Today’s clue on our journey to the manger was definitely misunderstood by the people who heard it. They didn’t know God message was much bigger than what they were seeing with their own eyes.
“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. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.” (Isaiah 9:6,7)
Have you ever expected something you didn’t get? Maybe it was a certain gift or a grade on a test. It’s surprising when we don’t get what we expect and many times we struggle to know how to react. We think it isn’t fair and we can even become angry. This is what happened to the Israelites when they misunderstood a clue God gave them to find the Messiah.
Do you remember who Isaiah was from our first day? He was a prophet of God 742 years before Jesus was born. God gave Isaiah this message to tell the people. The Messiah would be born, and He would be a King. Not just any king, but a King who would rule forever. The people were really excited about a king who would rule and take away their bondage from other countries. They wanted a powerful king who would never let them be conquered again.
Before Jesus was born, the Israelites were ruled by the Roman Empire. A man named Alexander the Great took over all of the eastern Mediterranean area starting in 336 BC, and finally in 27 BC the Roman Empire was begun. A man named Caesar Augustus was named the first emperor or king of the Roman Empire, and he ruled Israel. We will hear his name again in our story.
The Romans were cruel people, and they made life miserable for the Israelites. They made them pay high taxes, they were violent, and the Israelites were very afraid of them. They searched the Scriptures, and prayed that the Messiah would soon come to be their King and destroy the Romans. They were sure God’s message to Isaiah meant the Messiah’s kingdom would be on this earth. Their pain was so great, and they waited for a Deliverer.
What do you think God meant by a forever kingdom?
Making a Treat with an Object Lesson
I created this easy dessert many years ago on a snowy night in December. It has become a family favorite because it’s warm and filled with chocolate. My children love to help put on the chocolate chips. They always eat a few while we’re making this treat.
Semi-sweet chocolate chips
White chocolate chips
2 Tablespoons Butter, melted
1. Preheat oven to 375°
2. Separate crescent rolls into triangles. Lay crescents flat on baking sheet.
3. Place about 10 chocolate chips on each triangle. Roll up triangle beginning at large end.
4. Melt butter and brush on each crescent roll. Sprinkle with sugar.
5. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until lightly browned.
6. Cool a few minutes and serve warm.
Do you see how we have to roll the dough over the chocolate? We have to hide the chocolate inside or otherwise it will burn. Burned chocolate tastes and smells awful.
God asks us to hide his Word in our hearts. He wants it protected inside of us so that we can live how he desires in every situation. He wants us to memorize Bible verses so we will know what he wants us to do when we are very confused. He wants the Bible stories of men and women who trusted God to be safe in our hearts so we will remember that the same God who showed up in their lives, is living inside of me.
What is your favorite Bible verse?
1. Determine how much Epsom salts is needed to fill jars.
2. Add essential oil. Stir until completely combined.
3. Spread mixture on wax paper lined baking sheet. Let dry completely.
4. Pour into jars and attached a decorative label.
Copyright © word and photographs by Jane Carole Stein