“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel
for he has visited and redeemed his people
and has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David,
as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
that we should be saved from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us;
to show the mercy promised to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant,
the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us
that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
might serve him without fear,
in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
as i continue this season to prepare my heart to celebrate the coming of jesus, who takes away the sins of the world, i read the scripture above this morning. it is zechariah's song. i can only imagine the excitement he is feeling as he gets to see this plan unfold! the one who has been promised for so long is almost here! the deliverer from genesis 3 is coming! the lamb whose blood would save us from god's wrath was coming.
years and years and years earlier, god had even described his son, the deliverer he would send. the book of isaiah has so many promises from god about what he would be like. and they are so accurate that one is tempted to think they were written after the fact. god gave his people this message of hope because he knew things would get worse before they got better (especially for the contemporary readers of isaiah because they were about to go into babylonian captivity). and he wanted them to know how much he loved them. that a deliverer was still coming. that he had not forgotten about his promise.
this is not just cool for us to see because we know jesus was born, but it should also be encouraging to us. we already know jesus has come, but we (like the israelites) long for the day that he will come back and rescue us forever! revelation is to us like isaiah was to them. god wanted us to know that he has a plan, and the birth of his son is a reminder that he will do exactly what he promises.
i often have to remind myself that the lord’s promises are true, his promises for my future and his promises to give me what i need today. his promises for justice his promise that one day this world broken by sin will be restored! i have to remember that his plans are greater than my little mind can comprehend, even when things seem to only be getting worse. when i don't see how he could be keeping his word. i hope that this message is one that encourages your heart and reminds you that he is good. what promises have you forgotten or what promises have you given up on? he who began a good work, will be faithful to complete it!
(For more reading check out Isaiah 9:2-7, 53:1-12 and “Operation No More Tears” from the Jesus Storybook Bible)