Read Isaiah 9-12.

These chapters contain sharp contrasts of darkness and light.  I love how Isaiah in chapter 9 dissolves the fearful gloom and utter darkness (from the end of chapter 8 ) completely.  The wonderful promise of verse 6: “For unto us a child is born…” echoes and re-echoes the glorious choruses of Handel’s Messiah (actually, the other way around as Isaiah’s verses come first).  More words come singing to us as he expresses the blessing of the promise in all the piled up names of our Savior.  Verse seven continues describing Christ’s Kingdom, almost beyond expressing.

The long list of Israel’s sins (9:8-21) is another darkness that couples with woes and judgments against Assyria (10:1-19), making the prophecy shine even brighter.  How powerful is our God!  Verse 20 recalls the remnant and God’s care of them.  (Do some of you remember with me a Sunday evening service, sparsely attended, and our dear “Pek” (Rev. Bernie Pekelder) who was conducting the service addressing us, in his wry and loving humor, as “the remnant”?)

With chapter 11, the meaning of the promises is intensified in the new image of the branch (shoot, stump) bearing fruit.  Another description of Christ’s peaceable Kingdom follows.  It all begs to be read aloud and savored.

Then chapter 12 has to be full of song and shouts and praises.  Perhaps the whole family should read this in chorus together!

– Ann Noteboom


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