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Isaiah 9:1-7

The Light has Come

  • Jean Marais
  • Weekend Messages
  • December 24, 2023

When God sends light into the darkness, when the hopeless find hope, and when the weary are strengthened, it’s time to rejoice. God’s answer is His Son. “Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given.” And the promises, hope, and help are given to us.



  • Sermon Notes
  • Scripture

The Light has Come
Isaiah 9:1-7
December 23-24, 2023 

         I just love Christmas lights. We recently moved to a new neighborhood and I tell you, they go crazy with the lights. Sometimes we just drive through the neighborhood to see what else has been added. There’s one house that starts the season with quite a display, and every week they put up more things. So it’s always exciting to drive past there to see what else they’ve put up.

          Sometimes during the week, you drive past there and all the lights are off because they put it on the timer not to be displayed. That is quite a disappointment. The light does something. What was hidden by darkness is lit up and it stirs a feeling of joy, excitement, and hope.

          Light is a wonderful thing. I remember a few Christmases ago when we were still in South Africa, we were on vacation, and it was in a time of load shedding. That is the softened name they gave the concept of rolling blackouts. Because of misuse and bad maintenance, the power grid has been weakened to such a state that it cannot supply power to the whole country at once anymore. So, they have times of day when one section of the city will get power, and the rest is switched off. This is then rotated so everyone can get some power during the day. By the way, this has increased to such a level that people now have 9 hours of power interruption per day.

          So a few years ago while we were on vacation and this happened, we lit some candles in the living room of the chalet and we were sitting around the candles playing board games. I remember sending Pastor Rich a picture and saying we’re sitting around the candles during load shedding. He said, ‘That’s nice sharing the load of your souls and just fellowshipping with one another with some nice candles to create an atmosphere.’

          When there is no light available, you can appreciate how dark the darkness is. Now here in America, we don’t have that problem. Although physically there is light, spiritually this world is in a dark and weary place.

          We see more and more wars and rumors of wars, we see the fiber of society disintegrating before our eyes as society struggles with moral dilemmas, drug use, fighting between different worldviews, people being polarized by political views, and the war raging in the Middle East which threatens to pull the whole world into conflict. Many things that are stirring anxiety and frustration in the hearts of people.

          You’re probably wondering, “Where are you going with all this? Great job, pastor, I brought friends and now you’re depressing all of us.” Here’s my point, the world was also weary when God sent His Son into the world; to a dry and weary land where there is no water. Rome was oppressing the world and poverty and hardship were everywhere. The average life expectancy was only 35 years old.

          That’s why the theme of Christmas is rejoicing. When God sends light into the darkness, when the hopeless find hope, and when the weary are strengthened, it’s time to rejoice.

           If you think about it, all the traditions of Christmas have something to do with rejoicing. Lights and candles, beautifully wrapped gifts, and songs of celebration.

          We must be careful, however, that traditions don’t replace the meaning and message of why God sent His Son because these external things, although they are fun, still only bring temporary and superficial joyfulness.

          The world is weary and needs hope on a deep level. The world is becoming more dangerous. Many with spiritual discernment have sensed the storm clouds on the horizon for some time; a deep evil is rising.

          This is a broken, evil world and while there is great darkness, there will also be a time of revival.  Darkness will get darker, but a light will also dawn. Even during the Great Tribulation of the latter days, there will be many who turn to Christ for hope and salvation.

          When Isaiah wrote the prophecy of Isaiah 9 it was a dark time for the nation of Israel. A terrible, wicked king ruled in Judah who turned Israel away from God to go after the gods of the world, gods of worldliness and licentiousness. The result was predictable; their souls became sick, and they became weaker as a nation as darkness and turmoil came over them. We can see that parallel today.

          At the darkest hour, God gave the greatest promise. There is no question that these verses give the greatest promise known to man; that God would send an answer to darkness.

          God’s answer is His Son. “Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given.” And the promises, hope, and help are given to us in the name spoken of in this prophecy.

           God doesn’t stand by idly and watch as people destroy their lives, He does something about it; God is on the move, He is pursuing relationships. God sent His Son to seek and to save that which was lost. He is knocking on the door of hearts; He wants people to have life.

           Isaiah speaks of the name that is given to the One who is coming as the hope of the world. You gain great insight into the purpose and meaning of Christmas when you understand the significance of His name.

I. Keep Watching and Waiting

  • Verses 2-3 – “The people who walk in darkness will see a great light… You will increase their gladness; they will be glad in Your presence.”
  • Darkness is oppressive to the soul… When you live in a time of trouble and there is darkness in the world, you need to keep watching and waiting for the fulfillment of God’s promise of hope and help.
  • The same is true today. This is a troubled world and God wants you to keep watching and waiting, also on a personal level.

A. Hope is on the way.

  • The message of Isaiah 9 is that hope is on the way. Take heart, be comforted in a weary land where there is no water, God is giving a promise of help. Keep watching and waiting.
  • Our hope is not the normal way people use the word ‘hope’. Like, ‘I Hope the weather is good on my birthday in 6 months’, or ‘I hope the Trailblazers become NBA champions.’
  • When we talk about hope, it is something totally different.

Jeremiah 29:11, For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

  • This ‘hope’ is the Hebrew word tigva, which means a cord or thick strong rope to hold onto.
  • It translates in the KJV as an expected end. It is sure. It is certain. It is not hope thrown out in the wind.

Hebrews 11:1, Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

  • We have this hope in God’s word, because He has spoken the end from the beginning, telling things in advance as it would happen.
  • Our hope goes even deeper than that. Our hope is a Person. He IS our hope. He has the final say.

Job 19:25-27, For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth; and after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. Oh, how my heart yearns within me!

B. Rejoice in the soul when God sends help         

  • The land of Zebulun and Naphtali received the worst of the oppression in those days when Assyria brought their armies from the North to destroy and take captive.
  • God will make glorious the place of darkest oppression because it is there that God would send His Son…

Matthew 4:13-14, And leaving Nazareth, He came and settled in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali.  This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet…

  • Jesus steps into the darkest places. He is not offended with the deepest recesses of your soul. He is not taken aback by your shameful things. He is not overwhelmed by your situation or problems.
  • Jesus came to ‘get His hands dirty’, to start work in those places no one dares to tackle.
  • When God fulfills His promise, when God answers the hurt and anguish of the soul, the response should be joy and gladness; like the gladness of harvest, like when men rejoice after a great victory.
  • Verse 4 – When God breaks the yoke of your burden and the staff on your shoulders and the rod of your oppressor, joy is the right response.
  • That’s why Christmas should be a happy and joy-filled time of year, because for us and the whole world that would accept it, it’s based on the hope of a promise.
  • That hope, that promise, all that God gives is found in His Son… And given in His name.
  • You receive God’s answer when you receive God’s Son; everything is based on your relationship to Him.

II. God’s Hope is Found in His Name

  • Jesus is also called Immanuel, God with us, that’s God’s answer, God will be with us.
  • “And His name shall be called…” In other words, God’s answer, God’s hope, and God’s promise are found in Jesus’ name.
  • How powerful is His name? Some people use His name as a cuss word. “Jesus Christ!” they exclaim.  Why?  They want to reduce the power of the name.  That’s the only way they can handle saying His name. 
  • But those same people would be very uncomfortable saying his name in a way that is holy and reverent.
  • But hey, if they get to bring up His name, then I get to also. What if someone uses His name as a cuss, we say in surprise:” I didn’t know you are a believer!” If they say they are not, you can say: “That’s a powerful name you’re calling on and using there. Did you know that at that name every knee will bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord?”
  • How great is His name? …


Philippians 2:9-11, God has bestowed on Him the name which is above every other name, that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the father.

  • We see that all of the names of God which characterize who He is, are wrapped up in this ONE name.
  • How powerful is that name?
  • …And His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor…

A. He is Wonderful Counselor                

  • The scripture tells us that the Lord will do marvelous, wonderful

 1 Corinthians 2:9, Things which no eye has seen and ear has not heard; and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.

Ephesians 3:20, Now unto Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly beyond all we could ask or even think.     

  •  He is filled with all wisdom; His counsel is good and wise. In this messed up world with messed up lives, wonderful counsel is needed.

Illus – It’s a light of revelation, like when a teenager, who was absolutely convinced that you didn’t know anything, that they’re going to figure everything out on their own, then grows up and then actually asks you for advice.

  • In Hebrew, the word, counselor means to “stand alongside.” You can imagine the help we would have if God were whispering in our ears.

Isaiah 30:21, Your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left.

  • His counsel is only helpful if you walk in it; if you take hold and apply it to your life.

Luke 6:47-48, “Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.”

  • Here is the powerful truth: He now not only stands beside us, but Jesus said

John 14:16-17,  I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth,

  • The Spirit of Christ now dwells inside us. He is not just beside us, he has now taken up residence INSIDE, being our wise counselor, leading us.

B. He is Mighty God

  • Is there anything clearer to declare that Jesus is God? He has power over all things.
  • He turned the water into wine, healed lepers, raised the dead, has authority over demons, and calmed the storm with a word of His command.

Luke 8:25, And He said to them, “Where is your faith?” They were fearful and amazed, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that He commands even the winds and the sea, and they obey Him?”

App – Life is heavy, and it is only when you recognize Him to be your “Mighty God” will you turn to Him to help you carry it. This is the stuff of faith. We carry too many things on our own. Trying to sort it all out. In effect, you are saying, ‘God, I don’t trust you to handle this. I am a control freak. I will sort it out.’ Now that is something that would freak me out. What brings anxiety is that you are making decisions on future events that have multiple variables you have no control over. Why not rather trust Him?


Illus – It is like playing the stock market. How many times have I thought, If I only knew that Bitcoin would go up that much. Imagine you had a time traveler that could come back in time and tell you, to invest in Bitcoin…

  •  God is the one that stands outside of time, knowing what the future holds, and directing you with the best in mind. Trust Him to be your Wonderful Counsellor.
  •  This is asking for faith. You can trust God’s credibility. He has quite a track record of never being wrong.
  • Just like the disciples, He would ask the same question of you and me, “Where is your faith?”
  • Faith grows as you grow in your relationship with God, knowing Him more.

C. He is the prince who brings peace

  • The government will be on his shoulders and there will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace.
  • He is the Prince who brings peace; peace with God as we will see, but it also means peace on earth. Why?
  • Because He is the only One with the authority to bring peace and silence the enemies of God. As He spoke to the storm, so He will speak to the rulers of the earth.

Isaiah 40:23-31, It is He who reduces rulers to nothing, Who makes the judges of the earth meaningless. Scarcely have they been planted, scarcely have they been sown, scarcely has their stock taken root in the earth, but He merely blows on them, and they whither, and the storm carries them away like stubble. To whom then will you liken Me that I would be his equal?” Says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these stars, the One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them each by name; and because of the greatness of His might and strength of His power, not one of them is missing…

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might, He increases power.

Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not faint.

  • True peace comes when people are right with God.

 Colossians 1:19-20, For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross.

  • Verse 7 – The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this. God is not leaving you. God is determined to see this come to fruition in your life. He is not giving up on you.

Illus – We love nativity scenes and have several displays. It is a picture of those who come to honor Jesus at His birth. There is an old saying, “Wise men still seek Him.” That is true, but you need to know that He is the One seeking you, He knocks on the door of your heart, urging you to open the door of your heart and let Him into your life.

  •  The question this morning is this: Is Jesus Lord of Your life? Have you surrendered to Him? Is He your wonderful counselor, have you tasted His Peace? Stop walking alone in a dry and weary land of the soul.

Isaiah 9:1-7    NASB 

9 1But there will be no more gloom for her who was in anguish; in earlier times He treated the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali with contempt, but later on He shall make it glorious, by the way of the sea, on the other side of Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles.

2 The people who walk in darkness
Will see a great light;
Those who live in a dark land,
The light will shine on them.
You shall multiply the nation,
You shall increase their gladness;
They will be glad in Your presence
As with the gladness of harvest,
As men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
For You shall break the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders,
The rod of their oppressor, as at the battle of Midian.
For every boot of the booted warrior in the battle tumult,
And cloak rolled in blood, will be for burning, fuel for the fire.
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,
On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
From then on and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.


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