Clearest Promises of Christ in Darkest Times
Isaiah 9:1-7
Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation…

It is noteworthy that the clearer promises of the Messiah have been given in the darkest hour? of history. If the prophets had been silent upon the Coming One before, they always speak out in the cloudy and dark day; for well the Spirit made them know that the coming of God in human flesh is the lone star of the world's night. It was so in the beginning, when our first parents had sinned, and were doomed to quit the paradise of delights. When Israel was in Egypt, when they were in the sorest bondage, and when many plagues had been wrought on Pharaoh, apparently without success; then Israel saw the Messiah set before her as the Paschal lamb, whose blood sprinkled on the lintel and the two side posts secured the chosen from the avenger of blood. The type is marvellously clear, and the times were marvellously dark. I will quote three cases from the prophetical books which now lie open before us. In Isaiah 28:16, you read that glorious prophecy: "Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste." When was that given? When the foundation of society in Israel was rotten with iniquity, and when its cornerstone was oppression. Read from verse 14: "Wherefore hear the Word of the Lord, ye scornful men," etc. Thus, when lies and falsehoods ruled the hour, the Lord proclaims the blessed truth that the Messiah would come sad would be a sure foundation for believers. Next, look into Jeremiah 23:5: "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch," etc. When was this clear testimony given! Read the former verses of the chapter, sad see that the pastors were destroying and scattering the sheep of Jehovah's pasture. When the people of the Lord thus found their worst enemies where they ought to have met with friendly care, then they were promised happier days through the coming of the Divine Son of David. Glance at Ezekiel 34:23, where the Lord says, "And I will set up one shepherd over them, sad he shall feed them, even My servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd." When came this cheering promise concerning that great Shepherd of the sheep! It came when Israel is thus described: "And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd," etc. Thus, in each case, when things were at their worst, the Lord Jesus was the one well of consolation in a desert of sorrows. In the worst times we are to preach Christ, and to look to Christ. In Jesus there is a remedy for the direst of diseases, and s rescue from the darkest of despairs.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

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.

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