Isaiah 9 (cont)
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. 7 Of the increase of [his] government and peace [there shall be] no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. 8 The Lord sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel. 9 And all the people shall know, [even] Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria, that say in the pride and stoutness of heart, 10 The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycomores are cut down, but we will change [them into] cedars. 11 Therefore the LORD shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him, and join his enemies together; 12 The Syrians before, and the Philistines behind; and they shall devour Israel with open mouth. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand [is] stretched out still. 13 For the people turneth not unto him that smiteth them, neither do they seek the LORD of hosts
Do you understand how that in the midst of Isaiah looking at terrible things going on around him, God is breaking through to give Him much greater, deeper, more glorious and UNSOLICITED insight into the coming of Christ Himself? There will be a son given and the government will be upon His shoulder. Why speak of government? Because in Isaiah’s day as in our own the nations are reeling from one dependency to another because of vastly diverse and unreliable leaders. One king is godly and his replacement is filled with evil. That evil king is removed and the next is a godly king such as Hezekiah who will soon replace Ahaz the current king. The people are looking at government in great anxiety and struggle and to this Isaiah pronounces that a GOVERNMENT is coming that does not derive from man but from the hand of God Himself over which the Messiah shall be seated and rule forever. That is a kingdom that Jesus said in Luke 17:20,21 is ON THE INSIDE OF US.
The Pharisees in Luke 17 were extrapolating from these very sayings of Isaiah that a governor would be raised up in their midst. They thought it would be a regional government established over their local situation but Jesus transcended this perspective and tells them in Luke 17 that the government and kingdom they are longing for is on the inside of them – which government He was come to tear down the walls of partition that prevented us and cause us to become one with the Father and immersed in that kingdom that is righteousness, joy and peace.
14 Therefore the LORD will cut off from Israel head and tail, branch and rush, in one day. 15 The ancient and honourable, he [is] the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he [is] the tail. 16 For the leaders of this people cause [them] to err; and [they that are] led of them [are] destroyed. 17 Therefore the Lord shall have no joy in their young men, neither shall have mercy on their fatherless and widows: for every one [is] an hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaketh folly. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand [is] stretched out still. 18 For wickedness burneth as the fire: it shall devour the briers and thorns, and shall kindle in the thickets of the forest, and they shall mount up [like] the lifting up of smoke. 19 Through the wrath of the LORD of hosts is the land darkened, and the people shall be as the fuel of the fire: no man shall spare his brother. 20 And he shall snatch on the right hand, and be hungry; and he shall eat on the left hand, and they shall not be satisfied: they shall eat every man the flesh of his own arm: 21 Manasseh, Ephraim; and Ephraim, Manasseh: [and] they together [shall be] against Judah. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand [is] stretched out still.
Even though Isaiah is speaking of things much beyond the narrow perspective of the immediate crises of the day – the people are being dismissive of his words. They will as Isaiah predicts in verse 9 and 10 go on their way acting in the stoutness of their heart, applying solutions that make sense to them. Many times when God speaks out of frustration we just dismiss His words and go on our way implementing solutions the best we can. This is what happened in John 11:25-28 when Jesus showed up to comfort Mary and Martha over the death of their brother Lazarus. Martha meets Jesus first and He tells her He is the resurrection. She becomes frustrated and walks away telling her more esoteric minded sister Mary “the Master calleth thee…”
Jesus had not called Mary but Martha was uninterested in looking past her personal anguish to see that Jesus was offering her a deliverance that didn’t fit her narrow paradigm of what was going to happen next. She forsook her own mercy and contaminated her testimony. From that moment on for centuries her life has been a cautionary example saying to us not to think like a Martha but rather be willing as Mary to hear whatever Jesus has to say to us regardless whether we think it fits our situation. Because the two kingdoms refuse the call of Isaiah to trust in the Lord Isaiah pronounces that both kingdoms will be decimated and destroyed. This comes to pass in the northern kingdom, but before the southern kingdom is carried away captive there will be one more godly king by the name of Hezekiah before whom Isaiah will also prophesy.