Most of us know the verse of Isaiah 9:6. It is probably one of the most quoted scriptures at Christmas time, but I wonder if we truly understand all that this verse means? These past few years have been hard for our family. We experienced the loss of a cherished Dad, the illness of my husband and the continuous illness of my daughter along with many other ups and downs. No doubt you have, too. It seems most of us are going through the same humbug of a Christmas season. I don't know about you but I was to the point of throwing in the towel. But I had this saving grace that wouldn't let go. A still small voice that called me back to the true meaning of Christmas.
In the chaos of my life, I stopped and listened as it beckoned me to follow it. It led me to a time of true peace and tranquility. Back to the place where it all began. Back to where hope was born. Back to where love spilled from heaven and flooded the earth. Back to angels singing Joy to the World. Back to a lowly manger. Back to the sweet face of the Christ Child. Back to the promise of Isaiah 9:6.
"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."
Have you ever really studied this verse? I mean broke it down word for word?
That's exactly what God's still small voice has called me to do. Today, I want to share with you what I have learned so far. Let's look together at that first word...
Do you know what "for" means? Here are a few definitions for you to consider...
2-intended to belong to, or be used in connection with.
3-suiting the purpose or needs of.
4-in order to obtain, gain or acquire.
5-in consideration or payment of.
6-in favor of, on the side of.
8-with the purpose of reaching.
9-to the advantage of everyone.
I loved those definitions but I was awestruck by these two:
10-in order to save.
11-in spite of.
What a great promise God had given to the Prophet Isaiah, many, many years (over 400 to be exact), before the gift of His Only Son. It wasn't by mere coincidence that Christ came. It wasn't Plan B. It wasn't a quickly made decision. It was well thought out before the world was ever created. God knew we would need a Savior.
And He sent JESUS! For you, and for me. You and me, we are "Us"!
In order to save us, in spite of ourselves!
Let's take those last two definitions and look at Isaiah 9:6 again.
In order to save you and in spite of who you are,
a child is born, a son is given:
What a joyous thought!
I would like to challenge you to take the time to go back and write this verse out. Then re-write it by adding in the definitions above which describe "for". Take time to relish what it really means, that "For You" this gift was given!
Father, we pray that the true meaning of Christmas will grab us again this year. As we celebrate with family and friends may we take the time to walk the path back to the manger. Back to where it all began. May we truly understand the "FOR" of Your precious gift--our Savior, Christ the Lord. Thank You for sending Him to save us, in spite of ourselves! In Jesus name, Amen.