“For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 NKJV
Oh the wonder of Christmas. It’s filled with anticipation, spirit, and traditions. I don’t tire of seeing Christmas lights, hearing its music, or watching all the classic movies.
I love digging into the wonders of the Bible story from so many years ago. With each reviewing, I get a fresh picture of the plan spawned by God when the earth was still new. In the Christmas season, I peek at the fulfillment of Old Testament promises and I delight in the way they were brought to pass.
“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor…“
Some versions separate it with a comma, others without. Sometimes Wonderful is a noun, and other translations use it as an adjective. But like a full name, the two words reveal the character of the Whole Person. They testify of One beyond human understanding. He is our Wonderful-Counselor.
Isaiah’s prophecy proclaimed this Wonderful-Counselor 800 years before the Child’s birth. It was a chaotic time in history for the Israelites. Assyria took their people captive, and they cried out for salvation from the evil political leaders bent on their destruction.
Likely part of the royal family himself, and perhaps a priest, Isaiah had been well acquainted with earthly rulers. He’d served four kings. He’d seen their wealth, power, and greatness.
After King Uzziah died, the Lord gave Isaiah a vision. Different than every other earthly king, he saw an Eternal King, high and exalted. Sitting on a throne, His royal robe filled the temple. Heavenly beings surrounded Him. And, at the sound of their voices, the doorposts and threshold shook and smoke filled the temple.
In that vast scene, Isaiah got a glimpse of the Lord’s holiness. He grasped just a small fraction of true Greatness. Its picture of Wonderful-Counselor revealed a wide gulf between a holy God, and Isaiah’s sinful humanity. Overcome, Isaiah grieved, “Woe is me.”” I am lost.”
This is the cry of each heart separated from God. It is this revelation which brings us to the glorious message of Christmas.
The silence that stretched through hundreds of years broke at the coming of Jesus. After long gaps of waiting, God’s plan takes us again into the temple, where a heavenly being proclaimed yet another miraculous birth.
The angel Gabriel announced to Zechariah, the priest, that he and his elderly wife would have a son. This child, named John, would prepare the way for Jesus, the Son of God. Two extraordinary announcements of two miraculous births marked the coming of the Messiah foretold by the prophet Isaiah.
A virgin gave birth to a Ruler, surpassing all others, Wonderful beyond all comprehension. He brought light into darkness and righteousness into hearts previously lost and without hope. This King Jesus, spanned the gulf separating us from a Holy God, to offer eternal life.
Isaiah points us forward to a Child in a humble manger in Bethlehem and a Savior on a rugged cross in Golgotha.
Our Wonderful Messiah is literally, “ incomprehensible.” Beyond understanding, He fills us with wonder and amazement. Our Wonderful-Counselor, is a wise Ruler, able to guide with grace and mercy.
This season calls us to look again and marvel anew at the Wonderfulness and Counselorship of Jesus in our lives. It begs us to linger in the incomprehensible majesty and direction of His character. Christmas invites us to dwell in the presence of a Wonderful Counselor.