A Great Light in the Deep Darkness – H. C. Hoeksema on Isaiah 9:6

Is9-6

…Particularly at Isaiah’s time, this [the shining of a great light in darkness, cf. Is.9:2] must have been marvelous to him because of the circumstances of God’s people. The faithful people of God were disheartened; they were inclined to be blackly pessimistic; there did not seem to be much hope for them. Although Isaiah is also in that darkness, he sees a great light arising in far-off Zebulon and Naphtali – tribes that at this time did not even belong to the house of David. He is amazed to see people leaping and dancing for joy as in the day of harvest and rejoicing as those who divide the spoils of battle. They are free from all foreign domination, and they rejoice in a day of great glory.

In the center of this picture is the son, the child [Is.9:6]. The prophet beholds him in a blaze of light. The government – the rule, the dominion, the prerogative to rule – is upon his shoulder. His is the right, his is the calling, and his is the power and wisdom to rule over God’s people. He sits as the everlasting king upon David’s throne. He is Christ, who from eternity was ordained of God the Father and who in his exaltation received all power in heaven and on earth to rule forever over all things in the name of God. That son, who sits on the everlasting throne of David, is the reason and the cause of this leaping and dancing and rejoicing.

The darkness is a figure. Surely the domination of the Assyrians was a historic reality, but only as Assyria was the representative of the great antichristian world power that will dominate God’s people at the end of time. As dominated by the great power of the world and by the prince of darkness, they are by nature in darkness and in the shadow of death – not in physical darkness, but in the darkness of sin and guilt and death and misery, for they are in the might and the power of Satan and of hell.

In that night Jesus kindles the light. No, he is the light! He comes with royal might; he fights and overcomes in his suffering and his atoning death; he fights and overcomes in his resurrection and exaltation; he has the victory in his return by his Spirit and word, and he shall have the victory in everlasting perfection and fullness when he returns for judgment. He is the one who actually delivers his people from all earthly and spiritual bondage and dominion, who gives them the victory, and who causes them to rejoice and to divide the spoils of battle.

redeemed-judgment-HCH-2007Taken from Redeemed with Judgment: Sermons on Isaiah (Vol.1) by Homer C. Hoeksema (ed. by Mark H. Hoeksema; Reformed Free Publishing Association, 2007), pp.149-50.

This is part of the fifteenth sermon, “The Royal Son of the Dawn” based on Isaiah 9:6.

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