Thursday, March 13, 2014

Son of David, Part 3

The second scripture in this triplet of passages relating to the idea of Jesus as the Son of David is in Isaiah 9.

In Christian tradition, these verses are commonly regarded as a description of the messianic King.  In its original context, however, it celebrated the coronation of King Hezekiah.  The author is very pro-kingship, and saw the descendant of the Davidic line to be eternally chosen by God (from the New Interpreter's Study Bible).  I just mention this because we always need to remember that what we see as purely prophecy of the coming of Christ in the Old Testament has context that we can’t overlook.

Early in the chapter we have verse 2:  The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light: those who lived in a land of deep darkness -- on them light has shined.

I can imagine those who read this passage later – those in exile – would have felt as if they were living in darkness.  It’s easy to say “Keep the faith,” but much harder to actually cling to promises that seem to be unattainable or under threat.

But then there are these words of promise for those who have eyes to see and faith to pay attention:
Isaiah 9:6-7:  For a child has been born for us,
   a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders;
   and he is named
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
   Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
His authority shall grow continually,
   and there shall be endless peace
for the throne of David and his kingdom.
   He will establish and uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
   from this time onwards and for evermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. 
Have you experienced a time when you doubted God’s presence and promises?  Look at the names listed in that passage.  Which ones speak to you of who God is to you?  Which ones describe best your experience of God?

We need to remember that even in our darkest time, even when God seems absent, God is not gone.  It's hard to hold on to, but that is the promise.

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