It’s a blessing to ponder these specific references concerning the identity of God’s promised Redeemer. We meditate on them in hindsight while the faithful of the Old Testament were looking ahead to their fulfillment.
“The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness.” Jeremiah 23:5,6
Jeremiah continues the explanation of the family tree introduced in Isaiah. David was the eighth and youngest son of Jesse the farmer. From such humble beginnings David was anointed King over Israel. As such he founded the house and line from which the righteous Branch was to spring. What would it be like for the Jews to maintain their vigil for the long-expected Messiah?
It is said that an appreciation for the beauty of the Old Testament is essential to fully comprehend the magnitude of the New Testament. We trust this review of the prophecies that point forward to Christ are laying the groundwork for just such awareness.
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him – the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD. Isaiah 11:1,2
Isaiah continues to offer clues to the identity of the One who was to bring God’s promised deliverance. He explains that a man named Jesse will be at the base of the family tree that will bring forth the Redeemer. This is an opportunity to introduce Jesse as the son of Obed, the grandson of Boaz and Ruth. He was a common man, a farmer who raised sheep near Bethlehem and fathered eight sons.
Another Old Testament reference to Messiah, the anticipated savior. We offer a single verse, but encourage you to review the entire passage to grasp the power of Isaiah’s description of the results of the LORD Almighty’s zeal.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders, And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
The pronoun ‘us’ is used twice to describe the beneficiaries of the baby whose birth is foretold. Consider what it would take for an infant to handle full authority over the world. Isaiah offers us insights into His identity and roles through each of the given names he provides. What do they tell us about the richness of Messiah’s person and purpose?
We trust the Lord is blessing you through these readings. One of our favorite aspects of the discussions they prompt is that every maturity level can participate and benefit.
Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14
A virgin gives birth to a baby boy. The very idea flies in the face of all we know of the natural world. It must have stunned those who heard Isaiah’s words. Yet Almighty God declares that the promised Deliverer will arrive in this exact fashion. His name will be Immanuel which means “God is with us”. How might those who heard Isaiah respond to such an announcement, the faithful as well as non-believers?
We continue our overview of the significance of the first advent. Let us know how you’re enjoying the daily readings.
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:4,5
We’ve reviewed the estrangement of Man from God caused by sin along with the need and promise of reconciliation. Here we consider what God, in his preeminent position as Creator, expects from His creatures. These divinely-breathed words tell Israel, God’s chosen ones, to love the One True God with their entire beings. What would that look like?
Welcome to our advent review of the life of God’s Son. We began at the creation of the world and continue through some Old Testament references. We’d enjoy hearing how you’re applying our ideas for conversations with your family.
And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel. Genesis 3:15
Yesterday we talked about how the effects of sin destroy mankind’s relationship with God. Today we read the Father’s announcement of His plan to restore the kinship He desires. This early verse provides an opportunity to share Christ’s New Testament purpose as the One who will secure victory over the enemy. Though the time frame is not given, the promise of redemption is unmistakable.
We’re thankful you’re part of our adventure through Advent. We pray you’ll feel free to expand the suggestions we make and share your ideas with all of us along the way.
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Genesis 3:8
This verse raises a serious question. Why were the man and woman hiding from the One with whom they had been walking and talking together in the Garden? We would discuss what might have separated Adam and Eve from God – shame, fear, selfishness, envy, arrogance, ingratitude, disobedience, guilt, and sin.
We might go on to consider how these same behaviors so easily appear in our own lives. We would use specific examples from our own days, both parents and children. The conclusion will be that these attitudes and actions also separate us from God. The need for each of us to be reconciled to our Creator is real.
God led us to broaden our celebration of Christ’s nativity with our children to include the entire Advent season. We grew together in understanding as we made our way through the verses, each at our own age and maturity level. We’re pleased to have you join us this year.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” Genesis 1:26
The significant words in this verse are “Let us . . .”. They show us that a conversation was taking place at the time of creation. They also open the door to talk about the triune nature of the Godhead; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is a marvelous opportunity to introduce Christ’s presence and participation in shaping the world and creating mankind.
When our first child was born our faith was still fresh. We committed ourselves to introduce her early to the joy of life in Christ. One of the ways we worked toward that goal was by celebrating His birth in a special way at Christmas.
We wanted our observance to be more than a one day event overloaded with people and things and excitement. We wanted to have more than four weekly reminders. We decided to start on the first of December at the opening of the Scriptures and work forward through the Advent season.
The daily readings we chose developed into a wide and rich perspective of the Father’s plan of salvation for us as well as our children. We offer our discoveries to you as you make time to prepare your family to worship the Newborn King in spirit and in truth.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1
This verse is a marvelous place to begin with conversations about God as Creator. No matter our age or maturity there is value in pausing to consider the process by which the world came into existence. There was nothing, no thing – no girders, no bricks, no legos, no molecules. God spoke and the universe appeared; in order, bit by bit, to completion.
I know how hard it is to do what you’re doing, but I want you to know it matters. It matters to me. It matters to my children to not be alone in the pew. It matters to the congregation to know that families care about faith, to see young people… and even on those weeks when you can’t see the little moments, it matters to your children.