Next Sunday I am preaching again at Wallingford Baptist Church in their series on OT prophets. This time I am concluding the series and have been given the title: OT prophecy in the NT! As someone said to me:"Oh, that's such a small subject...how will you manage to fill in the sermon time?"
I have been thinking and praying about where to focus. Since we are in Advent, I have decided to look at the famous prophecy of Isaiah 9:1-7. Many Christmas services will hear its promise - 'The people walking in darkness have seen a great light.....for to us a child is born, to us a son is given." However, I am beginning the Scripture reading at Isaiah 8: 21,22 which stresses Isaiah's prophecy to a people in distress and darkness, to be thrust into utter darkness. In order to understand the need for great light....we must recognize the deep darkness! I shall also include the verses 4 and 5 about shattering enemies and garments rolled in blood. Generally, these are omitted in Christmas readings because they violently disrupt the happy flow.
What does this extraordinary promise, around 700 years before Christ's birth, with its mention of Galilee (verse 1) and a child who is heir to king David (verse 7), show us about OT prophecy in the NT? On Sunday, three candidates will be baptised in a believers' baptismal service and I know I must let God challenge us afresh through this text.