If you can, take a moment and read these two verses from Isaiah, chapter 9:
"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 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’s prophetic picture of the coming Messiah makes for what many consider to be the most familiar Old Testament prophecy in the Bible, but it is easy to read this and not freshly appreciate just how amazing this statement was.
To put things into context…imagine this scenario – 175 years before the voyage of Christopher Columbus to the Americas (that occurred in 1492)…175 years BEFORE that voyage…in the year 1317 AD…someone in Spain gave a prophecy that would completely and accurately outline the details in full of the American presidential election of 2016, and include pieces of what would be the political climate that surrounded that nation that day.
Wouldn’t that be mind staggering? Yes. But that is EXACTLY what Isaiah did.
Depending on the pinpointing of the date for Isaiah, it was 700 years before the birth of Jesus…yet - Isaiah had a CLEAR picture of His birth, and the very names by which He would be known, all of which reveal to us just a bit more of His character and virtue. In short, Isaiah hit the nail on the head. “For unto us, a child is born…a son is given…”
This child and His miraculous birth in the most lowly of places was all part of a God-inspired plan, one that would go forward from that manger and end up on a cross on Golgotha 33 years later. Both of those events are intrinsically connected. These events were foretold by Isaiah, and others. This event was important to them…and even more important to God the Father. After all…it was His son that was to be given.
May this year’s Christmas season be the most enjoyed and memorable yet, as we freshly remember what a great gift was given to us all on that very first Christmas night.
Mike Gilland is Operations Manager for The Shepherd Radio Network, a group of radio stations in Florida that features the “Christian Teach/Talk” format. Mike hosts a daily talk radio show in the 2 PM hour called “Afternoons with Mike”, talking to local pastors and newsmakers. In Gainesville, Mike is heard on WTMN - 96.3 FM / 1430 AM. In Ocala, on WRZN - 103.5 FM / 720 AM. In addition to his broadcast experience, Mike spent 36 years in full-time ministry as a pastor and worship leader. As a guitarist, Mike performs at concerts, restaurants, private parties, etc. He is married to Cindy, the father of four grown children and grandfather to seven grandchildren.