was a foreign concept.
It can certainly be said that animosity describes our world today. Over the last years, racial issues have arisen that I thought had long been in the rearview mirror. Threats of terrorism have us on edge. There is an undercurrent of fear that has forced people to introduce precautions and protocols in schools, sporting arenas, and other public places. Tensions between nations bring with them bloodshed and accusations. Yes, “peace” is in many ways a foreign concept for us as well.
Isaiah’s prophecy, however, pointed to a light on the horizon for the nation of Israel. It was a coming day when God would fulfill his promises extended to Abraham and to David. It was a day when conflict would be foreign. It was a day when a child would be born who would be God in the flesh, King over Israel, and Prince of Peace.
But the Prince of Peace will not only benefit God’s chosen descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This peace will not only permeate a relatively small parcel of land on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. It will be universal and endless.
But there are two important details about this peace that we must understand:
- That peace is not for all. It will only be those who have come to faith in Christ that will experience it. Will you experience it?
- That peace is yet future. Although the Prince of Peace entered the world 2000 years ago, at His second coming He will reign and bring with Him this harmony and tranquility. Are you anticipating it?