For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor,
Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
John 16:33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.
For our devotion on the first day of Advent we read the first part of Isaiah’s prophecy in Chapter 9, a word of hope about the One who was coming to show God’s glory. Today we read the second part of the message. From a 21st Century vantage point we can look back and see that Isaiah was correct when he said that Light would come into the darkness and that God’s glory would appear in the region of Galilee. We sometimes wonder how so many people could have missed Jesus’ appearing and not understood who he was. Looking into our past is one thing; looking into the future with confidence is something else again.
America has a system of justice and courts that at least allow for the truth to be told. Nonetheless, even in America and other democratic countries, we are troubled by injustice and we hear of judgment that is anything but certain and wise.
None of the world’s present governments rest on the shoulders of Jesus Christ, nowhere is His name universally proclaimed and nowhere in the world are people living in continual peace. So where is this Kingdom anyway?
The full culmination is yet to be. The Gospel of John records Jesus’ promise that even in a world of trial and sorrow we can have peace. How? By trusting in the promise that our Lord has overcome the world, and that the promise of peace on earth will come. It seems delayed, but just like the first half of the prophecy, it will happen, and it will be right on time!
Advancing God’s Kingdom is something we pray and work for now, but the final results will be known in the future—a future that God will bring!
Prayer: Lord, let there be peace on earth, and let it begin in me. Amen