“Unto Us” / Isaiah 9

Studying Isaiah in Bible Study Fellowship this year has transformed my view of Christmas. The more I understand the depth of the hole of despair and bondage Israel had dug for itself with its rebellion and self-reliance, the more I understand their need for being saved from that pit.

Israel, from the very beginning, needed a Savior. By the time the Savior was born, it was obvious to everyone…and yet their bondage and long leaning toward self-reliance also blinded many to their own need.

I’m the same way. My own rebellion and self-reliance keeps reaching for a shovel instead of a Savior. Even though I’ve been released from my bondage to sin and reconciled to God when I confessed my sin and received His salvation, I too easily fall into old patterns of behavior and thinking–as if I am still destined to live and die in that self-dug  hole.

Sometimes, after a season of ignoring my relationship with God and denying my need of His daily grace, I find myself neck-deep in the mud, desperate for help before I am consumed in the muck.

Most days, however–by God’s grace–I catch myself with shovel in hand as the digging begins, and I hand that tool of my own destruction back to God. This is daily repentance, daily restoration. And, as much as my self-sufficiency argues against it, I know I must submit myself to the washing of my feet by Jesus once again. Again and again.

The Child, born in Bethlehem, came to break the hold that sin has on all of us, to restore us to a right relationship with God, Almighty and holy, and to bring perfect peace.

Unto US a Child is born.

Those of US walking in darkness have seen a great light.

This message is not only historic fact. Salvation came not only for the nation of Israel. Light dawned not only for all who will call on the Name of Christ for salvation. This is for me. For you.

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