As I was driving on Highway 99 South in my home state of California one morning, the Holy Spirit reminded me of the prophecies of Jesus in the Old Testament, long before he was born.
Of course, we know of Jesus’s birth from the New Testament gospels. But centuries before Matthew and Luke wrote about it, the prophet Isaiah told of Jesus’s coming at a challenging time in history, when the kingdom of Judah was facing threats of violence from the kingdom of Assyria.
Instead of giving into despair, Isaiah opened his mouth and prophesied: “For to us a child is born, to us, a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
As scholar John N. Oswalt writes:
“Isaiah spoke into a situation where Judah felt powerless, and they were afraid of the rulers to their north. As their enemies only seemed to grow in strength and tighten their grasp, they didn’t know if God was for them or against them or if he had simply abandoned them. … Israel was looking for an immediate remedy to their physical and political problems. God’s solution wouldn’t come for centuries, but it would last forever.”
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