Advent Devotional Week 4 - Isaiah 9:1-7

A revolution is coming. The signs of emergence are everywhere. A beam of light pries open the darkness, a beacon of radiant hope crying out to a people plunged in the shadows. The loads they have carried seem a little lighter, their hardships diminishing, as an expectant message of salvation rings out. The wars which seemed to have no end are ebbing away and the loud disputes that have raged across the land become mutterings. For to us a child is born.

For so long God had been faceless, seen only in smoke and fire and tempest and cloud. His power displayed in floods, plagues, and famine. His name was not to be uttered, only tiptoed around, like children scared to name the boogeyman for fear it might come alive. To approach him required ceremonial precision, performances of ritual holiness and cleanliness that were tiresome yet necessary. But a revolution is coming. For to us a child is born.

Some kings and rulers would feign nonchalance. The "king of the Jews" could not compare to the Roman emperor. What army could this man bring that could fend off a phalanx of the Empire's soldiers? Others would panic; was this really him? The one who would put us to shame? Ascend to our throne? Whether they knew it or not, a revolution was coming. For to us a child is born.

For what the prophets foretold would be borne of Mary. All Israel's wanderings would return home in this child, her sufferings redeemed by His birth. The very face of God would finally be revealed and it would not scar them with glory as happened to Moses or strike them dead as those who dared enter His temple unclean. Instead, they would find His skin to be soft, that He wouldn't always sleep through the night, that He would need to be held and nursed and cleaned and burped. They would find the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace in diapers, swaddled by His mother. Here was the usurper, establishing heaven's rule on earth, deliverer of justice and righteousness. 

The revolution still happens today. The impact of His birth and subsequent life, death, and resurrection upend every heart that takes hold by faith. A peace and love and glory that is not our own is granted to us by the God-man who came to us as a baby. Our trust was placed in the Savior so small, so dependent, so helpless. It would be the zeal of the Lord of hosts who would raise Him up. And it would be by His grace that He would save.

For to us a child was born. And His name is Jesus.