Friday, December 17, 2010

An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday December 19, 2010

(GOD brings true peace and justice)
(Isaiah 9:6-7 & 11:1-8)

The Jews of the first century eagerly anticipated a time when the much talked about MESSIAH would show up and physically free Israel from Roman domination, and set up a physical kingdom that would eventually reach the ends of the earth, as they knew it at that time. They expected HIM to come and restore their nation to even greater heights than those of the United Kingdoms of David and Solomon of years gone by. In fact, they took the words of Isaiah 9:7 quite literally.
Strangely, however, when the MESSIAH did finally come, even the Jewish leaders were so far detached from GOD spiritually, that they couldn’t even recognize the exact character of GOD in the flesh. And so, they rejected JESUS, never being able to accept the repeated spiritual emphasis that HE presented to them, as a requirement, to become a part of the kingdom that GOD promised them. Sure! They wanted the kingdom, but they wanted it the way that they perceived it their mortal minds, and to them, that did not include having JESUS as the king of their lives.
Mankind has never seen itself as a spiritual prisoner of sin, but rather, we always see ourselves as being oppressed by some type of physical enemy, usually another person, race, or nation. And despite scripture telling us over and over again that our enemy is not flesh and blood, but rather, evil spirits from on high, we continue to fight each other while satan runs roughshod over our lives, and our families lives, stealing from us, killing us, and destroying us in ways that wreck eternal havoc. We never seem to stop searching for physical answers, to problems, that have always been, spiritual. We find ourselves running from relationship to relationship, over-indulging in food, trying to spend our way to happiness etc., never realizing that, only a relationship with GOD, can bring peace and justice to us here on earth.
The prophet Isaiah referred to the HOLY SPIRIT more than did any other prophet (four times) in the annals of Old Testament history. Here in chapter 11 he writes of how the HOLY SPIRIT would act upon, and characterize a future MESSIAH, that would come through the line of King David, the son of Jesse. He tells us that, after GOD the FATHER has cut down all of the foreign kings and nations that HE HIMSELF would allow to conquer Israel and Judah, HIS beloved chosen people would rise again, out of the loins of David’s family, to lay claim to a throne and a kingdom, that would rule forever. JESUS, the true branch of GOD, would bear an everlasting fruit (Salvation) that would benefit all people who choose to abide in HIM, for all time.
Throughout JESUS’ life on earth, the HOLY SPIRIT rested on HIM and empowered HIM day by day. The work of the HOLY SPIRIT, which is characterized by the GODly attributes of wisdom, understanding, council, power, knowledge, and the fear of the LORD, abided with JESUS for the duration of HIS first advent.
Like JESUS, we humans, here on earth, can benefit from the work of the HOLY SPIRIT in our lives. For, we cannot argue the fact that we all, if we are in our right mind, long to have peace and justice as a mainstay to our existence. However, the help of the HOLY SPIRIT is a benefit that is available to us, only by first accepting JESUS CHRIST as our LORD and SAVIOR. There is no other way available to man that can provide us with the peace and justice that we need in this life, and the only ticket that can deliver us into GOD’s OWN glorious presence in the eternal life to come.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander

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