Behold the King and His Kingdom!

Isaiah 9:1-7, “Behold the King and His Kingdom!”
Preached by Pastor Michael Gunn @ Harambee Church on December 23rd, 2007

“Light dawns in the darkness for the upright;
he is gracious, merciful, and righteous”
Psalm 112:4

“On that day there shall be no light, cold, or frost. And there shall be a unique day, which is known to the Lord, neither day nor night, but at evening time there shall be light.
On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea. It shall continue in summer as in winter .And the Lord will be king over all the earth. On that day the Lord will be one and his name one.”
Zechariah 14:6-9

“For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon [fn4] his shoulder,
and his name shall be called [fn5]
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.”
Isaiah 9:7

“And leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:
“The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—
the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light,
and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death,
on them a light has dawned.” From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Matthew 4:13-17

“And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
Revelation 21:2-4

Intro:

Our passage today takes a look at Christmas over 2500 years ago! Or at least the prediction of the reason we celebrate Christmas. The birth (Or incarnation) of Jesus Christ, God’s Son into the world is the single most important event in human history, because if it is true everything Jesus does makes sense. The problem as usual though is its significance. What does it matter? Isn’t this just a metaphor to make us realize that “God is with us?”

From the Head…

The Promise of Deliverance (Isaiah 9:1-5)

Destruction, pain, death and loss sadden us greatly! They are the result of kingdom gone mad. It is the result of a kingdom fighting to preserve itself, and create maxims that govern it’s people. Zebulun and Naphtali were the first and the most brutalized of the Assyrian invasion (2 Kings 15:29; 17:6). Their pain was great, but in the midst of that pain, there is the hope that light was at the end, and that their mourning would be turned into Joy! This is how God works in our lives. In spite of the fact that we are oft persecuted, “We are not forsaken, struck down but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:9), sorrowful, yet “Rejoicing (2 Corinthians 6:10). This is true when “God is with us!” This is Isaiah’s promise. Ahaz’s son, (Born too of a young woman/virgin) brought destruction (See Isaiah 8,especially verse 22), but the one born of a woman (Genesis 3:15 see Isaiah 7:14 cf. Galatians 3:8-13) brings forth healing and joy! God is a God of BUTS! In spite of the fact that He brings forth both calamity and light (Isaiah 45:7), He balances them, and uses them appropriately to bring forth the joy and the healing that He plans to do in this land.

The Source of Deliverance (Isaiah 9:6)
The source of that deliverance is God’s Son. And note that God’s Son (Born to us) is known as “Mighty God” (See Isaiah 10:21). Christ took the law (Government) on His shoulder when He went to the cross for our sake. He becomes the curse so that we could become free from the curse! He becomes our peace, and seeks peace in this land.

The Extent of Deliverance (Isaiah 9:7)

This is the Jewish story culminating in Jesus (See Matthew 4:13-16 cf. Revelation 21:2-4). Jesus is the one who calls people to Himself in order to begin His kingdom here on earth; a kingdom that will grow until God fully establishes it on earth, with all His people. Jesus begins His reign in His church, and like Israel, we will have shown to be faithless in spite of His faithfulness (See 2 Timothy 2:13), prompting Christ’s coming as King over the whole earth. Meanwhile, He is working through the church (As weak as it is) to make all of humanity subject to Him (2 Corinthians 10:3-6; Philippians 2:10). This is not to be done in power, but done in our weakness. “Blessed are the poor in spirit…meek…peacemakers, etc.” The extent of God’s kingdom is the whole world, and every living creature in it! And it will be ruled with an entirely different mandate!

…to the Heart
Christ came as the king of His newly established kingdom; a kingdom that radically sees the world differently than any current system can or does. Christmas is the “Good News” that the king has come, and is with us, and there is no way we can stay the same as a result!

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