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 Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness 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. Isaiah 9:6-7
Isaiah’s famous prophecy about the coming of the Messiah grabs our attention because of the remarkable descriptions of who the Christ would be: Son, Counselor, God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. This defines the kind of reign he would have in our lives. It is a certainty. “The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.” In other words, God is committed to this outcome. His reign will be absolute.
When we read “the government will be on his shoulders,” we could have a gut- level reaction to “government” because of all the disappointing things people associate with bureaucracies and politics.
But governing is necessary in any society. The alternative—anarchy, chaos, injustice—is unthinkable.
God knows we need governing. That is why he calls himself King, Shepherd, Master, Lord, and Father. When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the world gained its greatest ruler.
Governing is a weighty task—especially for leaders in society who really want truth and integrity to rule the day. That is one reason we know we need a savior who has something to do with ruling our unruly lives. The ungoverned life is sloppy, wayward, and lawless. The properly governed life is our best hope of being free from the domination of sin.
“The government will be on his shoulders.” There is a time when the righteousness and justice of God will rule supreme. In the meantime we can fight against ignorance, sin, and evil by coming under King Jesus.
PONDER: What part of your life ought to come under the governing of Jesus in these days?
* * *
LET THE WORDS SINK IN (Handel: Messiah, For unto us a child is born)
* * *
Who reigns in your life? Is it you? Or is it Jesus who is our “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”? It is so easy to engage in a power struggle with God. We decide that we know what is best for our lives, and we walk away from the plans God has for us. Today’s passage is a poignant reminder of who is really in charge.
Read Isaiah 9:6-7. What do the titles “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, [and] Prince of Peace” mean? How do each of these titles describe God? When have you listened to
God? When is it hard to listen to God? What steps can you take to rely more fully on God?