An Old Testament Christmas


Thoughts from Isaiah 8:19 - 9:7

Life Coaching is big business BUT it is not new. Over two and half thousand years ago Isaiah wrote to a people who also sought an empowerment for an improved life. They sought a life-coach in areas that could not give life.

Mediums mutter and spiritists whisper, he writes. People inquire of the dead from the land of the living (Isaiah 8:19). Those who lived in the light of day curiously pursued counsel from those whose entire existence is in utter darkness.

Misinformation can only result for those who seek light from darkness. Darkness cannot teach about light any more than a tone deaf person can teach singing, or a mute teach speech. These lives were quickly delivered into distress, and then those who sought to learn from darkness would blame God for their distress (Isaiah 8:21).

With wild eyes veiled to the truth these seekers of an ancient life-coach scanned the earth, saw its troubles and felt its suffering. They received no correct answers. Their end could only be in the darkness they sought for counsel.

Yet, God has not spoken in secret nor is He inactive (Isaiah 48:16-17). He has provided correct counsel, even for those who would so unfairly blame Him. He is the life-coach who does not lie or deceive; from Him alone pure light comes (Daniel 2:22).

Distress He sees, death He knows. Christmas is the God of heaven bellowing into the darkness of life - "there is LIGHT, I am here!"

In a world of gloom God is not absent, Christmas cries - 'God has entered'. There is now a life coach from light and not darkness. Jesus had to come to shine His light into the world's darkness.


The God who is seated on the Throne of Grace is placed eternally beyond the grasp of mere mortals. He looks down upon each human's activity, despairing, then delighting and then despairing again.

He watches lives lived randomly and recklessly, no correct compass sought and none stumbled upon.  With sad eyes of love He sees He is needed, and with a mind of grace He offers counsel.

Isaiah 8:19-9:1 has so clearly shown what walking in darkness looks like in the land of the living.

Christmas is God acting through a babe (The Light of the World) to introduce light to people who walk in darkness, and even consult darkness. Paradoxically God has offered this child of light - Jesus, to be the life-coach of adult men and women.

This darkness is still thick, its malaise still remains. However piercing the darkness, for two millennia now is the mercy and truth that the child of light beams.

Christmas is God knowing He is blamed for the gloom of this world, but deciding to return blame with blessings. God defeats burdens and blame for all who would believe upon this infant, this child of light.

Through a manger, a stable and a total human insignificance God acts peacefully and lovingly to replace the shadow of death with the dawn of light (Isaiah 9:2). Rays of joy are now available (Isaiah 9:3) as they penetrate to remove burdens. Burdens that are multiplied via wrong counsel no longer need to be received or endured.

The rage and anger towards God is changed to become the increase of joy. This is the experience of receiving light.

Isaiah 9:4 & 5 speaks of burdens lifted and battles quelled at God's new world order. The remnants of war are now lost and forgotten. Both darkness and death God has been severed through one individual - a mere infant at that!

Surely God is a reverser and a surprizer!

Through His Christmas intervention God BOOMS there is now a baby, A Life Coach with light. This baby life coach:

  • gives only good rule,
  • teaches good guidance alone,
  • is mighty (not weak like powerless darkness),
  • establishes an eternally good fatherhood and
  • introduces the rule of peace (see vs 6-7).

Christmas is God initiating from the Throne of Grace His rescue plans, to seed light in darkness and life in death. He completes all His plans forthey can never be hindered or prevented.


Christmas is heaven's righteous response to the blame game levelled at Him and the counsel seeking of this world.

The answer to the darkness, distress and death of this world is still the life and light of a baby.

Christmas is the perfect time to hear and receive His good 'boom' permitting it to enter and dispel my dispiriting 'gloom'.

Christmas freely presents this earth with the only life-coach who both gives and saves life.