Monday, December 23
Isaiah 9:2–7
This psalm of the prophet Isaiah is quite a contrast to Psalm 80 (see December 17 devotion), where Israel cries to God and accuses God of giving them only tears to eat as bread. Now they are not so worried about who was plundered, for the goods are all theirs! Enemy soldiers are dead, and Israel is back to thriving as a nation and as a culture. It is startling to see how quickly Israel goes from victim to victor. What do they need saving from now?

Maybe they need saving from their short memory. Their confidence that there shall be endless peace for the throne of David places a strong trust in God, but can they uphold their end of the bargain? If history tells us anything, we know the answer is no.

And yet, Jesus remains the one born unto us. He remains the light—the light in which we stand, the light in which our darkness is flooded out. Yes, Jesus saves us from our enemies. He also saves us from ourselves.

Thank you, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace. Please continue to rule over us and remain with us so that we can turn the tide of history. Amen.

From O Come, O Come Emmanuel, a publication of Luther Seminary. Used with permission. You may download O Come, O Come Emmanuel via this link. If you subscribe to Luther Seminary’s God Pause, you will receive O Come, O Come, Emmanuel in your email inbox each day of Advent. If you’re not a God Pause subscriber, sign up here and select “God Pause Daily Devotions.” You’ll continue to receive daily God Pause devotions, written by Luther Seminary alumni, after Advent ends.

Writers: Michael Binder ’17, Affiliate Faculty in Congregational Mission and Leadership; Amy Marga, Associate Professor of Systematic Theology. Theological Editor: James L. Boyce ’71, Professor Emeritus of New Testament and Greek. Cover photo by Elizabeth Explores on Unsplash.