December 23, 2020
Around 700 years before the birth of Jesus, a prophet named Isaiah arose and spoke God’s word to the people of Israel.
Israel was experiencing a steep moral decline at that time, so God sent Isaiah to warn them that His judgment would come and they would suffer the consequences of their sins.
It was a dark era in the history of Israel—very much like how this year has been to all of us.
This year made us question so many things about life, about ourselves, maybe even about God and our faith in Him. Over the last ten months, you and I—along with the rest of the world—have been through crisis after crisis that drained our energy, wounded our faith, and sucked our hope.
Maybe you lost a loved one during the pandemic.
Maybe you were forced to take a break from school because of financial difficulties.
Maybe you experienced some difficulties within your family.
Maybe you drifted away from your faith, and ultimately from God.
Or maybe you’ve been trying your best to cope, yet somehow your efforts fell short and you just lost the motivation to continue fighting.
In Isaiah 9, God told the people of Israel through the prophet Isaiah that the time of darkness and despair would not go on forever. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine (Isaiah 9:2, NLT). Isaiah also spoke of a promised child whom God would send to save His people.
For a child is born to us, a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
His government and its peace will never end.
He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity.
The passionate commitment of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!
Isaiah 9:6,7 NLT
But no one foresaw what would happen next.
For the next 700 years, this promise—this passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—didn’t materialize. God’s promise didn’t come as quickly as they had hoped.
Their prayers were met with what seemed like a deafening silence.
Revolts had erupted, nations had come and conquered, lives had been lost. They beat their chests and cried out to the God of their forefathers, but alas, there was no sign of any heavenly rescue.
“God, where are You?”
“Lord, how long will You turn Your back on us?”
“Lord, can You still hear me? Why can’t I feel You?”
“God, I thought You were faithful and true. Why haven’t You kept Your word and fulfilled Your promises?”
If you’ve ever felt this way or asked these questions, then you’re not alone. The Israelites were in that same spot as they waited for the coming of their Savior.
After making no revelation through prophecy or Scripture for 400 years, God broke His “silence” through a messenger from heaven. An angel spoke to Mary and told her that she would bear a son through the power of the Holy Spirit, and the child would be called Jesus.
Do you see it?
It had been 700 years since the prophecy was spoken. God could have just chosen to forget His promise. If you think about it, the people to whom He gave the promise were already dead. Yet, there He was, faithfully fulfilling His promise in every detail.
God is faithful. Even when the process is long and the days are painful, He will not forget. He will not trick you, or cheat you of a single detail of His promise.
God is faithful. His heart burns with so much passion to save us that He willingly sent His own Son to die for us. Without a shadow of doubt, the Father knew that the Son would triumph in victory. And we rejoice in freedom because of His victory on the cross!
God is faithful. If He was willing to send His own Son for us, we should all the more believe that His intentions are good—even when the seasons paint a different picture.
God is faithful.
At just the right time, God sent His Son so that we no longer have to live our lives defeated and alone. We can live with great expectation because God is passionately committed to finishing what He started.
The Christmas season highlights the faithfulness of God. The birth of Christ is a confirmation that God will fulfill His promises no matter how long it takes.