For hundreds of years, anticipation grew that the Arm of the Lord would appear. But when He did, most did not recognize Him. More importantly, do we still overlook Him today?
The first Christmas gift
It’s hard to imagine a world without Christmas. Marked by generosity and charitable acts of kindness, fresh scented pine trees, colorful holiday lights, festive gatherings and joyful carols that never grow old, this truly is a most wonderful time of the year. Yet, very soon after the New Year, the novelty quietly evaporates, and retailers restock their shelves for Valentine’s Day and then Easter. Then as Spring, Summer and Fall pass, we look forward to the next new season.
The very first Christmas choir featured a celestial host delivering “good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord …Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:10-11, 14, NKJV)
Who has received the revelation of the Arm of the Lord?
Remarkably, the prophet Isaiah, some seven hundred years earlier, declared His revelations from God.
“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name 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… ” (Isaiah 9:6-7, NKJV)
What Isaiah spoke a few chapters later (Chapter 53) shows us he was also skeptical that anyone would believe the Arm and the mighty Prince of Peace were one and the same.
“Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? (vs. 1)
The unrecognized Arm of the Lord
Scripture describes the “arm of the Lord” as a symbolic of His strength and might to deliver and to protect and to heal. But mankind did not recognize the “arm” as a gift and even less as a symbol of valor. This Baby grew up as a tender plant (shoot), as a root out of dry ground. Later, He bore our sins as a Lamb to the slaughter. He bruised for our iniquities, to carry our sorrows, and to bear the chastisement for our Peace.
These aren’t exactly the fighting words you would expect to use when describing a champion, the Christ, the long-anticipated Messiah. Quite the opposite! Isaiah even prophesied about how men would respond to Jesus. “When we see him, he has no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected by men. A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from him. ” (vs. 2-3)
John chapter 12 echoes Isaiah. Jesus described himself as a seed put into the ground. Subsequently, He was going to be lifted up (crucified) (vs. 24, 32). Despite His amazing signs and miracles which drew great crowds, many questioned who He was. They had something else in mind, and He didn’t fit the bill. Clearly, they saw Jesus work the “arm of the Lord” but failed to recognize Him as the Lord.
Dreams reveal the Arm of the Lord
Similarly, if we only esteem Him for what He did for us two thousand years ago, but not daily as our Bread from heaven, we may not fully appreciate the Gift. We may treat Him like a present under a Christmas tree, used and enjoyed for the season, but easily set aside when our eye spots something newer, shinier or more captivating.
This is why the Lord is constantly revealing Himself in this earth so that we may know Him. So, as we grow in our knowledge of Him, we will recognize Him. Not only in various passages of Scripture or through prophetic words, but also when He visits through dreams and visions. We will be able to see Him in times of joy and gladness and victories when His arm looks strong, but also in our times of weakness or sorrow.
The Son of God is our Gift. He is the arm of the Lord.