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2020.12.28 10:10

My Galilee Is Glorious

My Galilee Is Glorious 

Isaiah 9:1-7

Wednesday service on December 25, 1985 

 

Isaiah 9:1–7  But there will be no more gloom for her who was in anguish; in earlier times He treated the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali with contempt, but later on He shall make it glorious, by the way of the sea, on the other side of Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles. 2 The people who walk in darkness Will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, The light will shine on them. 3 You shall multiply the nation, You shall increase their gladness; They will be glad in Your presence As with the gladness of harvest, As men rejoice when they divide the spoil. 4 For You shall break the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders, The rod of their oppressor, as at the battle of Midian. 5 For every boot of the booted warrior in the battle tumult, And cloak rolled in blood, will be for burning, fuel for the fire. 6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. 7 There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this. 

Isaiah 9:1 says, “But there will be no more gloom for her who was in anguish. In earlier times He treated the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali with contempt, but later on He will make it glorious, by the way of the sea, on the other side of the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles.” This is clearly God’s absolute word of prophecy. If I am to give the conclusion first, it is that we all must become, in the spiritual sense, a Galilee for Jesus to come. Believing that we have all become spiritual Galilees, I’d like to share the message entitled, “My Galilee Is Glorious.”  

No explanation is necessary to know that life is layered with joy and sorrow, welcomed and undesirable events, open and closed doors, enjoyable and unpleasant tasks. We have all personally experienced this at one time or another regardless of our age. Living a life that is at odds with the happy, joyous, delightful, and rewarding one that we desire is our life as descendants of Adam who disobeyed God’s Word. 

Who, in this world, yearns for sorrow? Who longs for hard labor? You are all more than aware that there is more sorrow than joy, more toil than pleasure, in this tempestuous world buffeted by the sea of distress. More often than not, we are upset instead of merry, and things don’t succeed as much as they fail; we have more reasons to weep than laugh. Even in our lives of faith, the times we groan outnumber the times we praise with, “Hallelujah!”

Nevertheless, in His love for us, God invites us today to stand before His word in Isaiah 9:1-7. A close study of this passage reveals the promises of wondrous praises and mighty blessings therein. 

 

But there will be no more gloom for her who was in anguish.

Verse 1 of the scripture reading states, “But there will be no more gloom for her who was in anguish.” The difference between the before and after of this verse is tremendous: an amazing transformation has occurred between the “earlier times” and “today.”

Among Jacob’s twelve sons were Zebulun and Naphtali (Gen 30:7-8, 19-20). Joshua 19 records that the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali were allotted the remotest northern region of Galilee as an inheritance (Josh 19:10-16, 32-39; 21:32, 34-35).

Because of the proximity of the land of Zebulun and Naphtali to the Phoenician regions of Tyre and Sidon, which are located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, the Israelites intertwined their lives with the Gentiles by consorting and intermarrying with them against God’s will. Their subsequent and gradual departure from God, along with their transgressions infuriated Him according to the Bible (ref. Gen 49:13; 1 Kgs 11:33). 

Although David had it in his heart to build the temple, God said to him, “You are king but you are also a man of war. You have shed much blood. Therefore, only make preparations to build My house; I will have your son build it” (1 Chr 28:2-6).  

David made ties with Hiram king of Tyre to procure large quantities of cedar. Also, his son Solomon, in obedience to his father’s command, requested assistance from Hiram king of Tyre “to build a temple for our God.” Whether it were cedar trees of Lebanon or stones from Tyre, many building materials were delivered (2 Sam 5:11; 1 Kgs 9:11). In the 8th century BC, Tiglath-pileser invaded Israel in AD 732 and captured a great number of Israelites in Naphtali, Zebulun, and Galilee. 

2 Kings 15:29  In the days of Pekah king of Israel, Tiglath-pileser the king of Assyria came and took Ijon, Abel-beth-maacah, Janoah, Kedesh, Hazor, Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali; and he led their populations into exile to Assyria.

Furthermore, his son Shalmaneser and his armies conquered the region of Galilee in 724-722 BC (ref. 2 Kgs 17:3; 18:9) so that it was under foreign rule for the following 500 to 600 years. How suffocating were the 36 years of Japanese occupation in our country where all sovereignty was stolen? How often did we groan under the Japanese imperialists who implemented evil schemes to strip us of our names, and even the Korean language itself? Imagine being slaves like the Israelites who dwelled in Zebulun, Naphtali, and Galilee not for 36 years, but for 500 to 600 years. It was only in the 2nd century BC (about 142 BC) that the land was restored to Judea. How miserable, anguished, and tormented of a land Galilee must have been, trampled upon as it was!

Jesus primarily ministered in Galilee, choosing His disciples and preaching the Word. Wasn’t Mary Magdalene a Galilean? Because of this, the Israelites found it difficult to accept Jesus. If  The people would have trusted Him more had He been born into a distinguished and reputable household of the highly educated and wealthy. But Galilee had been enslaved for nearly 600 years, groaning in agony being trampled by the Gentiles. Upon learning that the Lord was from Galilee, they said, “Don’t be ridiculous! Can a good person come from Galilee?” 

John 1:46  Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good be from Nazareth?” Philip *said to him, “Come and see.”

John 7:41  Others were saying, “This is the Christ.” But others were saying, “Surely the Christ is not coming from Galilee, is He?

John 7:52  They answered and said to him, “You are not from Galilee as well, are you? Examine the Scriptures, and see that no prophet arises out of Galilee.”

Who would believe that a ruler would come from a seedy area overflowing with prostitutes? But the Bible makes it clear that Galilee would be made glorious. 

Beloved saints, the Zebulunites and Naphtalites living in Galilee suffered for nearly 600 years at the hands of the enemy, the devil, and his forces of darkness. Whether we realize it, we, as Adam’s descendants, have also been fooled by Satan’s powers of darkness since the time of Adam’s sin; even now, the devil continues to make it so that we are despised and disdained. However, this Christmas, December 25, 1985, please believe that our Lord has come to the lands of Zebulun and Naphtali to make you into spiritual Galilees. For that reason, we must welcome the Lord today. I am not speaking of the past. 

“But there will be no more gloom for her who was in anguish.” Please respond with “Amen!” if you believe in this verse. All powers of darkness will surely be driven out when Jesus Christ, who came as the great light, is enthroned in us, our children, spouse, and business. How wonderful is it that He promises to make someone like us into a glorious Galilee?

Through today’s message, I believe a great transformation will occur in all areas of our lives as well as that of our families’. Pain will change into peace, reproach into honor, and contempt into glory. This will surely come to pass, because, today, Jesus Himself has come as the great light to us and the whole world.  

 

The light will shine on those who live in a dark land.

According to Matthew 4:12-17, Jesus went to Galilee, where the Zebulunites and Naphtalites had dwelled. This was after John the Baptist had been imprisoned to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah. Jesus’ first call was, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” 

Matthew 4:12–17  Now when Jesus heard that John had been taken into custody, He withdrew into Galilee; 13 and leaving Nazareth, He came and settled in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali. 14 This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: 15 “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles— 16 “The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great Light, And those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death, Upon them a Light dawned.” 17 From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  

Likewise, Jesus personally comes into our hearts and, even now, continues to encourage and love us. May He mold us into the glorious Galilees who will become the remnant in the last days. 

Only a few days remain of this year. Let us not lament, crying, “Another year gone. Every day seems the same; there’s no progress. Why does it only get worse?” Instead, let us take hold of today’s message and cling onto it in faith. Believe that the year 1986 will, without a doubt, be better than years past; by doing so, you will bear great light. Please believe this. As December draws to a close, our merciful God and Jesus, the spiritual everlasting sun (Mal 4:2; Luke 1:78), will invigorate us with the empowerment of all authority, ability, and strength. He will uphold you and crush all the forces of darkness with the iron scepter of the word in His right hand (Rev 19:15). Take heart!       

During Jesus’ 33 years on earth, He dwelled mostly in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali, also known as Galilee. It was here in Galilee that He first prayed, preached, and called His disciples. Please believe that is why, when we become the spiritual Galilees, our Lord will come to us, encourage us, and pray on our behalf. Furthermore, when we are unable to preach, He will strengthen and breathe into us the spirit of evangelism; even if we are not skilled conversationalists, others will be inspired and moved by our words and all will return to the Lord. Why? Didn’t Jesus share the gospel for the first time at Galilee? Wasn’t it in Galilee where He first appointed His disciples? All eight disciples — Simon, Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, followed by Matthew the tax collector, and doubting Thomas — were chosen at Galilee. In all aspects, Galilee is where Jesus shined the brightest and received much love. It’s also where Jesus performed many signs and wonders.  

Matthew 4:18-23  Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon, who was called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 19 And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of people.” 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. 21 Going on from there He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets; and He called them. 22 Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him. 23 Jesus was going about in all of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every sickness among the people.

Mark 1:39  And He went into their synagogues preaching throughout Galilee, and casting out the demons.

For all those who welcome Christmas today, may all the signs, wonders and blessings, including the works of evangelism, that were all brought about at Galilee, come alive in your hearts when you accept God the Son, Jesus the great light. You will be made into the spiritual Galilee, not the Galilee of old, and miracles will be brought forth through you. 

Beloved saints, are there any who are feeling heavy-laden with distress and sorrow in their souls, without knowing why? I pray upon you in the name of the Lord that you will behold our Lord, the great light, who came as baby Jesus for our present transformation into the spiritual and glorious Galilee. May we believe that He is in the process of entering our hearts to resolve all oppression and suffering. Are your households troubled and grieving? Receive the glory of the Lord and He will transform your households to be filled with joy and peace. 

Starting today, no matter how difficult it may be, may everyone believe, “There is no such thing as failure in my life. My Lord personally came to mold me into the spiritual and glorious Galilee. I have no failures because I walk with Him, breathe with Him, eat and drink with Him, and move as directed by Him.” Again and again, I pray upon you in the name of the Lord that you will now receive the Lord who arrives in your Galilee; may He become your everything. 

 

You will multiply the nation

Isaiah 9:3 records “You will multiply the nation.” Though we may only have a vague understanding of the kingdom of heaven, it will later become clear. The family is also a nation, a small unit that comprises the nation. May blessings of growth and prosperity be upon every family and nation, so that no one will shrink or wither away. Those who believe this amazing truth are the spiritual and glorious Galilee! It matters not that we all carry different last names, for we, as a whole, are a “glorious Galilee.” If so, won’t the Lord come to His Galilee? I undoubtedly believe that He will! This is the true Christmas. 

Look at people in their 40s and 50s. As they labor hard like donkeys, their only thoughts are, “What will I eat? What will I wear? How can I live a good life?” However, look at those  40s and 50s who have received the Lord, running with all their might like sprinters in a stadium. The difference is worlds apart. What good is watching TV at home or listening to old songs? What good is merely knowing that the lands of Zebulun and Naphtali are situated thousands of miles away, in a small region of Galilee in a corner of Israel?

Now look at those in their 60s. Pardon the expression, but they pant like dogs, exhausted. They live walking on eggshells around their daughters-in-law, sons-in-law or sons. The most that they hope for is to be given some spending money. In contrast, look at those in their 60s, 70s, or 80s who have become glorious Galilees from accepting the Lord. They live by the grace of Jesus, Who walks amidst their Galilees and blesses them with the hopeful comfort in the Word of eternal life. They soar like eagles.   

The people of the world might say, “It’s so cold in the house. Bury me in a sunny area when I die.” Would believers talk this way? Why would a corpse be concerned about a sunny area? A glorious Galilee is full of sunshine. The heart that has not yet become a glorious Galilee is shady ground. But the saints whose hearts have become glorious Galilees will live with the Lord and thus fly swiftly like eagles. There are many in their 70s and 80s among our congregation who strive to serve at church because they regret not doing so earlier in life.  

Take note of the widows and widowers. So many of us live in solitude. Nevertheless, the man of great faith, Moses, was called by God at the age of 80 (Exod 7:7) and was used as God’s instrument for 40 years. Upheld in the service of God until he turned 120 years old, Moses’ eyesight did not weaken, nor did his vigor leave him (Deut 34:7).  

Look at Joshua and mighty Caleb, the only two people who survived the wilderness out of the 603,550 Israelites who had come out on the Exodus and entered Canaan (Num 14:38; 26:65). In your life of faith, how many times have you fallen to temptation? Death in the wilderness would be most deserved.  

But on this holy night, on this silent night, on this truly good and joyous day, God (the Word) became flesh (John 1:14). He forsook the glorious throne in heaven and came to transform the lands of Naphtali and Zebulun (which were trampled on relentlessly by the enemy and Gentile nations) into a glorious Galilee. In turn, when we are thankful before God, what can hinder us from executing His will in faith? I pray in the name of the Lord that we never despair but triumph with a faith of renewed courage. Galilee, afflicted and despised! “Lord, thank You for Your visitation to make me glorious. Though someone like me could never hope to become a Galilee, I believe you have made me one spiritually through Your Word today.” May this be our testimony.   

Then, does that mean God will literally glorify the uninhabited land of Galilee? He was speaking in regard to people. Would the Republic of Korea, wonderful as it is, be considered a nation if it had no citizens? Likewise, God spoke with people in mind when He said, “I will make Galilee glorious.” Those who live receiving the Lord with hearts like Galilee will be blessed with heaven’s infinite joy and peace, and the fatness of the land will be bountifully added to them to preserve their heavenly joy. 

Luke 2:13-14  And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army of angels praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among people with whom He is pleased.”

I have all faith that the Lord will come to us at this time, and by changing us into Galilee, bestow the “peace among people with whom He is pleased.” 

 

Conclusion

Not only did God Incarnate (the Word Incarnate) come to this world as baby Jesus, He also personally seeks us out today, on December 25, 1985, saying, “Be at ease. Do not be anxious. Fear not, for I will make you into a glorious Galilee.” Having been oppressed, scorned, persecuted, and deceived by Satan under the shadows of darkness up until now, we are exceedingly thankful for His visitation, so much that we rejoice and skip about like calves freed from the stall.  

Malachi 4:2  But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall. 

I pray that, from this point forward, you will all become the glorious Galilee of miracles, so that there is resolution in all matters concerning your children, spouses, businesses, and faith. Those who return home bearing this Word will not only have blessings added to them but will also be permitted to enjoy those very blessings. 

Would Jesus have said He would make the desolate land glorious if Galilee were uninhabited? If He spoke concerning the Galileans, then believe that our Lord will come to us today to make us a spiritual and glorious Galilee. The Lord goes to idol-seekers and idol-makers, the despised and disdained, the hungry and naked, the beaten and scourged, and He says to them, “Do not worry, do not fear.” And then He forms them into the glorious Galilee. Consider the amazing response of citizens who plant memorial trees at sites visited by the President. What greater day is there than the joyous and good day of having God Himself make His way into our hearts and acknowledging us as His Galilee?  

Even if you forget everything from today, remember, “I’m leaving as a glorious Galilee.” It was at Galilee where our Lord prayed, preached the gospel, bestowed the blessing of repentance, and called His disciples. Where did Jesus make His first appearance after resurrecting? Galilee. Let us sing hymn 84.  

 

Hymn 84
In Fancy I Stood by the Shore, One Day (The Stranger of Galilee)

1. In fancy I stood by the shore, one day,
Of the beautiful murm’ring sea;
I saw the great crowds as they thronged the way
Of the Stranger of Galilee;
I saw how the man who was blind from birth,
In a moment was made to see;
The lame was made whole by the matchless skill
Of the Stranger of Galilee.
And I felt I could love Him forever,
So gracious and tender was He!
I claimed Him that day as my Savior,
This Stranger of Galilee.

2. His look of compassion, His words of love,
They shall never forgotten be;
When sin-sick and helpless He saw me there,
This Stranger of Galilee;
He showed me His hand and His riven side,
And He whispered, “It was for thee!”
My burden fell off at the pierced feet
Of the Stranger from Galilee.
And I felt I could love Him forever,
So gracious and tender was He!
I claimed Him that day as my Savior,
This Stranger of Galilee.

3. I heard Him speak peace to the angry waves,
Of that turbulent, raging sea;
And lo! at His word are the waters stilled,
This Stranger of Galilee;
A peaceful, a quiet, and holy calm,
Now and ever abides with me;
He holdeth my life in His mighty hands,
This Stranger of Galilee.
And I felt I could love Him forever,
So gracious and tender was He!
I claimed Him that day as my Savior,
This Stranger of Galilee.

4. Come, ye who are driven and tempest-tossed,
And His gracious salvation see;
He’ll quiet life’s storms with His “Peace, be still!”
This Stranger of Galilee;
He bids me to go and the story tell—
What He ever to you will be,
If only you let Him with you abide,
This Stranger of Galilee.
Oh, my friend, won’t you love Him forever?
So gracious and tender is He!
Accept Him today as your Savior,
This Stranger of Galilee.

 

When the Lord silenced the furious squall with one command, the astonished disciples said, “Who, then, is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?” 

Mark 4:35-41  On that day, when evening came, He said to them, “Let’s go over to the other side.” 36 After dismissing the crowd, they took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was; and other boats were with Him. 37 And a fierce gale of wind developed, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling with water. 38 And yet Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” 39 And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. 40 And He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” 41 They became very much afraid and said to one another, “Who, then, is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?”

May our Lord come today, and with one Word, calm the surging waves of this world, like the dark and despised Galilee. Rest assured, His blessing of transformation into a glorious Galilee will arise in us.

 

*This post can also be read in 'Champyungan'. (http://champyungan.com/en/)


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