I am so excited to begin this new study with all of you today! Advent is upon us. With the first Advent Sunday coming this week, I cannot think of a better way to prepare our hearts for this season than by diving into God’s Word with like-minded women from all around the world!
Our first SOAP verses are from Isaiah 9:6-7. Here we are given powerful reminders of who God is and the promises He’s made. The end of verse 7 is where it all comes together. It is an amazing reminder that the zeal of the Lord will accomplish all of these things.
So, let’s dig deeper together as we look at some of the key components of this verse:
- A child is born and a son is given… to us. This is not merely any child or son given to us, but God’s very Son, Jesus Christ. What a wonderful gift of divine grace for all of us sinners!
- He shoulders responsibility. Fulfilling the promise of the coming Messiah is not up to us. The responsibility rests completely and absolutely on God’s shoulders.
- Names of God. We are given four titles here to help us in our understanding of who God is and what His Son has come to accomplish. Why not take some time this week to reflect on each of these: Wonderful Adviser, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
- His Dominion Will Be Vast. I like how the ESV puts this, “Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end.” His empire of grace will keep growing forever, and each moment is better than the last. The kingdom of Christ is a growing kingdom.
The Zeal of the Lord
The last line in our SOAP verses for today says, “The zeal of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will accomplish this.” But what exactly is the zeal of the Lord?
Zeal is something more than mere excitement or great power. It means something that has been on one’s heart and mind for a long time. The person commits to it and follows through on it over a long period of time.
Charles Spurgeon said, “His zeal will perform the setting of Christ upon His kingdom, and the establishing of it forever.”
God had a plan from the very beginning to rescue His people from sin and death. Nothing and no one could thwart this. You and I are simply passing through this world, like grass that withers and is gone the next day.
No matter what we do or don’t do, God is in control. He will accomplish all of His promises and covenants to redeem humanity and creation back to Himself.
When God says He will do this, we can trust that it will happen.
So What? A Practical Application
After all of these wonderful promises in verses 6-7, our hearts are full as we have been reminded of God’s great faithfulness to all His children.
These verses are a good reason for our confidence in today’s world, no matter what circumstances we face.
If you are feeling weary and not at all ready for the season’s festivities, if you are tired and ready to give up, trust that God will hold you steady, as He is the Mighty God.
We all go through seasons of temporary defeat – whether in ministry, our personal lives, or as we watch the unfolding of evil seemingly winning over the good in our nations and in the world. But, in these times, let’s learn to retreat, to slow down, and consciously remind ourselves of the incredible, eternal promises of Scripture, such as Isaiah 9:6-7, to help us not give up.
Let’s gather our strength in the Lord, so we can come back to advance in the good fight of faith once again, knowing that we have a Savior who is ruling and reigning, now and forever.
Week 1 Challenge:
This study is meant to prepare our hearts for Christmas by focusing on Jesus and all He has done for us. His birth was the beginning of the fulfillment of God’s promise to send a Redeemer to save us from sin and death. This week, take some time to sit quietly with God, and ask Him to show you more of who He is in this season.