Wonderful Counselor, Wonderful Child
If it was in your power, how would you go about redressing the tyranny, oppression, and suffering that marks and mars our world? What would your solution look like? We all have our ideas—but here is God’s: His definitive answer to all of the world’s darkness was to send a child.
The people of Israel had long been awaiting the arrival of the one who would embody all of their hopes. The prophets had been declaring the coming of a Messiah, and the expectation of such a deliverer steadily grew. Isaiah added significant fuel to the fire of this longing, declaring that the Messiah would come as “a child,” “a son,” and that “the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Who could possibly fill this description? Surely no one had yet come who lived up to such language. But it was this child-—who came not in military might or with flashes of lightning but in a trough, surrounded by animals and shepherds at His birth—who was God’s answer to sin and death. He alone would rule His kingdom “with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore” (Isaiah 9:7).
Isaiah says the child-king would be called “Wonderful Counselor.” Kings were known in some measure by their counselors. The extent of their authority and rule was made apparent by the number of advisers they could call upon for guidance. And yet this King would have none. He Himself is the Wonderful Counselor; He has no need of any outside wisdom in order to rule with absolute perfection as well as total authority.
This same Wonderful Counselor is the sole remedy for all expressions of suffering and evil in the world—including those in your life. Are you joyfully submitting to His plans and are you bowing your knee to His rule? Have you entrusted all your ways and all your concerns to His counsel? When His ways and yours are not the same, do you accept that He knows better than you and walk the way He calls you to? God’s gift to His world is no ordinary child. This is Christ the Lord, your wonderful Savior!
How is God calling me to think differently?
How is God reordering my heart’s affections — what I love?
What is God calling me to do as I go about my day today?
18Behold, I and the children whom the Lord has given me are signs and portents in Israel from the Lord of hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion. 19And when they say to you, “Inquire of the mediums and the necromancers who chirp and mutter,” should not a people inquire of their God? Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living? 20To the teaching and to the testimony! If they will not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn. 21They will pass through the land,7 greatly distressed and hungry. And when they are hungry, they will be enraged and will speak contemptuously against8 their king and their God, and turn their faces upward. 22And they will look to the earth, but behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish. And they will be thrust into thick darkness.
For to Us a Child Is Born
1 But there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he has made glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.1
22 The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shone.
3You have multiplied the nation;
you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
as with joy at the harvest,
as they are glad when they divide the spoil.
4For the yoke of his burden,
and the staff for his shoulder,
the rod of his oppressor,
you have broken as on the day of Midian.
5For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult
and every garment rolled in blood
will be burned as fuel for the fire.
6For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon3 his shoulder,
and his name shall be called4
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
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