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Author:Rev. John Van Rietschoten
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 Canadian Reformed Church - CanRC
 
Title:The Glad Tidings of the zeal of the LORD of Hosts
Text:Isaiah 9:6-7 (View)
Occasion:Regular Sunday
Topic:God The Son
 
Preached:2001-12-23
Added:2004-01-20
 

Order Of Worship (Liturgy)

Votum and Proclamation of Peace
Sing: Ps. 62 : 1,3
The Ten Words of God's Covenant Law
Sing: Ps. 62 : 4,7
Prayer
Scripture reading: Isaiah 8:16-9:7; 1 Peter 1:1-13
Sing: Hy. 15 : 1,2
Proclamation: Isaiah 9:6-7
Sing: Hy. 15 : 3,4
Prayer
Sing: Ps. 56 : 4,5
The Blessing of the Lord.
* As a matter of courtesy please advise Rev. John Van Rietschoten, if you plan to use this sermon in a worship service.   Thank-you.


Introduction

The prophecies of the LORD God in the book of Isaiah are numerous.
We can also say that the LORD God foretold many things in the book of Isaiah.

Examples are:
Isaiah 44:7-8 Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it. Let him declare and lay out before me what has happened since I established my ancient people, and what is yet to come-- yes, let him foretell what will come.
Do not tremble, do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago? You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one."

Isaiah 48:3 I foretold the former things long ago, my mouth announced them and I made them known; then suddenly I acted, and they came to pass.

This LORD God is our strong God, our Rock.
Our strong God foretold long before hand and suddenly He has acted.
Our strong God foretold the birth of the Son of the Virgin, Immanuel, our Saviour Jesus Christ. He foretold it long beforehand. Suddenly the LORD God acted: Immanuel was born.
The Holy Spirit overshadowed the virgin Mary and she conceived the Son of the Most High and called His Name Jesus for He is the One who saves us from our sin.
Throughout the Old Testament times the LORD God zealously worked to fulfill what He foretold concerning the divine Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
What the LORD God foretells He makes true exactly on time.
Our text in Isaiah Nine reveals to us the zeal of the LORD of Hosts to make true what He had foretold concerning the Messiah: the birth and government of His divine Son
We turn to our text to find there the Gospel of the zeal of the LORD of Hosts. We do this so that we may be more firmly convinced that our wonderful God foretells and suddenly acts for our salvation.
I bring you:

Theme: The Glad Tidings of the zeal of the LORD of Hosts.
1. The zeal of the LORD of Hosts brings the birth of His divine Son as foretold.
2. The zeal of the LORD of Hosts brings a government of peace through His divine Son as foretold.

1. The zeal of the LORD of Hosts brings the birth of His divine Son as foretold.

1.1. The zeal of the LORD of Hosts is so strong that our text comes to us in the present tense.

The divine Son had not yet been born. By rights you would not expect the present tense. Yet our text reads as if the Son had already been born.

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given".

By using the present tense the LORD of Hosts impressed on His chosen people that the birth of the divine Son is definite.

The LORD God will make His true words come true.

What the eternal God has in mind for the salvation of His people will come about so certainly that you can say that it has already been done.

The sudden action of fulfillment by the LORD of Hosts is guaranteed by His zeal. His zeal matches His Name. His Name is Wonderful..He does the impossible.

This truth must be imbedded in our conviction.

What our strong God foretells regarding our salvation He suddenly and wonderfully brings about. He makes His true words come true.

The Holy Spirit foretells us in the New Testament that our Lord Jesus Christ will return on the clouds of heaven to judge the living and the dead and to usher in the fullness of the Kingdom of God.

His return will be when we least expect it. His coming will be as a thief in the night.

The LORD God is zealous to come to the day of Christ's return. He will suddenly act according to His eternal purpose and plan and exactly on time.

We are on our way to the day of Christ's return on which this sudden action of God will take place.

We long for it.

There are many in this world who love and obey Jesus Christ and who suffer persecution because of it.They hunger for the sudden victory of Christ to occur.

This morning we turn to Isaiah Nine to become convinced that God is making true His purpose and plan for us. We surely are to share in the victory of Christ.
.
The LORD of Hosts is full of zeal to act, to fulfill, all prophecy - all what He foretold, every word He has spoken.

Since the time of Isaiah the LORD God has not changed. He is still as zealous to bring us, and all who suffer for the faith, His peace.

1.2. Let us listen to the zeal of the LORD of Hosts in Isaiah's words.

"Nevertheless, 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 Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan-".

The geographical area spoken of in our text is the northern part of Palestine.

In our text this area is called "Galilee of the Gentiles".

This northern part reached into the boarders with Damascus, Tyre and Sidon.

The Israelites in this northern area had mixed and intermarried with the pagans. That is why this region was called Galilee of the Gentiles.

The north had become a land of darkness.

In Isaiah's time this darkness had deepened through the hostile attacks by Damascus and more so the Assyrians.

This area of Galilee has become well-known to us because the town of Nazareth is situated there.

The Lord Jesus grew up in this area.
In this land of darkness the Lord Jesus revealed Himself as the light of the world.

At the time that Isaiah prophesied this was still future.
The reality was still pagan darkness and war against Israel..

The Holy Spirit foretold through Isaiah that it was in God's plan to honor Galilee.

Galilee will be honored by the presence of the great peace-bringer Jesus Christ.

Although that is far in the future it is completely certain that it will happen.

So certain is it that the LORD speaks in the present tense as if it already has happened.

"The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned".

In this prophecy God gives His word that the promised Messiah, Jesus Christ, will be walking through Galilee as the light of the world.

The prophecy reaches even further than the birth of Christ and His walking the land of Galilee.

The prophecy speaks of a prosperity and peace so complete that even to our present day this peace has not been fully realized.

The promise is that no oppressor will harm them.
All implements of war and results of war wil disappear
Blood stained uniforms will be burned and vanish.

As the LORD used Gideon and only three hundred fighting men to rout the large armies of the Midianites so the LORD will rout the armies of the oppressors.

Even in our day this complete peace has not been seen.

We still live in times of war and oppression.
Killing of Christians in Indonesia, Sudan, and other Asian nations, has reached ominous proportions.War against terrorism is a mega war.

This future time of total peace is nevertheless sure to come;

"For unto 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.

2. The zeal of the LORD of Hosts brings a government of peace through His divine Son as foretold.

2.1. The promised Son is born as a man, human among humans, and yet divine.

He is a divine Son given unto us.

No human power brings Him. God Himself gives Him to us.

The Names of the divine Son are indication of His divinity.

Their are five names.

The first of His five Names is "Wonderful".

This is not the first time we meet this divine Name Wonderful.

This is the same Name revealed to the father of Samson, Manoah, in Judges 13. Manoah asked the Angel of the LORD for His name.

The Angel of the LORD spoke to Manoah, "Why do you ask my Name, seeing that it is Wonderful?"

Then the Angel of the LORD acted wonderfully. He accepted the sacrifice Manoah offered to the LORD God and ascended in the flame of the offering.

He acted wonderfully because the Angel of the LORD is God.

The Name Wonderful is a divine Name full of comfort for God's people..
The Name Wonderful indicates that this divine Person is able to succeed where humans must fail.

Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Son foretold by Isaiah and born to us.
His Name is Wonderful.

During all His time on earth His wonderful acts bore witness to His divinity. He did the works of His Father for He is God.

His Name Wonderful tells us that He is able to do for us what no mere human being can do.

When you belong to the Lord Jesus Christ with a true faith you have a wonderful Saviour.

2.2. The second of His divine Names is Counselor.

In Isa. 28:29 we read that the LORD God is "wonderful in counsel and magnificent in wisdom".

The divine Son acts according to the plan of God in the wisdom of God.
He is our Lord Jesus Christ whom God has made unto us wisdom from God.
He is called Counselor and the Holy Spirit is called the "other" Counselor.

When you belong to Jesus Christ you are supplied with spiritual wisdom from above.

2.3. The third Name of the divine Son is Mighty God.

The divine Son born to us powerfully acts mightily and wonderfully for He is God.

Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Commander of the heavenly armies.
He was born in time, has ascended into heaven and rides victoriously at the head of the armies of angels.

When you belong to Jesus Christ by a true faith you have a strong defender.

2.4. The fourth Name of the divine Son is Eternal Father.

The name Father indicates origin.

All things were created by God.
All things, and all mankind, have come forth from God the Creator, the Eternal Father.

Through the Word of God all things were created.
Our Lord Jesus Christ is the divine Word, the Son through whom all things were created and for whom all things were created. Col. 1:16.

When you belong to Jesus Christ by a true faith you originate with God for you are given a new birth through Christ Jesus.

The child given to us is our Eternal Father.

2.5. The fifth Name of the divine Son is Prince of Peace.

The title Prince indicates the royalty of the divine Son.

In royal power Jesus Christ wonderfully brings the peace of God as planned in God's wisdom, in the power of mighty God, doing new things as the Creator, Eternal Father.

The peace which the divine Son brings to us is greater than any man, woman, or child could imagine.

The Holy Spirit, in Phil. 4:7, calls this "the peace of God which transcends all understanding".

No earthly king or ruler could bring such peace.

It is above all understanding for it is wonderfully brought about by the almighty power of the divine Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

In this peace with God repentant sinners may live in life and in death because of the wonderful acts of the divine Son.

This peace keeps eluding earthly peace makers.
Earthly peace makers cannot bring an end to wars.

The divine Son is the Prince of Peace, King of kings, Lord of Lords.
He brings an end to wars.
He ushers in the age of peace when He returns with all God's angels.

When you belong to Jesus Christ you share in His peace.

2.6. His royalty is symbolized by the "government upon His shoulder".

Royal persons carry royal insignia.

Foremost among the royal insignia is the rod or scepter.

In our parliamentary system the mace is brought into Parliament as symbol of the presence and authority of the Queen or King.

The "government" upon the shoulder of the divine Son is like the mace and proof of Him being King of kings and LORD of lords.

"Of the increase ( or 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 divine Son, born of the Virgin, is the Offspring promised to Abraham; the King promised to David.

This Son of David will never abdicate the royal throne.
This Son of David never has to appoint an heir to the throne for He never dies.
This Son of David never is powerless to govern His Kingdom for His government will always be great.

The subjects of this royal Son of David will always find their divine, royal King, just and wise.
There will be no end to the reign of this royal divine Son of David.

This is the Lord God in whom you believe.

This is our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Son of God, born of the Virgin to bring light and peace in our darkness.

2.7. Many kings and princes and rulers have claimed divine honor and divine royal power and authority.

The kings of Egypt, Assyria and Babylonia, as well as the emperor of Japan in our modern day, were given divine and royal names.

Those divine royal names were given them by human beings.
Their divine power and authority was a pretended divine power and authority.

The subjects of these rulers were to obey their kings and emperors as if these kings really were divine.As it is they were merely tyrants.

Isaiah proclaimed God's truth.

God's truth always exposes human pretentions for what they are: lies.

God's wonderful actions are proof that He alone has all power and authority in heaven and on earth.

Through Isaiah the LORD God foretold that His Son would be born of the Virgin as the Immanuel, God with us.

As God with us the Son of God is unto us,

Wonderful,
Counselor,
Mighty God,
Eternal Father,
Prince of Peace.

Of His government and of peace there is no end.

The zeal of the LORD of Hosts has suddenly brought about what He foretold in the days of Isaiah.

The zeal of the LORD of Host has suddenly brought us the government of peace of His Son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

[ It is Christmas time. Celebration of the fact that our strong God makes His true words come true. The Son foretold through Isaiah truly has come.

The green of fir trees is all around us symbolizing life.
Lights have multiplied symbolizing the life brought by the only Saviour Jesus Christ.

Many have but an outward show of green and light.

But you, congregation! Look past the green and the lights and see your God making His true words true in the sending of His Son who is the light and the lifegiver. Believe His true words and see them come true for you. Christmas. Celebration that God makes His true words come true.]

We live in the years of God's zeal to bring His Son to us once more.

Believe the zeal of the LORD your God.

He speaks true words and powerfully makes His prophetic words come true.

Over our turbulent world of lies and pretensions and wars and persecutions sound the glad tidings:

The LORD God is zealously hastening to the day of Jesus Christ the Prince of Peace.

Be found in Him.
Love Him.
Adore Him for He is Wonderful.
With Him is the peace that is above all understanding: Now and forever.



* As a matter of courtesy please advise Rev. John Van Rietschoten, if you plan to use this sermon in a worship service.   Thank-you.
(c) Copyright 2001, Rev. John Van Rietschoten

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