Phases of Divine Purpose
Isaiah 9:1-7
Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation…

Let us look at some of the abiding doctrines and illustrations suggested by this noblest effort of the prophet's imagination. Isaiah's wing never takes a higher flight than it does in this prevision of the centuries.

1. The Divine purpose has never been satisfied, if we may so say, with darkness, judgment, desolation. When God has judged a man He would seem to return to see what effect the judgment has had, if haply He may see some hope of returning feeling, of loyalty sad filial submission. God's feeling has been always a feeling of solicitude to bless the nations. We shall do wrong if we suppose that pity comes in only with the historical Christ, that compassion was born on Christmas Day.

2. The Divine movement amongst the nations has always expressed itself under the contrast of light sad darkness (ver. 2). No contrast can be more striking; therefore this is the one God has chosen whereby to represent the Divine movement. God is associated with light, and all evil with darkness. The fulfilment of Divine purpose has always been associated with incarnation, idealised Humanity.

3. Look at the Deliverer as seen by the prophet (ver. 6). The Deliverer is to come as a child, a son, a governor, a name; He is to sit upon the throne of David, sad upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment sad with justice from henceforth even forever. Say there was a secondary application of the terms, there can be no objection to that; but no living man ever filled out in their uttermost spheral meaning all these names but one, and His name is Jesus.

4. Then comes rapture upon rapture. And the pledge of the fulfilment of all is, "The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this."

(J. Parker, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations.

WEB: But there shall be no more gloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time, he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali; but in the latter time he has made it glorious, by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.

Lux in Tenebris
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