For Unto Us a Child Is Born
For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!
I can’t read this passage without hearing echoes of the glorious chorus from Handel’s Messiah: “For unto us a child is born. . . .” I envision a booming choir and a sanctuary decked out for Christmas. How wonderful!
The original context of this passage is quite different. Isaiah 9 expands upon the theme of God’s judgment of Israel for her unfaithfulness. However, these first few verses of the chapter offer a hopeful vision of a messianic future. In that day, a descendant of David will rule over Israel, bringing lasting justice to earth.
It’s hard to know what those who first received this prophecy envisioned. We read it in light of its fulfillment in Christ, who came to inaugurate God’s kingdom on earth. In a unique way, he is the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. In him, the Old Testament prophecies are fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has begun.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Which of the titles for the “son” touch your heart today: Wonderful Counselor? Mighty God? Everlasting Father? Prince of Peace? Why?
PRAYER: Living Lord Jesus, I praise you today as the Wonderful Counselor. Through your Word and Spirit, you guide my steps, helping me to live rightly.
I praise you today because you are Mighty God, El Shaddai, Immanuel, God with us. Through you I can do all things.
I praise you today because in you I see the Everlasting Father. You reveal the very heart of God.
I praise you today because you are the Prince of Peace. Because of your sacrifice on the cross, I can experience peace with God and peace with others.
All praise be to you, Lord Jesus . . . Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Amen.