Advent Reading #1: Prophets

When God created the world and everything in it, he declared it was very good. But that goodness was not to last very long. Adam, our first father, disobeyed the command of God and sin entered our world bringing with it the brokenness and pain of life in a sin-infested world.

And God could have just turned away, leaving mankind to suffer the consequences of Adam’s sinful choice forever. But, his heart of compassion, and his love for his creation would not allow him to let sin win. So he made a promise … right there in the garden  … where sin had invaded God’s world.

“One day He will come” God said, “and He will rescue my world from the corruption of sin and death.”

From that day succeeding generations sought the identity of the “He”, and over time God’s messengers – the Prophets – gave the world clues as to who he would be, and how he would change the world forever.

The prophet Isaiah wrote of a sign God would give that would point to the true Messiah:

Therefore the  Lord himself will give you a sign.  Behold, the  virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name  Immanuel. Is. 7.14  

 Later, Isaiah went even further:

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. 6   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. Is. 9.2, 6, 7       

 Micah the prophet even told us where this Child, the “He”, the Messiah would be born:

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of  Judah, from you shall come forth for me   one who is to be  ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is  from of old, from ancient days. Mic. 5.2    

 And John the Baptist, the last prophet of the Old Testament era finally put all the clues together and declared: “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! John 1.29   

 And as we light the 1st Candle of Advent – The Prophets Candle – we remember those who faithfully declared God’s Word, and kept hope alive in the hearts of the people, until the promise was fulfilled.

 Prayer: Father, with the saints of all the ages we thank you for the prophets, whose message for centuries carried the promise, that one day Messiah would come bringing forgiveness and life to all who will believe. May the model of their faith encourage our hearts today, as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen.

Photo Credit: "Candle" by Arvind Balaraman;