walk in the word
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
It’s tempting to let the waning days of a year cause us to think about the disappointments of the past twelve months. This world, though filled with wonder, is broken, and only the One who created it in the first place can repair and restore what’s gone wrong. Isaiah’s descriptive phrase about the size, time, and tone of the Messiah’s reign definitely points beyond any earthly king: “Of the increase of His government and of peace there will be no end” means no term limits, boundaries, or problems when God’s own ruler is in place.
When Isaiah wrote chapters 7-9, King Ahaz was depending on human allies to rescue him from enemies. Isaiah’s timeless message to the king and to the people of Judah was to trust God, not human government. Or to put the prophet’s point another way, No matter how powerful or pervasive human government may be, it neither threatens nor competes with the government of God.
Human kingdoms, even the reign of David, were temporary. Few of the earthly kings in David’s lineage or the rebellious northern kingdom pleased God in any way during their brief reigns. But God’s rule is always available and never disappoints those who trust Him—no matter what chaos is happening in the world at the moment.
The world always disappoints when we expect it to give something it can’t give. We need Isaiah’s words as badly as King Ahaz did. The reminder of God’s sure intention of establishing a permanent and peaceful kingdom was a reality check for that ancient king and one we need to be reminded of. Our confidence and security rests in the sovereignty of God and the government of Jesus, which can never be equaled by any human rule. Any fix now is temporary; only Jesus will bring about a permanent and eternal solution.
And lest there be any confusion, the Gospel of Luke echoes this prophecy about Jesus in the angel Gabriel’s words to Mary, “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1:32-33).
Have you been disappointed with the world this past year? Consider how you are regularly acknowledging Christ’s government in your life. Are you willing to act as a citizen of His kingdom in your work and in your relationships today? You will discover that the reality of His peace in your heart will ebb and flow with your obedience to Him.
What in your life repeatedly leads you to disappointment?
How have you found Christ’s reign providing peace to the world that doesn’t have it?
Lord, the future rests on Your shoulders, and my future rests there, too. Help me to live that way. Remind me that the world is passing away, but You and Your Word remain. Thank You for the reminders that ultimately depending on anything or anyone other than You is doomed to failure and disappointment. You never fail and your faithfulness is new every morning! Your peace endures and passes understanding. I thank You and honor Your name, Jesus. Amen.
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