“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 Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” – Isaiah 9:6
In a time of great darkness, God promised to send a light who would shine on everyone living in the shadow of death. He is both ‘Wonderful Counsellor’ and ‘Mighty God’. This message of hope was fulfilled in the birth of Christ and the establishment of His eternal Kingdom. He came to deliver us from slavery of sin.
Imagine that a message has come about the visit of a great King. This king who is coming to visit your city is of impeccable pedigree – a line of ancestors known for their great leadership qualities. This expected King has a reputation for fairness, justice, kindness, wisdom and generosity. All over town people’s expectations are high. The people know that the King will not just visit and go along His way without leaving them something that will make their lives better so each person in the village has made their own list of things that they will either directly or indirectly ask from the King. The issue of not receiving what is asked for is totally out of the question. The awaited King is not like that. He not only keeps His word. He is one who is compassionate and listens to His people and so wherever He goes He leaves a train of fulfilled dreams and hopes.
The Great King
In Isaiah 9:1-7, we read of the famous prophecy at the coronation of either Hezekiah or Josiah as King of Judah “Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honour Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan. The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as men rejoice when dividing the plunder. For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor. Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire. 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 Counsellor, 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. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.”
The prophecy speaks of the close of the chapter of doom, gloom and melancholy. In verses 2 & 3, Isaiah draws a contrast between the darkness of despair and the joyous salvation which will be ushered in by the coming king, who will be the long awaited Saviour. This passage in Isaiah is quoted extensively at Christmas time because it is the prophecy concerning the coming of the King of kings and Saviour of the world – the Lord Jesus Christ.
Later Isaiah gives us names which are descriptive of the nature, character and power of this coming King. These names have a very special meaning to us because we know that Jesus has fulfilled every aspect of the prophecy.
This coming king – Jesus, is exceptional because He is the Son of God and Son of man. He gives the right advice because He is intimately acquainted with the counsels of God from eternity. In fact John, one of His apostles describes Him as ‘one who was with God in the beginning’ – John 1:1-2. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God He was with God in the beginning.”(NIV) This Wonderful Counsellor is the wisdom of God our Father who has made Him our wisdom. We can rely on Him for wisdom to handle our everyday situations and solve seemingly intractable problems. He is our wisdom because He enables us to move beyond our selfishness, greed, unholiness and self-will and submit to God’s direction without feeling that our peers would consider us foolish.
The coming King is a Divine Warrior because He has supernatural skill and strength in battle. Because He is God Himself, Jesus is able to fight and overcome every scheme of the devil concerning the lives of His redeemed. But even more, His divine skills in battle are transferred to us through the armour He has provided us which include the belt of truth; the breastplate of righteousness the gospel of peace; the shield of faith; the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit as we read in Ephesians 6:13-17. “Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled round your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”. – (NIV) Through God’s might we are able to overcome one of our greatest enemies – the SELF; the I in us which insists on having its own way even if that way is against God and humanity. The might of God, given us through the coming King, Jesus Christ, gives us power to resist the world’s seductive attractions.
This coming King is timeless; He is God our Father or better put Father for ever, meaning that the King will look after His people as a father looks after His children. Jesus’ own promise to the disciples (and to us) is that no one can snatch us from His hands because we have been given to Him by His Father, God: “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I am the Father are one”- John 10:27-30 (NIV).
Prince of Peace
As a King, He preserves commands and creates peace in His Kingdom. He Himself is Peace and therefore brings prosperity and well-being to His people. He does this by governing with justice, righteousness and equity. In Isaiah 11:1-9 gives further detail about what constitutes the rule of the Prince of Peace as follows:
“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from the roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him – the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord – and He will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what He sees with his eyes or decide by what He hears with His ears, but with righteousness He will judge the needy, with justice He will give decisions for poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked. Righteousness will be His belt and faithfulness the sash around His waist. The wolf will be with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, and their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the hole of the cobra and the young child put his hand into the vipers nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” – (NIV)
Getting Ready for the King
During this period until soon after Christmas, let us all be meditating on the message of Christmas. It is the message of God coming down to our level so that we will be raised to His level. It is a message of salvation from sin, the breaking of the bonds of slavery to Satan. It is a message of God lovingly binding broken hearts and healing diseases. But most of all, it is a message of restoration – God restoring us to the original relationship He created us to have with Him.
SING, WE THE KING WHO IS COMING TO REIGN – MHB 116 (verse 1& 5)
1 Sing we the King who is coming to reign,
Glory to Jesus, the Lamb that was slain,
Life and salvation his empire shall bring
Joy to the nations when Jesus is King.
Come let us sing: Praise to our King,
Jesus our King, Jesus our King;
This is our song, who to Jesus belong:
Glory to Jesus, to Jesus our King.
5 Kingdom of Christ, for thy coming we pray,
Hasten, O Father, the dawn of the day
When this new song thy creation shall sing,
Satan is vanquished and Jesus is King.
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