GOD COMES TO GIVE LIFE ONCE MORE
“In the past He humbled the land of Zebulun and the land Naphtali, but in the future He will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan.” (Isaiah 9:1)
The prophet Isaiah spoke to a people guilty of sin about the coming Messiah Instead of turning to God, the people had gone to consult “mediums and spiritists” (Isa. 8:19). They had given their affection and devotion to other gods, to other “lovers” as God describes them (Jer. 3:1). Despite God having brought the people of Israel to a “fertile land to eat its produce” (Jer. 2:7), Israel had given their hearts to the world instead of God.
To humble His people, God allowed foreign enemies to rule over them. The prophet Isaiah refers to two regions in Israel called Naphtali and Zebulun that God had allowed the foreign enemies of Syria and Assyria to claim as their first possessions.
Because the people abandoned God, God allowed the people of these lands, and eventually the rest of Israel, to feel what life would be like without Him. They lived in distress, darkness, and hunger (Isa. 8:20-21).
But this humbling would not last forever. While Naphtail and Zebulun were the first to experience foreign occupation, the would be the first to experience the occupation of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Isaiah says, “In the future He will honor Galilee of the nations (Isa. 9:1). Naphtali and Zebulun are in the region that are more commonly known as Galilee, and it was in Galilee that Jesus would start His ministry.
It may seem ordinary or insignificant, but think about it — the place that God first allowed enemies to take over would be the first place He would come to reclaim! Galilee, having lived in darkness, would be the first to experience the miracles of Jesus. They would be the first to experience the healings of Jesus, they would be the first to experience God’s favor, the first to experience the message of God: come to me and have life (John 5:40).
God had allowed the people to live in darkness, but His desire was not that they would stay distressed and become overcome by darkness. His desire was and still is for none to perish but for all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). Jesus came to pay to price for our sins on the cross, to clear all our debts with God, and then restore us to life through the power of His Holy Spirit living in us.
The only “price” we pay is that of a repentant heart that is willing to come to Jesus and confess our sins. It’s as we place our hearts in God’s hands that He can begin to take over and grant us the peace and life we long for.
During this season, take time to bring your hearts back to God so that you may receive His forgiveness and peace. As John the Baptist says, “Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him.” (Luke 2:4) Don’t just give God lip- service, but be real with Him. Spend time with God that you wouldn’t ordinarily spend. Perhaps before you go to bed at night, read a passage of Scripture and let God’s word be the last word on your mind. Give Him your heart, and let the Prince of Peace complete you and give you true life and true peace.
Love and Blessings Always,
Pastors Garritt and Sanette