Saturday, December 24, 2005

"The Child was a Gift"

Isaiah's Christmas Children: The Glory Child

"No parent, no individual parent, is identified with regard to this child and in this regard, the glory child of Isaiah 9 is the only child among all the children mentioned in Isaiah 7 through 12 so identified. No parent. No apparent parent. The intended impact of this description is to heighten the sense of the supernatural, even carrying you beyond what you may have perceived of the supernatural in the description of the Immanuel child of Isaiah 7:14. The intended impact then of this description is to heighten the sense of the supernatural and to suggest to you that the true parentage of this child is none other than God himself. The very next phrase in the verse fills out this interpretation: unto us not only is a child born, unto us a son is given. Once more the collective sense of it in the reception of the child, as if the whole nation were receiving the child as one; but likewise once more, no identifiable parent. The implication being that God is the parent and that it is he who is giving the child to the people. The child is his gift to them.

"...It has been made clear that God's people are not worthy to receive God's gift, are they? Neither are they in their own strength, capable of procuring the child or generating the child. Therefore, laid within the glory child of Isaiah 9 is the message that God's deliverance of his people will be through a child he uniquely begets—one who will be the pure embodiment of his own absolute grace and his absolute power—the manifest demonstration of both."

"...But even before you, there were the statements read out by the apostle Paul that he (this child) would be received by all Israel—that is, all Israel that is Israel; and not only by Israel, but by the nations flung far and wide. To those to whom this child has truly come, there is no question about his identity. Nor is there any question about whether their goodness or their works brought about his birth. You see how the Protestant message of salvation by grace alone must be proclaimed with the Christmas message. Do you see that no work by Israel, by a Jew—no inherent value rising from them, no inherent goodness, no work on their part laid in righteousness—could bring forth the birth of the child? The child was a gift. And as the child is a gift, so is the salvation that is to be found in him. There is no other way and there can be no other message than this. It is those people who are receiving this child on God's terms who know that the gift is all of grace and that it is all of God." -- Charles G. Dennison