Praying for God’s Mission in Light of the Old Testament-Part 8
O Come, O Come Emmanuel
I love Advent. I grew up in the Catholic Church and grew to appreciate a season to prepare for Christmas. When I was a student at the University of Maine, we would sing Oh Come, Oh Come, Emanuel every week at Mass. It got old to me. On the other hand, I have grown to appreciate that song. It holds the meaning of Advent. Of the coming of the Messiah. There is such a richness to the song as it bridges the hope of Israel to the Christian context. I believe that the root of my faith is in the story of the Old Testament. The story of the nation of Israel hoping for their Messiah to come.
As Christians, we believe that the Messiah did come and His name is Jesus. And not only is He the Messiah, but He is also God incarnate, the second member of the Trinity. Isaiah has a lot of verses about the coming of the Messiah. I’m going to focus on two of them: 7.14 and 9.6-7. Before I go on, I want to say that the Messiah is God’s plan. We can’t do anything to be saved, so God comes Himself to save us. Isaiah wrote about the day Jesus will come. Now we get to read about it and see how God is fulfilling his plan. How awesome is that?
Isaiah Looking Ahead
Virgin Birth and Immanuel
Isaiah 7.14 reads, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” (NIV, emphasis added). In Matthew, we read that Mary is pregnant because of the Holy Spirit and this encourages Joseph to marry her. In Luke it is the same thing. Mary wants to make sure she isn’t going to sin in order to bring the Messiah into the world. The Angel that visits Mary tells her that the Holy Spirit will come upon her to make this happen. This is something to praise God about!
Why do I bring this up? The virgin birth is essential because it establishes Jesus as the second Adam. Adam didn’t have an earthly father, so Jesus comes as someone without an earthly father so he could be the second Adam. Paul writes that death comes into the world because of one man, Adam. Then life comes to us because of one man, Jesus. Whatever Adam wasn’t able to do for us, Jesus is able to do instead. If we put our trust in him, then we become part of this new humanity with Jesus as the Everlasting Father. Also, Jesus is the Immanuel we have been waiting for, He is God with us.
The First Adam
I guess I got ahead of myself. Isaiah 9.6-7 says: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” This birth that is being predicted here is a birth for all of us. The child, the son, is given to us. He will rule as the coming King. Then it list some names, one of which is the Everlasting Father. Adam is the father of all humanity and Jesus is the Everlasting Father of a new Humanity that is redeemed of all our sins.
Let that sink in. God is speaking through Isaiah about what the plan is. And that plan is Jesus. This is what I like about the Old Testament. The more I read it the more I see God’s mission. Think about those you are praying for salvation. These people are under the race of Adam and need to moved into the race of Jesus. This only comes by prayer. Prayer that their hearts will be open. Prayer that they will want Jesus as their Everlasting Father. Prayer for how to use the rest of the names on this list to help someone make the decision to follow Jesus.
The Second Adam
This list is more about listening and discerning as you think about those in your life that need salvation. Use these questions to help you discern who God is calling you to pray for and to share the love of Jesus in the best way for that person.
Wonderful Counselor: Who is going through a hard time? Jesus is the One who will bring us through any situation. Do you have a story that shows how Jesus is the Wonderful Counselor in your life? Who needs to hear it?
Mighty God: This is similar to Wonderful Counselor. Who needs to experience God’s power in their life? Pray that God will show up supernaturally in their life. Maybe it is listening to God so you would speak the words that God is calling you to speak to them.
Everlasting Father: This is for everyone and especially for those who need the love of a father. Who are those people in your life?
- Prince of Peace: We all go through storms in life. I bet there are friends in your life that are currently going through storms. Who can you share the times that Jesus brought peace in life in the middle of a storm? Or maybe you have a story about how He brought peace between you and another person.
God is the Move
These verses are amazing! It shows God’s love to the world because He sent His only Son to save us. The Son has so many ways that He can redeem us. That is what I get from Isaiah 9.6-7. Isaiah 7.14 is a great reminder that Jesus is the second Adam. My hope is that you are encouraged to pray for God to be on the move.
Thanks for reading. While you are waiting for my next hub, pray, pray, and pray. Early and often.