Passage: Isaiah 9:1-7

Speaker: Mitch Kim

Series: Come, Lord Jesus

Longing For Joy

            An angel announces in this season, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people” (Luke 2:11). Great joy! So many songs announce joy during this season, but sometimes our experiences fall short of the announcements. During this season of COVID-19, rates of loneliness, depression, and discouragement have skyrocketed. How do we find joy when it feels that joy has been robbed? The promises around the coming of Jesus promise joy: “You have multiplied the nation; you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest” (Isa 9:3). How does the coming of our Savior increase our joy? Joy abounds when light shines in darkness, oppression is broken, and justice and peace rule forever.

            Joy abounds when light shines in darkness (Isa 9:1–2). Darkness causes joy to leak. Gloom, anguish, and contempt cause our joy to leak. Yet Isaiah has a clear vision. In the face of darkness, light dawns. Similarly we must, in the midst of a darkness that robs our joy, see with the light of faith. Only with the eye of faith will we see this light that causes joy to return. Why?

            Light shines because oppression is broken (Isa 9:3–5). Verse 3 describes a picture of abundant joy at harvest. The reason for this is described in v. 4, that the yoke and staff of oppression have been broken. And as result the boots of the soldiers and the bloodied garments can be burned (9:5). What oppression is broken because of the coming of our Savior? In this context, the people of God were longing for freedom from the oppression of Assyria.  Jesus fulfills this promise in a surprising way as bloodied garments are brought to an end by his own bloodied body. He broken body destroys the dividing wall of hostility that drove people to enmity with one another (Eph 2:14–18). Jesus conquers oppression by the cross so that we might overcome oppression as we take up our cross and follow Jesus.

            And because oppression is broken, justice and peace rule forever (Isa 9:6–7). The government rests upon the shoulders of a child, and his name is called, “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” This child’s government and peace increases forever, establishing and upholding the throne of David with justice and righteousness forever more. This hope resonates deep within the soul of God’s people.

            So what? May we not let anything, including COVID-19, rob our joy. May we find joy again in this Advent season. Our Savior has come. May joy abound. Light shines in darkness, oppression is broken, so justice and peace can rule forever.