Isaiah 60:2-4, 60:8-10, For behold, darkness shall cover the earth (12/3/12)
Handel's “The Messiah” –
For behold, darkness shall cover the earth
Isaiah 60:2-4, 60:8-10, For behold, darkness shall cover the earth
Isaiah 9:1-7, The people that walked in darkness – Unto us a child is born
Luke 2:8-14, There were shepherds – Glory to God
Zechariah 9:9-17, Rejoice greatly
Isaiah 35:1-6, Then shall the eyes of the blind
More of Handel’s “The Messiah”
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Way back in Genesis 12:1-3, God promised Abraham not only that Abraham himself would be blessed, but that through him, all peoples of the world would be blessed. A recurrent theme in prophecy – not to mention in the New Testament – is that the reunited people of God will be a light to all the nations.
For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.
Isaiah 9:1-7, The people that walked in darkness – Unto us a child is born (12/4/12)
After the fall of the northern kingdom of Israel and the deportation of the ten tribes by the Assyrians, the Jews did not positive ideas about Galilee, which had been in the northern part of Israel. They called it “Galilee of the nations,” that is, where foreign nations lived. It was a place of darkness, where God’s light no longer shined. When Nathaniel first heard about Jesus, he asked, “Can anything good come out of Galilee?” Isaiah said that when the Prince of Peace is born to sit on the throne of David, even the people in Galilee see a great light!
The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: [and] they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
Luke 2:8-14, There were shepherds – Glory to God (12/5/12)
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
In popular culture, most angels are beautiful, winged beings of peace and piety, although guardian angels tend to be a little more chiseled.
In the scripture, however, angels are usually either messengers (which is what the original word means in both Hebrew and Greek) or soldiers. They may carry swords, e.g., Numbers 22:23, or fight battles, e.g., Revelation 12:7. Two other categories of beings are usually taken to be angels also: cherubim, who may carry a flaming sword, and seraphim, whose name means “burning one.” So it isn’t surprising that in the New Testament, the first thing angels usually say is, “Fear not!”
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
Zechariah 9:9-17, Rejoice greatly (12/6/12)
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will towards men.
The lyrics for “Rejoice Greatly” depart from the King James where it says, “he is
just, and having salvation.” What’s that supposed to mean? This is one of those places where neither the Hebrew nor the Greek is easy to put into clear, elegant English, and every translation I looked at has something different. One reason I encourage you to read more than one translation is that sometimes one translation makes more sense or has a better turn of phrase, and sometimes another one does. Charles Jennens, who compiled the lyrics for “The Messiah,” did a lovely job on this phrase, I think, with, “He is the righteous Savior.”
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: He is the righteous Savior...
Isaiah 35:1-6, Then shall the eyes of the blind (12/7/12)
... And he shall speak peace unto the heathen...
When John the Baptist sent messengers to Jesus to ask if he was the Messiah, Jesus didn’t answer directly. He said, “Go tell John what you see and hear: The blind see, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and Good News is preached to the poor!” Jesus and John both knew that anybody can say
he’s the Messiah, but only the true
Messiah would fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah.
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
More of Handel's “The Messiah”
Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing...
Comfort Ye My People
For behold, darkness shall cover the earth
He shall feed His flock
Thy rebuke hath broken His heart
Unto which of the angels
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