PROPHECIES FULFILLED

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Hear the Messianic hope; hear the words of Isaiah, prophetically directed against Ephraim but echoing down the corridors of history into a new restoration.  YHWH would not abandon his people; YHWH would come, in ways they never could have expected…

THE TEXTS

Isaiah 8:16-9:7

I will write down all these things as a testimony of what the LORD will do.  I will entrust it to my disciples, who will pass it down to future generations.  I will wait for the LORD to help us, though he has turned away from the house of Jacob.  My only hope is in him.  I and the children the LORD has given me have names that reveal the plans the LORD Almighty has for his people.  So why are you trying to find out the future by consulting mediums and psychics?  Do not listen to their whisperings and mutterings.  Can the living find out the future from the dead?  Why not ask your God?

“Check their predictions against my testimony,” says the LORD. “If their predictions are different from mine, it is because there is no light or truth in them.  My people will be led away as captives, weary and hungry.  And because they are hungry, they will rage and shake their fists at heaven and curse their king and their God.  Wherever they look, there will be trouble and anguish and dark despair.  They will be thrown out into the darkness.”

Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever.  The land of Zebulun and Naphtali will soon be humbled, but there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory.  The people who walk in darkness will see a great light—a light that will shine on all who live in the land where death casts its shadow.  Israel will again be great, and its people will rejoice as people rejoice at harvesttime.  They will shout with joy like warriors dividing the plunder.  For God will break the chains that bind his people and the whip that scourges them, just as he did when he destroyed the army of Midian with Gideon’s little band.  In that day of peace, battle gear will no longer be issued.  Never again will uniforms be bloodstained by war.  All such equipment will be burned.

For a child is born to us, a son is given to us.  And the government will rest on his shoulders.  These will be his royal titles:  Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  His ever expanding, peaceful government will never end.  He will rule forever with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David.  The passionate commitment of the LORD Almighty will guarantee this!

NLT

Matthew 4:12-17

When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he left Judea and returned to Galilee.  But instead of going to Nazareth, he went to Capernaum, beside the Sea of Galilee, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali.  This fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy:

“In the land of Zebulun and of Naphtali,

beside the sea, beyond the Jordan River—

in Galilee where so many Gentiles live—

the people who sat in darkness

have seen a great light.

And for those who lived in the land where death casts its shadow,

a light has shined.”

From then on, Jesus began to preach, “Turn from your sins and turn to God, because the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”  NLT

COMMENT

Triumphant in the wilderness, finished with Satan, he returns to Galilee.  The victory during solitude now unleashes a new era—prophecies fulfilled, age-long expectations culminated.  “The Kingdom of Heaven is near.”  Isaiah’s hopes are met; darkness gives way to light.  But it comes with a price:  “Turn from your sins and turn to God.”  The Kingdom does not come easily.  It costs nothing less than everything.

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