Isaiah 9:2-3, 5-7 The world will not change or prosper until our heart does
Isaiah 9:2-3, 5-7
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone. 3 You have multiplied the nation; you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest… For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
The advent of the Christ Child who would save Israel from oppression was foretold by Isaiah during a time of humiliation and destruction by the Assyrians. The Christ Child will bring a great light in the land of hopelessness and despair. He will bring an end to all wars and oppression by transforming the hearts of every man according to the truth. Christ shows us that unless man’s heart is transformed, there can never be enduring peace and prosperity in the world.
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone
The Israelites who belonged to the northern kingdom were humbled and enslaved by Assyria and they walked in darkness of constant oppression. The northern section of Israel became a land of deep darkness because of God’s discipline. However, God never permits discipline and humiliation without the ultimate purpose of exalting His people. Where every human attempt to bring light has failed, then God will bring light, not out of mere obligation, but out of the infinite reservoir of His grace. God will not be satisfied that the people have reaped the consequence of their sins until He sees a total returning of their hearts to Himself. This light refers to Christ who has come to remove the darkness of man’s hearts through His own sacrifice and consequently to restore peace and prosperity in the land.
For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire
The human tendency is to destroy evil by force and even to resort to their own brand of evil. But God will not supplant oppression with greater oppression, nor will God replace warfare with another warfare. Instead, He will do away with wars altogether. The imagery of the boot and the garment of blood being used as fuel for fire symbolize the cessation of wars and the advent of peace.
The world will not change or prosper until our heart does. The poverty of our environment has its origin in the poverty of man’s heart. The darkness over our families, organizations and nation is due to the darkness that exudes out of human corruption. Unless the hearts of the fathers change, there will be no peace in the families. Unless the hearts of pastors change to pursue truth, churches will remain lukewarm and worldly. Unless the hearts of the community leaders change to pursue righteousness and justice, the nation will continue to be immersed in gloom. Israel was constantly roller coasting from slavery to deliverance and back into slavery again; there was never a sustained period of peace and prosperity because they have not fully submitted to God and His rule. Most of the time, man turns to God in a bid to escape calamity. But until man acknowledges God as Lord out of reverence and love, there will never be peace and prosperity. Christ came and sacrificed His life so that the bondage of rebellion and self-centered living may be broken. Those who turn to Christ will have their inner darkness removed resulting in light. The world will not change and prosper until our heart does. Hence, we no longer ask God to change our environment, but to first change our hearts through the regenerative work of the Spirit. Only then can our prosperity endure.
If a problem cannot be solved by throwing money at it, it most likely requires a change of heart. Most problems in the world cannot be solved by money alone because their roots go deep into the human psyche. Problems in the family, work place and issues of national concern more than often has to do with the selfish nature of man. Therefore, we can only change our environment by first changing its values system and the way it operates according to the principles of truth. Some supposed through financial power alone, we could lift people out of poverty. But if people are never taught how to invest and use money wisely, they will still be stuck in the mire of poverty. Many parents supposed by giving their children more tuition will cause them to excel in their studies and grow up to become responsible adults. Unless children observe in their parents the virtues of diligence and integrity, children remain dull and at risk of going astray. Although financial resource is the most portable and versatile form of resource, yet it remains the least effective in transforming lives. Jesus never had much financial resource when He was on earth, yet He transformed the entire world through the Holy Spirit.
- Are there certain problems that keep recurring in our life? Although some of it could be due to external and uncontrollable factors, but most of it can be traced to our failure to act wisely. Perhaps, it’s time to look at the issues of our heart that cause us to act in a certain way.
- Do you have a tendency to throw money at problems hoping that they will go away? It is easier to buy things for your children in order to keep them happy than spending quality time with them.
Dear Lord, help me see the issues and the attitudes of my heart that have hindered my progress. Give me wisdom to set the right values systems in my family and my work place so that my prosperity may endure. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.