This blog is supposed to be, as much as I can, my daily journey through life as a Christian. I hope it to be my thoughts and feelings on life but be as grounded in the Christian message as it can. My intention is not to create a daily readings or bible study guide but to look at my life in terms of a Christian trying to find and follow God's mission using his Life User's Manuel AKA the Bible.

Matthew 10 19-20

And don't you worry about what you'll say or how you'll say it. The right words will be there; the Spirit of your Father will supply the words. - Matthew 10 19-20

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Advent Challenge Day 16

This challenge is now complete, please feel free to browse all of the 
completed tasks via the Advent Challenge tab.

The task for yesterday was to read a section of scripture, it is a section that I have looked at recently in my linked Bible study so I have  already considered it recently. The section is Isaiah 9:1-7 which when  looked at it last time I only focused on verse 2. This time however I want to look at a bit more of it.

Isaiah 9:1-7

    But there'll be no darkness for those who were in trouble. Earlier he did bring the lands of Zebulun and Naphtali into disrepute, but the time is coming when he'll make that whole area glorious—the road along the Sea, the country past the Jordan, international Galilee.

        The people who walked in darkness
            have seen a great light.
        For those who lived in a land of deep shadows—
            light! sunbursts of light! 
        You repopulated the nation,
            you expanded its joy.
        Oh, they're so glad in your presence!
            Festival joy!
        The joy of a great celebration,
            sharing rich gifts and warm greetings. 
        The abuse of oppressors and cruelty of tyrants—
            all their whips and cudgels and curses—
        Is gone, done away with, a deliverance
            as surprising and sudden as Gideon's old victory over Midian. 
        The boots of all those invading troops,
            along with their shirts soaked with innocent blood,
        Will be piled in a heap and burned,
            a fire that will burn for days! 
        For a child has been born—for us!
            the gift of a son—for us!
        He'll take over
            the running of the world.
        His names will be: Amazing Counselor,
            Strong God,
        Eternal Father,
            Prince of Wholeness. 
        His ruling authority will grow,
            and there'll be no limits to the wholeness he brings.
        He'll rule from the historic David throne
            over that promised kingdom.
        He'll put that kingdom on a firm footing
            and keep it going
        With fair dealing and right living,
            beginning now and lasting always.
        The zeal of God-of-the-Angel-Armies
            will do all this.

This passage is packed with promises from God, what He intends and how He intends to do it. The light which is prophesied about here has a huge job to live up to just by this short passage. Deliverance from oppressors and invading troops, a leader who will be an amazing counsellor, a prince of peace and an eternal father. His authority will grow, He will fix the nation starting now and lasting forever.

It is easy to see why the Jews built up so much expectation around the coming Messiah, there was so much that was said about Him by the prophets, they expected so much. So how was it that they missed Him when He finally came?

The Jews were expecting someone to come in with amazing power to sweep away the forces of evil and tyranny with military strength and his awesome power. They were wanting a Messiah who would utterly destroy their enemies so that the Jews could rule forever in a land of peace. But they forgot God's awesomeness and His love for all mankind, they forgot about the fact that we are all God's children and He loves each one of us.

The truth is that God sent His son in to the world to do all of these things, and Jesus did do them, but His plans were not like our plans, His ways were not like our ways. Jesus came and taught us the way to live, led us by His example. He showed us how to beat the oppressors and tyrants not by being strong, but by being weak and humble. Yes Jesus did have enough power to have completed these prophesies in anyway He chose, He could have led a great army of Jews and conquered the world, but that would not have shown the world God's love for us, it would not have been in His character.

Yes God does sometimes show an angry and jealous side to His personality, He does want us all to love Him, follow Him and worship Him. But that is because He loves us unconditionally, He knows what the enemy is like, He knows what the enemy can do. We can not understand the heartbreak humanity must cause God through our actions and behaviour, yet still He loves us. Jesus displayed God's character on earth, He was loving and kind but He also showed the anger and jealousness of God in the temple. We sometimes forget when we are looking at Jesus we are looking at God too, the Father and the Son, the same and indivisible, one and the same, there are three persons in the Godhead-the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, undivided in essence and co-equal in power and glory.

This was a slightly different look at the same verses that I considered last time, please let me know what you thin of both of them, do you agree or not? If so why not? I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter. The task selected for today has been task number 22. Put a Christmas Bible verse on your Christmas tree. I'm glad that this one has only just come up now otherwise it may have been a difficult one to complete, the reason being that our Christmas tree only went up last night. Check back tomorrow to see which Bible verse I selected and why, but until then, Merry Christmas.

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