“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, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)
This is the season in which the world chooses to celebrate the birth of Jesus on ONE DAY out of 365 days each year. I sensed this morning that I was to break down this VERY familiar passage into its parts. In so doing, I have seen things I never specifically paid attention to in the past.
I hope it touches you as well.
“unto us a Child is born” – God chose to send our Savior and Lord as a newborn baby….not as a full grown man. He wanted us to know that God…the Maker and Maintainer of the universe…understands humility ….IS humility.
“(unto us) a Son is given” – God chose to tell us through Isaiah that Jesus would be a Son. Why did he do that?
It is because His desire wasn’t just that we would be His people or His subjects; rather, He wanted us ALL to be His sons and daughters. This is why the Apostle John said this about future Christians:
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13)
And this is why Holy Spirit, through the Apostle Paul referred to Jesus in this manner when speaking of those of us who would receive Jesus as Lord:
“For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” (Romans 8:29)
And, let’s not miss to whom this Child and Son was born and given: “unto us.”
God did this as a gift to all humanity.
Let’s let that sink in for a minute. Almighty God gave US a gift.
“the government will be upon His shoulder” – Jesus was given authority from the Father to rule and reign over all creation. This is why He said this prior to ascending back into heaven:
"All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18)
Everything is His over which to exercise dominion – so, He does.
“His name will be called Wonderful Counselor” – Jesus has many names in the Word of God. All of them describe His attributes, His roles, His very being.
The name “Wonderful Counselor” means “Marvelous Advisor, Deliberator, Resolver.”
How much better would our lives be if we received Him in these roles given to Him by Father God? Perhaps we can commit to allowing Him to advise us, deliberate on our behalf and resolve our conflicts and problems from this point forward.
He’s very good at it. Holy Spirit says he is “marvelous” at it.
“Mighty God” – Jesus IS God (despite what anyone else has to say to the contrary.)
The title “Mighty God” means “Powerful (as in a warrior) Almighty God.”
Considering this title of Jesus makes us wonder why we ever trust in ourselves or anything of the earth instead of Him.
“Everlasting Father” – This title is literally “the Father of Eternity” in the original Hebrew. This has to do with the fact that whatever God intended for earthly fathers to be for their children, Jesus is eternally for all Christians.
Let’s allow Him to parent us.
“Prince of Peace” – The term “Prince” means “head person” and “Peace” means “safe”. One version of the Bible translates it as “wholeness.”
Jesus is in charge of keeping us safe and whole.
“Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end upon the throne of David and over His kingdom” – Jesus was sent here to establish and then to govern over His Kingdom and over peace. The term “of the increase” has to do with His Kingdom and peace “steadily increasing.”
Ever since His ascension into heaven our enemy has tempted us, often all too successfully, to establish our own sub-kingdoms within the Kingdom of Christ.
This can be as complex as how a ministry or an institutional congregation operates independent of the whole Government of God – or, simply as one person living on his own, never allowing Jesus to be Lord in the everyday functioning of his life.
How can we ever hope to see His peace evident in our everyday lives and churches if we continue to disrespect Him like this?
How can we ever hope to see the return of Jesus if we resist His authority in this manner?
The fact remains that the beginning of Isaiah 9:7 says that “Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end upon the throne of David and over His kingdom”.
Jesus WILL remain on His throne whether or not we choose to receive His Lordship in our everyday lives and organizations. Our choice, then, has to do with whether we will continue to limp along in our ineffective and weak flesh or allow His power to operate through us in the Spirit.
What will you choose this day?
“To order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever” – Speaking from his vantage point in history long before the birth of Jesus, Isaiah says that Jesus would someday begin to do some things from His throne from the day He is established in that place….and do so forevermore.
He is on that throne now and has been for almost 2000 years.
What is He doing as Ruler of the Universe? He is “ordering it” and “establishing it”.
The term “order it” means that Jesus has taken a misshapen creation and has caused it to be set back in its proper place. Adam allowed satan to bring disorder to God’s order. Jesus has put things back into order.
You know, He does this in the lives of people all the time – when they receive Him as Lord and allow His order to become theirs.
If you are reading this and have never received Jesus as your Lord…literally, your Owner…and you are sick of the disorder in your life perhaps it’s time to cry out to Him to save you and begin to administer His order in your life. You’ll see firsthand what many of us have experienced in our own lives: seeing disorder evaporate and be replaced by a delicious and peaceful order that can only come by and through Jesus the Christ.
If you have received Jesus but have not let Him sit on the throne of your life perhaps it is time for you to stop resisting Him in His efforts to do what you invited Him to do when you prayed that you wanted Him to be your Lord. You, too, can experience His peace and order in your heart and life….and you’ll see it flow out to those around you too.
How will Jesus “order and establish” His government and peace? He will do so “with judgment and justice”. The term “judgement” means that Jesus will function as a judge rendering verdicts, and “justice” means “rightness”.
Many of us chafe at the idea that Jesus is always right and that He judges some of what we do and some of how we live to be wrong. When we respect His ways and adjust our ways to His, we will benefit from Jesus - the Right Judge.
“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!” (Romans 11:33)
Until then, we will not experience His order and peace in our lives like we could.
Finally, Isaiah tells us what power is behind all these things Jesus was destined to accomplish:
“The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”
The “zeal” or jealousy of Jesus, the Lord of hosts (multitudes), will accomplish this.
Exodus 34:14 says that we “shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.”
Let us resolve together to stop allowing our plans, other people, circumstances, etc. to reign in our lives. Let’s stop doing that because we see it to be what it really is: worship of false gods.
God is jealous for us. We Christians are His. Let’s live like that.
God gave Jesus to us as a gift.
It is my hope that we can give a gift back to God.
Let’s give Him our very selves.
May you have a wonderful Christmas this year and an amazing series of tomorrows thereafter.