8 Days - Isaiah 9:1-2
"Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past He humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future He will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan—The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned." (Isaiah 9:1–2)
Isaiah chapter 9 can also be called: "Unto us a Child is Born" and the first verse of chapter 9 is talking about the Child, the Son of God, to be a great light to all those who dwelt in great darkness. At the time Isaiah 9:1-2 was written, the Assyrians came to ravage the land, invading from the north. The land that suffered much was the northern region by the Sea of Galilee, where the Gentiles lived. Although this suffering is a painful card to be dealt, the Gentiles will be blessed by God to see the great light and mercy of His Son, the Messiah. In fact, not only will they be some of the first to see His light, but the majority of Jesus's ministry actually took place in these northern Gentile lands.
Here is the New Testament account of this prophecy fulfilled:
"When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew to Galilee. Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali—to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah: 'Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles— the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.' "From that time on Jesus began to preach, 'Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven has come near.'" (Matthew 4:12–17)
If you take a look at the New Testament scriptures especially in John 3 and John 4, you'll read that Jesus's first ministry was His baptizing ministry at the Jordan River, which flows into the Sea of Galilee. But after John the Baptist is arrested, Jesus moves up north to the region of Galilee to start his main ministry. He goes beyond the Jordan River, to Galilee of the Gentiles, in the land of Zebulun and Naphtali to show His great light.
Have you ever heard of a little town called Capernaum? Well that town is actually at the most northern part of the Sea of Galilee, the place Jesus decided to dwell. As we know, Jesus was born in Bethlehem and he grew up in Nazareth but why did He move out of Nazareth other than to step up in John The Baptist's ministry? To fulfill prophecy? Of course. But what was another human motive? Prophets are not accepted in their hometown.
"Jesus said to them, “Surely you will quote this proverb to me: ‘Physician, heal yourself!’ And you will tell me, ‘Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.’” “Truly I tell you,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown" (Luke 4:23-24).
Jesus always knew He was to go and begin His ministry in Capernaum, the most northern point on the Sea of Galilee. He spoke about His ministry there while He was still living in Nazareth! Right after Jesus said this (Luke 4:23-24), He was actually chased to the point of a cliff and many civilians tried to push Him off the cliff. So, of course, what better time to move from your hometown when your own neighbors are trying to kill you and you've got a ministry job opening to fulfill?
You may notice that Jesus preaches "Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven has come near." This was John The Baptist's same message:
" In those days John the Baptist came to the Judean wilderness and began preaching. His message was, “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.” The prophet Isaiah was speaking about John when he said, “He is a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming! Clear the road for him!’" (Matthew 3:1-3)
Here is the beautiful timing of God displayed: when John The Baptist was arrested by King Herod, Jesus stepped up into his region of Galilee (where the tetrarchy of King Herod existed) to proclaim the same message. John The Baptist's ministry only prepared people for his replacement, his ministry cleared the road for Jesus. This was all done to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah. God's voice can never be silenced. The Lord will always continue His ministry. "Evil may silence a voice, but it cannot prevent the proclamation of the Word. If John is imprisoned, then Jesus takes up the message” (Morgan).
Can you recall a time when an exciting opportunity was simply handed down to you?
If God called you to move out of your town and walk nearly nine hours for a new job opening, would you take it? What would that job opening have to be to convince you?
By seeing how God fulfills prophecy, we understand His perfect timing. Describe an experience when God had perfect timing for your life.
Write a prayer to God thanking Him for His promises, which He always fulfills. Ask Him to help you to have faith and trust in the "waiting".