A Light Has Shone, Isaiah 8:16-9:7

“A Light Has Shone”

Isaiah 8:16-9:7

December 19, 2021

Faith Presbyterian Church – Morning Service

Pastor Nicoletti

This morning, with the theme of Christmas before us, we turn to the words of the prophet Isaiah, who, writing seven centuries before the birth of Christ, anticipated his coming.

As we hear from Isaiah 8:16-9:7, please do listen carefully, for this is God’s word for us this morning.

Isaiah writes:

8:16 Bind up the testimony; seal the teaching among my disciples. 17 I will wait for Yahweh, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob, and I will hope in him. 18 Behold, I and the children whom Yahweh has given me are signs and portents in Israel from Yahweh of hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion. 19 And when they say to you, “Inquire of the mediums and the necromancers who chirp and mutter,” should not a people inquire of their God? Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living? 20 To the teaching and to the testimony! If they will not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn. 21 They will pass through the land, greatly distressed and hungry. And when they are hungry, they will be enraged and will speak contemptuously against their king and their God, and turn their faces upward. 22 And they will look to the earth, but behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish. And they will be thrust into thick darkness.

9:1  But there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he has made glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.

The people who walked in darkness
    have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
    on them has light shone.
You have multiplied the nation;
    you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
    as with joy at the harvest,
    as they are glad when they divide the spoil.
For the yoke of his burden,
    and the staff for his shoulder,
    the rod of his oppressor,
    you have broken as on the day of Midian.
For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult
    and every garment rolled in blood
    will be burned as fuel for the fire.
For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
    and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
    there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
    to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
    from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of Yahweh of hosts will do this.

This is the word of the Lord.  (Thanks be to God.)

“All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” [1 Peter 1:24-25]

Let’s pray …

Lord, we call to you, and we ask you to save us,

so that we might be your faithful servants, and live in light of your testimonies.

We cry out to you,

and we put our hope in your words.

We gather here now,

that we might meditate on your promises.

Hear our prayer, according to your steadfast love,

according to your justice in your covenant, give us life.

And as we face opposition from those who oppose you,

Help us to know how to root ourselves in you.

Grant this, we ask, for Jesus’s sake. Amen.

[Based on Psalm 119:146-151]

Introduction

This morning we look at the story of Christmas according to the prophet Isaiah.

And I’ll be doing that drawing from a number of sources this morning, but especially with the help of Tim Keller [Hidden Christmas, 5-19].

And as we look at how Isaiah presents the story of Christmas, at its heart are the themes of darkness and light.

And specifically, Isaiah calls us to acknowledge the darkness and the false solutions we often seek, to behold the light and what it reveals about our world and about itself, and then to consider what we are to do when we believe Isaiah’s words about the light, but the light itself seems to be hidden from us for a season.

Acknowledging the Darkness

So, the first thing we need to do is to acknowledge the darkness.

Isaiah does that in verse twenty, verse twenty-two, and again in verse two. He speaks of lacking the dawn, of darkness, of “thick darkness,” and of gloom. Darkness is the context into which Isaiah is speaking. As it is presented here, it is a darkness that is both inward and outward – a darkness that is “oppressive and constraining”. [Young, 322]

But what exactly does that mean?

In general, darkness in the Bible represents both evil and ignorance. [Keller, 6]

And that plays out in a few ways here in our text.

First, it is a picture of Israel and Judah’s sin and rebellion – the ways they are willfully living contrary to what God has told them is good and right at the time of Isaiah.

Second, it is a picture of the external threats they face – specifically, in their context, the threat of the nation of Assyria waging war against and oppressing their people.

Third, it is a picture of their ignorance about where to turn. Though the people should know, and on some level do know, that they need to turn to God – to Yahweh – they have made themselves willfully ignorant, and now they grope around in the darkness of their self-imposed blindness.

Fourth and finally, the darkness gives us a picture of their internal gloom and hopelessness. And that is highlighted by the mention of gloom and anguish in verse twenty-two and again in verse one.

Sin, circumstances, ignorance, and gloom – each of these things are a factor for the people of Judah as Isaiah speaks to them, each is summed up in the category of “darkness” here … and each is a factor for us as well.

We too face the darkness of our sin – of those habits we want to break but feel powerless to change, of those inflated desires that promise satisfaction but only lead us to further slavery, of the anger, or selfishness, or contempt in our hearts that we find so repulsive in other people, but at the same time cannot seem to extinguish from our own hearts.

We also face the darkness of circumstances. This world is broken. We experience brokenness in our families, brokenness in our society, brokenness in our finances, brokenness in our bodies, and more – ways in which this world is not the way it’s supposed to be.

We can face, as well, darkness in our hearts and minds – gloom and anguish Isaiah describes. Maybe it’s clearly linked to our external circumstances or our sin. Or maybe it seems more independent of such things. Some of us are more disposed to feel the weight and the burden of inner gloom than others. Some of us struggle more with mental health. Some of us struggle around the holidays. Some of us struggle in the long seasonal stretch of grey here.

And then, fourth and finally, we too can sink into the darkness of ignorance about where to turn for help – which we’ll say more about in a few minutes.

Darkness is the context into which Isaiah speaks. Darkness is the context into which the proclamation of Christmas makes the most sense.

Fleming Rutledge, writing in 2016, put it like this – she says: “In our hearts and in the worship of the church, the Advent season begins in the darkness, in the depths of the night. In the world of darkness, refugees are homeless; families shopping at a Christmas market are run down; the people of Aleppo are hunted from house to house. In our own country, we are divided and wary of one another. It is the midnight of the year. The early church knew what it was doing when it settled on the winter solstice as the date for approaching Christmas.” [Rutledge, 370-371]

So the first thing we need to do is to acknowledge the darkness. What does that look like in your life, right now?

Acknowledge How We Look to the Earth

The second thing we need to do is to acknowledge the flawed ways in which we look to the earth for light.

In verse twenty-two Isaiah says that in the midst of all this, the people will “look to the earth” for a solution, but they will find no light there.

What does that mean?

Well, we get a fuller picture in verse eighteen, where the people inquire of spiritual mediums and necromancers, in defiance of the commands of God.

The people are looking for light – they are looking for relief. And if darkness in the Bible represents evil and ignorance, light often represents life, and truth, and goodness. [Keller, 6, 10-12]

But they look to the earth for this light – they look to themselves and to others, in ways contrary to God’s direction.

Now, to be clear, the problem is not looking to the things of the earth at all – God has placed in the world his means of grace and he has given common-grace insights and gifts in the world around us that are part of how he counters our sin, relieves our ignorance of him, holds back the brokenness of our circumstances, and relieves our gloom. Whether reliance on other Christians for teaching or accountability, or seeking help from doctors or counselors, or receiving help from other organizations – it is not wrong to use these good gifts that God has given, in the ways he has ordained.

What is a problem is when we approach those things in a way contrary to how God has given them to us … when we misuse his gifts. In our context, the way we often do that is to take good things and treat them as ultimate things – to treat a limited created thing as if it can be the ultimate solution to the darkness. That is what the Bible calls idolatry.

In Isaiah’s context the idolatry he saw took the more openly spiritual form of rebellion against God by consulting the dead through a medium or necromancer. And Isaiah means for us to see that there is something absurd about this practice. The dead could not keep themselves alive – how can they keep us alive? The dead have lost their place in this world – how can we expect them to protect our place in this world? The dead cannot even communicate without the help of a supposed medium – how can we look to them for power beyond our own? There is an absurdity in all this that Isaiah points out at the end of verse nineteen.

But we have our own versions of this absurdity in our own more secular age. Sometimes it does take an overtly spiritual form like Isaiah has described here, that is true. But other times, we look to finite created things for our ultimate help. We look to earthly things to provide light for us. More specifically, we try to produce the light we need ourselves.

And when we do, it falls flat. And it falls flat because it is just as absurd as what the people of Isaiah’s day were doing.

We look to ourselves to overcome our slavery to sin, even though it was our own best thinking that got us where we are – that got us enslaved to sin in the first place.

We look to technology and to experts to ultimately heal our brokenness, and bring us out of the darkness and into the light, even though we know that while many problems have been solved by technology and expertise, many others have been created by technology and our expert class.

We look for human insights on how best to understand our world, though human history and experience should lead us to the conclusion that we ourselves cannot be the light – for we have so often been sources of the darkness, and many of our best attempts to be the light in and of ourselves have brought only deeper confusion and despair into the world.

We try to find within ourselves the hope that we need to overcome our gloom, but why we think we would find it there remains a mystery.

We look to the earth for the light we need, but everything we grasp at ultimately lets us down.

Far from finding the light there, as one commentator notes, such attempts, in the end, “can only make the darkness, and our anguish, more intense, for they lead away from” the real source of the light, and so we are instead plunged “further and further into gloom, spiritual famine, and despair.” For “those who depend upon earth for solutions to the earth’s problems only compound their darkness.” [Oswalt, 232, 238]

Do you see that pattern in your own life?

Again – using the gifts God has given in this world is not the problem. The problem is when we expect those good things the be ultimate things for us – to be the light in our lives that is powerful enough to overcome all the darkness in us and around us.

And that pattern can take on unique forms in the holiday season. Around the holidays, in a way that is more intense than usual, we can find ourselves trying to overcome the darkness through consumption, or through wealth, or through pleasure, or through our family and togetherness, or through vague sentiments of human peace.

And while each of those things may have their proper place, when we try to rely on them for wholeness, we always walk away empty. When we turn to them for light, in the end, the dark always just feels even more oppressive.

Creation itself tells us that we, in ourselves, cannot produce light. In our very flesh we are creatures who depend on light, but cannot, by our bodies, produce it. In our experience we know that the light we most need comes not from within us, but from outside of us … not from below, but from above.

And so the second thing Isaiah calls us to do is to acknowledge, and to give up on, the ways that we have looked to the earth for light.

The Light Comes to Us

Third, Isaiah tells us that the light we need – the light that overcomes the darkness – is a light that comes to us from above.

Isaiah first makes it clear that there is, in fact, a way out of the darkness. He says so in verse one, and then he tells us of how this will happen in verse two:

The people who walked in darkness
    have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
    on them has light shone.

The light dawns upon them. They did not make it, but then suddenly it arrives. [Oswalt, 239, 242; Keller, 10]

But how does it arrive – how does the light dawn? Isaiah tells us in verse six: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given.”

The light comes in the form of a child. And that child, the gospel writers tell us, is the Lord Jesus Christ.

For in Matthew 4 [v.15-16] we read that verses one and two of our text found their fulfillment in the beginning of Jesus’s ministry in Galilee.

In Luke 1 [v.78-79] Zechariah shows us how verse two of our text points to the coming of Jesus.

In the words of Jesus in Matthew 11 [v.29] we hear the fulfillment of the promise of verse four of our text.

And in the announcement of Gabriel to Mary in Luke 1 [v.32-33], and in the proclamation of the angels to the shepherds in Luke 2 [v.11], we hear the fulfillment of verse six and seven of our text, with the coming of the baby Jesus.

Jesus is the child who is to be born. Jesus is the son who is to be given. He is the Light that is promised by the prophet Isaiah.

But as the light, what will he do? What does Isaiah tell us to expect?

Isaiah tells us that this One who is the Light will transform the world, and will reveal himself.

Light Transforms the World

First, the light promised here will transform the world – revealing things as they truly are, and then making them into something new.

Light, of course, does that. If you’ve found yourself in a dark room, and seen a menacing outline, and then you panic and switch on the lights to see that it is merely a piece of furniture, then you know what this is like.

Light reveals. And Jesus, as the light, reveals the truth about our world.

First, in his light, Jesus reveals the reality of the darkness that is present apart from him. We sometimes don’t realize how dark things have gotten until the light comes. It’s as if our spiritual eyes adjust to the darkness and we begin to treat it as normal. That’s a lot like what we read of in the first few verses of our text from chapter eight. Things had gotten so dark that people didn’t recognize the darkness for what it was.

We are tempted to accept our sin or our sadness as how things are supposed to be. We are tempted to accept the brokenness of the world as “just the way things are”. We are tempted to view our confusion and ignorance about our ultimate purpose as simply part of what it means to be human. We are tempted to accept the darkness and give up hope for the dawn.

But when Jesus comes as the light, he exposes the darkness of the darkness. He points to how these things are not as they should be. And he points instead to something different. That is what we read in verses two through five.

The light that shines reveals how deep the darkness is, as we read in verse two.

The light shows that joy and wholeness is how the world was meant to be, we read in verse three.

The light shows that oppression and violence and war – so common in the ancient world, as it is in our own – are not how things are meant to be, as we read in verses four and five.

But it doesn’t stop there. Because the light that is promised doesn’t just reveal – it also transforms.

In verse four we read that it doesn’t just reveal the wrongness of the yoke of oppression, but it breaks the yoke of oppression, and replaces it, Jesus later tells us, with a yoke that is easy and a burden that is light. [Matthew 11:29-30; Oswalt, 244]

In verse five we read that the light that is Christ comes not just to free individuals from spiritual and earthly oppression, but to transform society and the world as well:

For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult
    and every garment rolled in blood
    will be burned as fuel for the fire.

God would do away with the war and the violence that was so common. As one commentator puts it: “If even the boots and cloaks are being burned, we may be sure the weapons are disposed of, and even more surely, those who wielded them. The boots whose tread shook the earth are now silent. The cloaks in whose fabric is mixed the blood of conqueror and conquered now feed the flames. Wars have ceased to the end of the earth.” [Oswalt, 244]

The light will both reveal and transform our lives and this world.

But what is also shocking in our text is what it tells us about how the One to come will do this: not by coming in power as a king, but by coming in vulnerability, as a child. [Oswalt, 245]

For that is how Christ, the Light, came. He came as a vulnerable baby. And he never abandoned that vulnerability. He grew into a man who defeated the darkness not by grasping at domination, but by sacrificing himself for his people. He came, and he died on the cross. But even then, as the Apostle John reminds us – even then, the darkness did not overcome the light. [John 1:5]

Christ rose. And having, in his death and resurrection, overcome the darkness of our sin and brokenness, our ignorance and our despair, he ascended into heaven. And from there he continues to shine his light into the hearts of his people, in anticipation of the day when he will return, and complete his saving work, so that his light will encompass the world, from the East to the West, and the darkness will be no more for all who have trusted in him.

Our calling is to embrace the light he has brought – to receive the gift he gives us, accomplished by his coming to us, and communicated to us in his Word in the Scriptures. [Oswalt, 238]

That may sound easy. But it’s actually quite difficult. Because accepting the gift means admitting something about ourselves – about not only our failures, but our lack of self-sufficiency.

Tim Keller puts it like this – he writes: “Consider how challenging it is to receive certain kinds of gifts. Some gifts by their very nature make you swallow your pride. Imagine opening a present on Christmas morning from a friend – and it’s a dieting book. Then you take off another ribbon and wrapper and you find it is another book from another friend, [titled] Overcoming Selfishness. If you say to them, ‘Thank you so much,’ you are in a sense admitting, ‘For indeed I am fat and obnoxious.’ In other words, some gifts are hard to receive, because to do so is to admit you have flaws and weaknesses and you need help. Perhaps on some occasion you had a friend who figured out you were in financial trouble and came to you and offered a large sum of money to get you out of your predicament. If that has ever happened to you, you probably found that to receive the gift meant swallowing your pride.”

Keller goes on: “There has never been a gift that makes you swallow your pride to the depths­ that the gift of Jesus Christ requires us to do. Christmas means that we are so lost, so unable to save ourselves, that nothing less than the [coming, and the] death of the Son of God himself could save us. That means you are not somebody who can pull yourself together and live a moral and good life.” [Keller, 17]

You need another to come and rescue you. You need a light that not only illuminates, but that saves and transforms you.

And to receive that, you need to turn from looking to the earth for your light, and look instead to Christ.

Light Revealing Itself

And as you do, you will see not just what Christ has accomplished, but you will see Christ himself, revealed in his coming, revealed in the Scriptures.

For Christ came not only to do, but he came also to reveal – to reveal himself to his people.

And that is what we see as our text moves from the promised accomplishments of verses two through five to the revelation promised in verses six and seven. [Oswalt, 243]

There we read:

    and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah is telling us that the child described here – the king promised here – is no mere human, but is God himself.

Because the titles he gives to this child were titles that, for a Jew in Isaiah’s day, would only be given to God. [Oswalt, 246; Keller, 12]

After highlighting the ignorance and lack of wisdom of the people, Isaiah identifies this child as “Wonderful Counselor” – as the one who can not only provide, but is the very embodiment of wisdom for his people.

Next, he calls him “Mighty God,” highlighting his power as the power of God himself – “power so great that it can absorb all the evil which can be hurled at it until none is left to hurl.” [Oswalt, 247].

Then he calls him “Everlasting Father.” And for those wondering, the term “Father” there is not meant in a Trinitarian way, but it is instead the term of a benevolent protector – one who will care for his people. [Ortlund, 1257] The Messiah described will protect his people just as a good father would protect his children.

And finally, he identifies him as “Prince of Peace” – the One who comes to bring ultimate peace: not just the absence of conflict, but true peace between God and humanity, and then, flowing from that, true peace between each human being. [Oswalt, 247-248]

This child to come – this promised Messiah – would not only do God’s work, but he would reveal God’s character. For he himself would be God.

Herman Bavinck puts it like this – he writes: “Christianity stands in a very different relationship to the person of Christ than the other religions do to the persons who founded them. Jesus was not the first confessor of the religion named after His name. He was not the first and most important Christian. He occupies a wholly unique place in Christianity. He is not in the usual sense of it the founder of Christianity, but He is the Christ, the One who was sent by the Father, and who founded His Kingdom on earth and now extends and preserves it to the end of the ages. Christ is Himself Christianity. He stands, not outside, but inside of it. Without His name, person, and work there is no such thing as Christianity. In other word, Christ is not the one who points the way to Christianity, but the way itself. He is the only, true, and perfect Mediator between God and men. That which the various religions in their belief in a mediator have surmised and hoped, that is actually and perfectly fulfilled in Christ.” [Bavinck, 263]

In his coming, Jesus reveals himself. And he is God the Son: God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not created.

When the Light Is Hidden

So, we acknowledge the darkness, we recognize the futility of looking to the earth, we see how the light promised here – how Jesus Christ – comes to transform our lives and our world of darkness, and to reveal God himself to us, so that we might know him.

That brings us to our final point this morning … which is really more of a question: What if we believe in the light … what if we place our trust in the light Isaiah has described … what if we believe everything we’ve said so far this morning … but our world right now seems dark anyway? We believe in the light of Christ, we cling to him by faith, but darkness still seems to dominate our world? What about when we believe in the light … but it feels like the light is hidden from us for a time?

Some dear friends of ours back in New York have an album coming out soon for their band The Welcome Wagon. In one of the songs that will be on it, they sing in the chorus: “When you can’t see the stars, it doesn’t mean they’re gone. It doesn’t mean a thing.”

And that line kind of stuck with me. Because it helped me realize what it is about winter nights in the Pacific Northwest that kind of bums me out. Don’t get me wrong – I love the Pacific Northwest. But I’ve noted that when I’m out at night, in the winter months, there’s something about the feel of the night that drags my mood down a bit.

And hearing Vito sing that line made me realize that it’s the darkness that comes when the moon and the stars are blocked out by the winter cloud cover here.

I grew up with New York winters. And we had clouds, of course. But we also had cold crisp winter nights, with lots of stars and a bright moon, and then a layer of white snow on the ground reflecting that moonlight back, seeming to illuminate the night with a special kind of glow.

And sometimes the reality of Christ, when we go through a difficult season, feels like a clear winter night in New York. Sometimes, even when the overall setting around us is dark, the light is still obvious to us. The light shines in the darkness … so that even the darkness seems to accentuate the power and the beauty of the light.

And maybe you have gone through dark seasons of life that were like that – where the darkness was obvious, where there was no question that you were traveling through a season of night, but the light from above – like crisp moonlight and starlight – was also visible. And the world around you seemed to reflect that light back to you – assuring you of the presence of the light, and the fact that the light would overcome the darkness in the end. Have you had seasons in your life like that? They can be hard, but they can also be beautiful times where our faith feels even more real than normal – where the light is accentuated in the midst of the darkness.

But other seasons feel more like Pacific Northwest winter nights. Other seasons, we may walk through darkness in which we can’t see the stars. We can’t see the moon. And there is no snow to reflect back any light that may shine through … just damp, dark ground.

And that darkness can feel more oppressive. It can feel like it’s smothering us a bit. And we can be tempted to despair.

But, as my dear friends Vito and Monique sing: “When you can’t see the stars, it doesn’t mean they’re gone.” In fact, “it doesn’t mean a thing.”

Our Westminster Confession of Faith – the statement of faith of our denomination from the seventeenth century – acknowledges the same idea. It comes up in the chapter on assurance, but its application is broader than that, I think.

The Confession explains that sometimes “true believers” will struggle and be shaken by an experience of “God’s withdrawing the light of his countenance, and suffering even such as fear him to walk in darkness and to have no light.”

But then the Confession goes on, speaking of such believers who feel as if they are walking in darkness because God has withdrawn the light of his countenance, and says: “yet [they are] never utterly destitute of that seed of God, and life of faith, that love of Christ and the brethren, that sincerity of heart, and conscience of duty, out of which, by the operation of the Spirit, this assurance may, in due time, be revived; and by the which, in the meantime, they are supported from utter despair.” [WCF 18.4]

What does all that mean? It’s telling us that though God may withdraw the light of his countenance from his beloved children for a season, he will not utterly abandon them … he is still there, even if they cannot see him … still his love remains real.

Even “when you can’t see the stars, it doesn’t mean they’re gone. It doesn’t mean a thing.”

And Isaiah describes that himself in verse seventeen. He says: “I will wait for Yahweh, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob, and I will hope in him.”

Isaiah reminds us that the light is there … the light is coming … and even when we can’t see or sense its presence – even when the light seems hidden from us for a season – we are still to wait on the light of the Lord. We are still to place our ultimate trust in him.

God sometimes withdraws the light of his countenance from his people. But why? Why does God do this? Why does he allow such seasons?

We often don’t know. Sometimes his purpose is clear, as he calls us to repent. Sometimes he is doing a work in us that becomes apparent later on. But often he does not tell us why. But in his incarnation, he still gives us good grounds to trust him, even when we don’t understand.

Dorothy Sayers puts it like this – she writes: “The incarnation means that for whatever reason God chose to let us fall … to suffer, to be subject to sorrows and death – he has nonetheless had the honesty and the courage to take his own medicine … He can exact nothing from man that he has not exacted from himself. He himself has gone through the whole of human experience – from the trivial irritations of family life and the cramping restrictions of hard work and lack of money to the worst horrors of pain and humiliation, defeat, despair, and death … He was born in poverty and … suffered infinite pain – all for us – and thought it well worth his while.” [Quoted in Keller, 14]

He did all that for us. For us he entered the darkness of this world. For us he suffered in so many ways. For us he died. How can we doubt his love for us then … even when he withdraws the light of his countenance for a season?

We may not always be able to see the light. We may not always be able to feel the light. But still, it is there.

Still, in Christ it has dawned. And so still, even when we don’t feel hope, we can have hope. For Christ came to give us a sure hope, rooted in who he is, what he has done, and what he will do. And that remains true so long as we trust in him – no matter what trials may come, no matter how we feel from one moment to the next.

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
    and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
    there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
    to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
    from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of Yahweh of hosts will do this.

Amen.

This sermon draws on material from:

Bavinck, Herman. The Wonderful Works of God. Translated by Henry Zylstra. Originally published in Dutch in 1909. Translated in 1956. Glenside, PA: Westminster Seminary Press, 2019.

Keller, Timothy. Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the Birth of Christ. New York, NY: Penguin, 2016.

Ortlund, Raymond C. Jr. Introduction and notes to Isaiah in The ESV Study Bible. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2008.

Oswalt, John S. The Book of Isaiah: Chapters 1-39. NICOT. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1986.

Rutledge, Fleming. Advent: The Once and Future Coming of Jesus Christ. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2018.

Welcome Wagon. “Isaiah California” Vito & Monique Aiuto. On a forthcoming album, performed in an interview here: https://vimeo.com/656343818

Young, Edward J. The Book of Isaiah: Volume I, Chapters 1 to 18. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1965 (1983 Printing)

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