December 15: The Edge of Ruin

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Isaiah 9:2,6-7
The people who walk in darkness will see a great light;  those who live in a dark land,  the light will shine on them. 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.

The Lord told him [Isaiah], “Go and tell your people that they hear, but they don’t understand. They see, but they don’t perceive.  Their hearts are dull, and I mean to keep them this way.” [Isa 6:9-10]

“For how long, O Lord?” Isaiah asked.

dec 15The Holy One’s reply was stark and chilling: “Until every house is empty.  Until every city is destroyed.  Until every last inhabitant of this land is carried far away from here.  Everything will be burn.” [Isa 6:11-13]

So tell them, Isaiah.  Even as the sparks of Assyrian exile are fanning into flame, tell them God will send his Messiah.  Tell them he hasn’t forgotten them.  Tell them those living under the blood red sky of the purifying fires that a new light is about to dawn.  Tell them that God’s rescue is coming.  

Oh, that their Redeemer would come! But how, Isaiah wondered, could this be?  How would his people even know the Messiah if they saw him?

“The Lord himself will give you as sign,” the angel said.  “Look, a virgin will conceive and bear a son, and she shall give him the name Immanuel.” [Isa 7:14]

Someday, in a stable outside of Bethlehem, a child would be born.  A son would be given.  He would be wounded for his people’s transgressions.  He would be crushed for their iniquities. Upon him would be the chastisement that would bring them peace, and with his stripes we would be healed.  

But first the Promised Land would succumb to the fires of Assyria’s exile, leaving things so desolate that old men would stand at the edge of the ruins and struggle to recall her former glory.

Excerpt taken from Behold the Lamb of God by Russ Ramsey.  (Pg 107, 109-111)

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