That’s A Long Time


Posted on November 29th, by Bloomington First Church in Pastor's Connection. Comments Off on That’s A Long Time

Historically the book of Isaiah was written circa 750B.C. As we jump into chapter nine for an Advent message (which we will do this Sunday), we often skim across the phrase in v.2, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;”. Because this phrase is both familiar and seems to point to a few years before the public ministry of Jesus began, we fail to realize the power of this context. Actually the people have been walking in darkness for over 700 years! Isaiah was looking ahead, with hope, to the coming of the Messiah, but what he did not anticipate was the time frame and the horrific events that would precede Jesus’ arrival. In 720B.C. the Assyrians would capture and take into exile the northern kingdom of Israel. I believe they were defeated first because not one of Israel’s kings (whom the people demanded God give them) was devoted to Yahweh. Then in 580B.C. after a couple of successful sieges, the southern kingdom of Judah was captured by the Babylonians and again, God’s people are exiled. This captivity and slow release of refugees back to Israel lasted about 200 years. The last shoe to drop was a period of 400 years of God’s silence. From the fading voice of Malachi, the last Old Testament prophet, to the glorious announcement from angels to lowly shepherds, there is no prophecy; no sign from God; no hope. Only darkness and despair…for over 700 years! That’s the context of this prophetic promise of a Messiah…a Savior…a Redeemer. Even on this side of the promise’s fulfillment, it is exhilarating to grasp. Good News was coming! Good News has come! And according to Isaiah 9:6, Good News has a Name! In the next few weeks leading up to Christmas, we will take a closer look at that Name… “the Name above every name” (Phil.2). Don’t miss this Advent Sunday as we anticipate THE gift! This is an opportune time to invite a friend who needs a church home. Have a blessed week. ~ PB





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