Verse of the Day Devotion: Isaiah 9:6 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.
Merry Christmas Eve. This is the day before the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the Savior of the world. Our focus verse is the prophecy of this great event as given by Isaiah. This verse tells us the reason for the great things that will come in the future. “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. The people who walk in darkness Will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, The light will shine on them. 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. 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. For every boot of the booted warrior in the battle tumult, And cloak rolled in blood, will be for burning, fuel for the fire.” Isaiah 9:1-5.
In our focus verse we see several beautiful things that describe this child. First of all, it speaks of the government being upon His shoulders. This statement may be referring to the idea of a key that is placed on the king showing his control over the throne room and house of the king. “Then I will set the key of the house of David on his shoulder, When he opens no one will shut, When he shuts no one will open.” Isaiah 22:22. Note the phrase, when he opens no one will shut, and when he shuts, no one will open. This designates control and authority over the kingdom of which he rules. This very well could be what is referred to in Isaiah 9 where he says, the government will rest on His shoulders. He will rule and the government will be vested in Him; He will be king.
He is called Wonderful Counselor. He always gives good counsel to His people, in both temporal and spiritual matters. His wisdom surpasses all others because it comes directly from the Father, and because He is God Himself knowing all things past, present and future.
And He is the Mighty God, as I stated above. The language here is, God The Mighty One. He was not just sent by God, He is God, with all the attributes associated with God. However, He will be in the form of a man. John put it this way. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” John 1:1-3. And we know this is referring to Jesus because of what John says later on, “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14. And the next verse clarifies Him as the promised one when He says, “John testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.” John 1:15. John the Baptist was conceived in the womb before Jesus, but John says He existed before him. The meaning is clear here. He was God who came in the flesh.
He is the everlasting Father. There is but one Father in the Godhead, however, how this all fits together is beyond our understanding. But what we do know is that Jesus and the Father are one. He made this clear in John when He said, “I and the Father are one.” John 10:30. If Jesus Christ were not God, could he have said these words without being guilty of blasphemy? He could not be referring to His earthly father, for this would not have been worded “the Father” but “my Father”. He is God, not “a God” or a messenger of God, He is God Himself.
And He is the Prince of Peace. According to theologian Albert Barnes, this is a Hebrew mode of expression denoting that he would be a peaceful prince. That the tendency of His administration would be to restore and perpetuate peace. This was in sharp contrast to the mass of kings and princes who have delighted in conquest and blood. In contradistinction from all these, the Messiah would seek to promote universal concord, and the tendency of his reign would be to put an end to wars, and to restore harmony and order to the nations. And this refers to all forms of peace. In a prophecy regarding the new kingdom, Isaiah writes, “And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, And the leopard will lie down with the young goat, And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little boy will lead them. Also the cow and the bear will graze, Their young will lie down together, And the lion will eat straw like the ox. The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, And the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den. They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD As the waters cover the sea.” Isaiah 11:6-9.
These attributes describe completely who this child is that will be born to us, as stated in our focus verse. He came to us a little over two thousand years ago; a baby born of a virgin in a manger in a small and virtually overlooked town of Bethlehem. Who He is goes beyond our understanding, but it does show us what we have been given. A loving and mighty God who provides perfect counsel to those who seek it, one who is our Father for all eternity who’s reign is defined by perfect peace. And we have this now in our relationship with Him. “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace because he trusts in You. Trust in the LORD forever, For in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock.” Isaiah 26:3-4. And then, “The way of the righteous is smooth; O Upright One, make the path of the righteous level.” Isaiah 26:7.
This is our relationship with the promised child born of the virgin Mary in Bethlehem so many years ago. Rejoice and be glad as we celebrate this wonderful time of Christmas Eve and then Christmas day. And remember, our time here is but the beginning. “But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9. Oh the beautiful and amazing things we have to look forward to.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.
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