“Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations.
2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
3 Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
4 For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian.
5 For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.
6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Whenever we study the Scripture in order to understand the significance of the passage firstly look at the context. Ask yourself these questions: 1.Who is the Prime Mover 2.and the principal players upon whom the topic revolves 3 and where is it leading to? In a passage such as the one we are at present looking we have also to take into consideration the narrative mode of the Spirit. By taking the last question first it is about Israel but the underlying theme goes beyond them to the Messiah as Servant King as well as Messiah King and ultimately to the Lord of Lords as mentioned in the last book (Re.19:15)
God is the Prime Mover and he has made Isaiah as His spokesman. While he predicts the desolation of Judah he and his sons are signs and wonders. Where he also declares affliction shall be meted out to lands of Naphtali and Zebulun he also surrounds their vexation with the promise of light,-of True light that would shine on them. This was fulfilled and we can find reference to the passage of Isaiah in the Gospel of St.Matthew.”Leaving Nazareth, he(Jesus) went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali— 14 to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah:(Matt.4:13-16-NIV).
When we consider the fall of man one thing becomes clear. Sin of disobedience put man’s priorities foremost over that of God. Peace can only come from the order where God is the Sovereign Lord God. By denying it wherever man has surreptitiously claimed his unquestioned authority it has only created havoc. Dictators thus may claim they are father to the people they lord over, but in fact they are tyrants. Lately we had one justifying harsh laws about migrants at the border on this Pauline dictum: “For he is minister unto thee for good (Rom.12:4a).” Without restoring the basic order that is divine Will such piece-meal quotes are merely humbug. So when Jesus speaks I will give thee rest we need remember the context as well as the entire verse.”Take my yoke upon ye and learn of me…and you shall find rest unto your souls (Matt.11:20)” This is the kind of rest no Treaty of Versailles or any other Accord of man can duplicate. “There is no peace to the wicked (Is.57:19-21).It is not something that man can by sheer will impose from top. They may have titles as der Führer, il Duce or Caesar but the fruit of their lips is merely to deceive. History of man on account of Adam, is a tainted chronicle. Problem of sin unresolved has produced a continuous list of broken promises and missed opportunities. Instead of these pseudo-benefactors, we see Isaiah referring to Jesus Christ as the Prince of peace. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid(Jn.14:27-NIV)”.When God led Moses out of Egypt what He promised has been fulfilled in God the Son. “And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest(Ex.33:14). It is thus the Spirit has set down the divine Will with the Father-Son relationship at the driver’s seat. Israel in neglecting the one aspect missed the whole. In observing the Law they were not made whole but become smug hypocrites instead. Learning of Jesus is the key. It plagued the nation of Israel to such extent the God they pined for came into his own but they could not deem him as such. The woeful nation missed him purely because of their own fault. “He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.(Jn.1:11-13)”
(To be continued)