As we enter the Christmas season one more time, we have come to expect the usual bill of fare. In our shopping malls, we will hear continuous Christmas music, see many varieties of Santa Claus and a steady stream of commercials on every form of media suggesting Christmas gifts for friends and families. There is no escape. But the commercialization of Christmas is an old complaint; of course, the advantage is that it keeps the Christ birth story alive and it will exist until the return of Christ because of the retail value of Christmas in our shops.
In our churches, we expect to hear the wonderful story recorded in all the gospels; including, the angelic chorus, the shepherds in the fields abiding, the visit of the wise men from the east bearing their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, the star or angel leading the wise men to the place where the babe was, the slaughter of all the children under two years of age by Herod, the flight to Egypt, and the babe in the manger wearing swaddling clothes (foretelling His death). There will be Sunday school pageants, Christmas plays and concerts of Christmas carols and the glorious Messiah by the inspired George Frederick Handel. There will be one more important reading.
I refer to Isaiah 9: 6 – 7, “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. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will do this.” This is a vital part of the Christmas story and it is always observed but the clergy has nothing to say about it. Of course, I am referring to the prophecy contained therein because it is important to understand what it means. Let’s look at some of the parts of the prophecy to see if we can enhance understanding.
Clearly, the son that is given is a ruler with an impressive collection of titles. From where does He rule? He is to be installed on the throne of David and take rulership over David’s kingdom. Do we know where the throne of David is? Yes, we do; it is the throne of Queen Elizabeth II, who can trace her ancestry right back to David. And we have a Bible reference to substantiate this assertion. If we examine II Samuel, we find the following verses in chapter 7; “Moreover, I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them anymore, as beforetime. And thy house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee; thy throne shall be established for ever.” Has this prophecy/promise been honoured? Well, after the tribes congregated (or fought their way into Britain) there has been no successful invasion. In referring to the tribes, I am talking about the invasions of the Danes, Angles, Saxons, Norwegian and Swedish Vikings, Jutes and the last invading group was the Normans from Normandy under William the Conqueror. The Lord has turned back, the Spanish (the Armada), the French (Napoleon) and the Germans in World War I and World War II. It should be noted that all these tribes were the same race, proceeding forth from Jacob/Israel. So, the son, Jesus, will sit on the throne of David and rule David’s kingdom, Israel, founded at Mount Sinai when the Israelites were freed from Egypt and formed into a kingdom. It can be described in another way. At the time of Solomon’s coronation, the Bible records that Solomon sat on the throne of the LORD, in place of his father, David. So, the LORD’S kingdom is the Anglo Saxon, Scandinavian and related peoples.
I hope you took notice of the phrase, “The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will do this.” So, what is this zeal about? I have two references from Scripture that offers an explanation. The first is from Numbers 23:19, “God is not a man that He should lie; nor the son of man that He should repent. Hath He said, and shall He not do it? Or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good?” The second Scripture is found in Isaiah 55:11, “So shall My Word be that goeth forth out of My mouth. It shall NOT return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please; and it shall prosper in the thing whereunto I sent it.” Yes, God is faithful to His word and there is not a single instance where His prophecies have failed. Therefore, I would like this important part of the Christmas story to be discussed, giving us the hope, in faithfulness, that Jesus’ kingdom will be established soon. I am sure our dear Queen hopes that she will be the one to turn over the throne and kingdom to Jesus Christ!
And why are we certain that the Kingdom of God will be on earth? Jesus taught us two things. First, in His dialogue with Nicodemus about being born again, He stated that no man can go to heaven. John 3: 13, “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of Man which is in heaven.” The second Scripture is found in John 14: 2 & 3, “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you; I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto Myself; THAT WHERE I AM, THERE YOU MAY BE ALSO.” Can this be any clearer? I think not! Jesus is saying that we cannot go to heaven where He is, so He will come to earth so we can be with Him. Is this not a remarkable, wonderful aspect of the Christmas story? Then let’s dwell on it; let’s savour it; let’s rejoice even as the great hymn entreats, “Rejoice, the Lord is KING!!!”
Yes, Isaiah has other things to say about the Kingdom and the King. Look at Isaiah, chapter 60; I will quote some of the verses. “Therefore, thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men might bring unto thee the forces of the nations, and that their kings may be brought. For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted. Violence shall no more be heard in the land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise. The sun shall no more be thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee; but the Lord shall be an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. The sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself; for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. Thy people shall all be righteous, they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, that I may be glorified.”
Yes, unto us a son is given! A newborn king! And He has told us He comes quickly. You say, “Really?” Well, remember two thousand years is as two days with the Lord. But there is another way of looking at this. We have been assigned a life of three score and ten years, in some cases slightly more. In our first conscience moment after death, we hear the Lord’s summons from the grave to awaken with new bodies with His likeness. Then the dead in Christ enter into the kingdom! So, this Christmas, let us pray with a new earnestness and confidence based in faith, “Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done ON EARTH as it is in heaven.”
This Christmas, let us look FORWARD, not backward. Our King is born and following His crucifixion and ascension, He was given all power in heaven and earth. O, the joy of living in His kingdom and presence is beyond our best imaginations! Praise our Lord! Praise the King! God be praised!