December 6, 2017- Advent Season

This time of year we begin talking about something called Advent. Advent is the arrival of a notable person, thing or event.

For us specifically, it is a celebration and preparation for the birth and return of Christ. We celebrate this every year four weeks out from Christmas. (Read Advent Article)

 

So, tonight we will look at the condition of the Israelites hearts, what the people of Israel were told about the coming of Christ, the actual birth of the savior and then briefly, the second coming.

So first, let’s look at the condition of the hearts of the Israelites.

1.      Darkness and Despair (Isaiah 9: 8-21; 8:21-22)

a.       Pride and Destruction- (v10-12)
“The bricks have fallen down,
But we will rebuild with smooth stones;
The sycamores have been cut down,
But we will replace them with cedars.”
11 Therefore the Lord raises against them adversaries from Rezin
And spurs their enemies on,
12 The Arameans on the east and the Philistines on the west;
And they devour Israel with gaping jaws.
In spite of all this, His anger does not turn away
And His hand is still stretched out.

                                                               i.      They no longer depend on God for their survival, but depend on themselves.

 

                                                             ii.      God gives the Assyrians and Philistines the green light to destroy them (He gives them what they want)

b.      Hard-heartedness and Consequences (13-17)
Yet the people do not turn back to Him who struck them,
Nor do they seek the Lord of hosts.
14 So the Lord cuts off head and tail from Israel,
Both palm branch and bulrush in a single day.
15 The head is the elder and honorable man,
And the prophet who teaches falsehood is the tail.
16 For those who guide this people are leading them astray;
And those who are guided by them are brought to confusion.
17 Therefore the Lord does not take pleasure in their young men,
Nor does He have pity on their orphans or their widows;
For every one of them is godless and an evildoer,
And every mouth is speaking foolishness.
In spite of all this, His anger does not turn away
And His hand is still stretched out.

                                                               i.      The people do not turn back to God in their destruction, but continue to rely on themselves.

                                                             ii.      God punishes the leaders and those that follow. These leaders were false prophets and liars stating that the famine and despair would end quickly. Isaiah prophesied otherwise and was proven true. (We should put our trust in God before anyone or anything else.)

c.       Self-Destruction (18-21)
For wickedness burns like a fire;
It consumes briars and thorns;
It even sets the thickets of the forest aflame
And they roll upward in a column of smoke.
19 By the fury of the Lord of hosts the land is burned up,
And the people are like fuel for the fire;
No man spares his brother.
20 They slice off what is on the right hand but still are hungry,
And they eat what is on the left hand but they are not satisfied;
Each of them eats the flesh of his own arm.
21 Manasseh devours Ephraim, and Ephraim Manasseh,
And together they are against Judah.
In spite of all this, His anger does not turn away
And His hand is still stretched out.

                                                               i.      They were involved in a massive civil war amongst themselves that ultimately destroyed everything.

                                                             ii.      They were so depraved that they ate their own flesh.

                                                           iii.      In spite of all this, they still did not cry out to God and He did not relent.

d.      Total Depravity (Isaiah 8:21-22)
21 They will pass through the land hard-pressed and famished, and it will turn out that when they are hungry, they will be enraged and curse their king and their God as they face upward. 22 Then they will look to the earth, and behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish; and they will be driven away into darkness.

                                                              i.      The result of this war-torn land is that they will curse each other and curse God. They see nothing but death and destruction all around them and spiral deeper into darkness and despair.

2.      Prophecy of the King (Isaiah 9:2-7; 11:1-10)

a.       The Light will return (2)

The people who walk in darkness
Will see a great light;
Those who live in a dark land,
The light will shine on them.

b.      The Blessing will return (3)

You shall multiply the nation,
You shall increase their gladness;
They will be glad in Your presence
As with the gladness of harvest,
As men rejoice when they divide the spoil.

c.       Peace will return (4-5)

For You shall break the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders,
The rod of their oppressor, as at the battle of Midian.
For every boot of the booted warrior in the battle tumult,
And cloak rolled in blood, will be for burning, fuel for the fire.

d.       The Messiah will come (6-7)

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,
On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
From then on and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.



3.      Birth of the King

a.        The Proclamation (Matthew 1:20-25- Joseph; Luke 1:26-33- Mary)

20 But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” 22 Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” 24 And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, 25 but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.

26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.28 And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29 But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. 30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”

b.       The Visitors (Magi- Matthew 2:11-12

11 After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way.
Luke 2:15-17 ( Shepherds (The statement is in verse 11-12)

15 When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. 17 When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child.

c.       The Accommodations – Luke 2:6-7

While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

 

Wiersbe- “Many scholars believe that our Lord was born in a cave where animals were sheltered and not in a wooden shed such as you see in modern manger scenes.”

A stable, a cave, a relative’s house? Either way, it was not the accommodations for a king.

Had Jesus gotten the royal birth that He deserved, He would not have been accessible to those that needed Him.

4.      Return of the King

a.       The King will return

Revelation 1:7
Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.
Revelaton 19:11-16

11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war.12 His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. 13 He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.14 And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. 15 From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. 16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”

b.       The War Will End (Zech 14:4-9)

"In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south. You will flee by the valley of My mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach to Azel; yes, you will flee just as you fled before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord, my God, will come, and all the holy ones with Him! In that day there will be no light; the luminaries will dwindle. For it will be a unique day which is known to the Lord, neither day nor night, but it will come about that at evening time there will be light. And in that day living waters will flow out of Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the western sea; it will be in summer as well as in winter. And the Lord will be king over all the earth; in that day the Lord will be the only one, and His name the only one.

c.       The King will reign forever (Luke 1:33)
"and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”

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