Monday, October 3, 2011

Names of God

This week, we will continue with Isaiah's prophecy.  This section continues in Isaiah's prophesy to King Ahaz.  So, its a continuation from last week.

Remember, Isaiah is telling Ahaz about the exile that is coming!  The selection we skipped was talking about how terrible the invasion would be!  Think about that as you start this section.

This week's assigment:

1) Pray for enlightenment and wisdom!
2) Read Isaiah 9:1-7 twice.
3) Put it down for a while!
4) Read it again, and then answer the questions below!

a) If you were Jew during the exile or during Roman occupation, what would you expect the Messiah to be like?
b) Which parts do you think point to Christ as the Messiah?
c) Why would Isaiah use the words government in verses 6 and 7, if he wasn't pointing to an earthly ruler?
d) What struck  you in these passages?

Pastor Emily


Carol Flores said...

1. I would expect the messiah to be a majestic, fair king, sitting on an earthly throne. A King that would save me from my distress and free me from my literal yoke of slavery.

2. Verse 2 says that in the darkness shall be seen a great light and Verse 4 says that the yoke that burdens us will be shattered - to me that points to Jesus as my Savior. And of course verse 6 is very familiar description of Christ.

3. Not sure about this one. I looked up the word government and one of the definitions mentioned the words "supreme authority" which God IS. But I can see why people thought Jesus would be an earthly king.

4. It was interesting to read these verses from the perspective of the suffering Jews. What hope it must have given them. God was going to save them!! Just not in the way they thought.

Lynne Watts said...

Given the environment of the times, what the people needed, what they wanted and hoped for was an earthly king who represented a govenment that was fair and not oppressive. This was a need on a survival level... it would have been impossible for them to think beyond this to a heavenly Father who would save them from their sins and who would desire a personal relationship with them. First they needed stability in their daily lives before they could think in spiritual terms. What strikes me is how many of these verses that are used to prophesy about the coming of Christ are embedded in scripture that so clearly is not about Christ's coming. I'm not saying that makes them invalid, just that it makes sense that the Jews of the day did not anticipate Christ. Their needs were still basic survival needs.

Lindsay said...

A. I agree with Carol and Lynne. I would have been expecting an earthly ruler like a king. Someone who was powerful and just in terms of government... someone to be "fair" to the Jews.

B. I think the reference in verse 1 about Galilee and the Jordan point to Jesus. I think that the "great light" points to Jesus. Carol also points out the yoke... that reminded me of Jesus talking about His yoke being easy. And verse 6 had Jesus written all over it to me. Of course, these are all easier to pick out having the New Testament and these prophesies fulfilled! I may not have a clue if I were reading this as a Jew before Jesus' time!!!

C. I think this is not referring to earthly government. Jesus seemed to want to stay out of the government, "let Caesar have what is Caesar's". When I think of government, I think of our President, Congress, Mayor... our set structure of controlling our nation. I looked up "goverment" and got that basic definition. Then I looked up "govern"... to rule over by right of authority. God was giving Jesus the right of authority... setting that authority on his shoulders.

D. A few random things jumped out to me today...

"they rejoice before you, as people rejoice at the harvest". I have been working the past few years on growing herbs and tomatoes. Before then, I wouldn't have understood the joy of a harvest, but I prepared the soil in pots, started many plants from seed, thinned out sprouts as they grew, watered, checked on them daily... when they were ready to be harvested, it brought me so much joy! This made me think about how God was preparing the way for Jesus... from the first day of creation, He knew we needed Jesus. People must have been so curious about when the Messiah was coming. And when he comes, the joy is overwhelming!

Another thing that stood out was "Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress." Jesus gives us that opportunity to be free of gloom and distress, but do we live that way? I know it's easy for me to get stuck in a gloomy mood, but that is not God's plan, He wants me to live in the light and joy of Christ!

Mary said...

a. I would expect the Messiah to defeat the empire of the day and free his people and rule them with justice and righteousness.
b. The child will be given the authority (government). He will reign with authority and peace. Even verse 5 says the bloody warrior things will be burned in the fire.
c. Government=authority.
d. God's kingdom to come will be ruled with justice and righteousness. When we as God's people work for justice and righteousness we are working to make God's kingdom come on earth.