For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
Isaiah’s prophecy came at a very tumultuous time for Judah. Externally, Judah was on the verge of war with its brother nation, Israel. Israel had made an alliance with Syria and sought to attack Judah. Assyria was a rising threatening super power and was seeking to control the entire region too.
Internally, Judah had slipped into idolatry. Their faith in God was weak and mixed with their pluralistic faith in false gods and their own prosperity and substance. Isaiah’s early message is one of judgment against Judah and its king (Ahaz).
But God offers His presence- His forgiveness and counsel. “Come now let us reason together,” He says to Judah, “though your sins are like scarlet they will be white as snow.” God wants to counsel them. He is asking them to approach the judge’s bench and have a conversation with Him. And to show that He is on their side, God offers King Ahaz a sign. Ahaz refuses to say what sign he wants, so God chooses for him- a baby.
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14
This baby will be Immanuel- God with us. This prophecy of the birth of Christ will be elaborated upon in Isaiah 9. Who is this child? What will he be like? What is his nature?
Our Fighter Verse this week answers those questions.
“Wonderful” here means supernatural- things only God can do. “Counsel” here means guidance or direction. Later in Isaiah he will put these same two words together.
O Lord, You are my God. I will exalt You, I will praise Your name, For You have done wonderful things; Your counsels of old are faithfulness and truth. Isaiah 25:1 (NKJV)
Of course Ahaz and the people of Judah didn’t think about Jesus when hearing these verses. They would have looked to the King to fulfill this promise. Or the king’s son- in this case Hezekiah. But could Hezekiah offer the people supernatural guidance and counsel? If you keep reading Isaiah you find out that he cannot.
We do however know how God fulfilled this promise and gave us a king that is also our Wonderful Counselor- Jesus Christ!
Jesus is our counselor. A counselor is one who will speak “faithfulness and truth” (Is.25:1) into our lives. He will tell us the truth about our sins and replace the deceptions of the Devil with the truth of God. Jesus is uniquely qualified to “come and reason with God” on our behalf.
The incarnation, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus ARE faithfulness and truth. The fullness of his life speaks the truth to us that we are wicked yet loved. So wicked that we needed the incarnation and death of Christ. So loved that he did it! He incarnated for us. He lived a human life for us. He went through every trial and temptation for us. He died brutally for us. He rose for us. He reigns for us. Not because we deserve it or have earned it- but because of his great grace and love.
Only King Jesus can speak faithfully to us. A faithful friend lets you know when you are sinning. Only the sinless ONE can do that without some sort of hidden agenda. Only the one that is the fullness of God can confront our idolatry without having an oppressive plan to manipulate you. Jesus wants us to cast aside idols and worship him- this is how we find true life.
Is Jesus your Wonderful Counselor? Is he the one that you allow to speak truth faithfully into your life? Truth that will drive out deceit and sin? Truth spoken by a faithful friend that wonderfully and supernaturally knows everything about you, and yet still loves you? Does the gospel counsel you? Do you preach the gospel to yourself over and over each day? Or have you let the lies of the Enemy creep in and destroy your mindset through guilt, shame, and works righteousness? Will you let Jesus be the Wonderful Counselor that confronts your idolatry; not to keep you from freedom, but rather to bring true freedom to your heart, mind, and soul? I pray that this Christmas will bring the Wonderful Counselor to the very depth of your heart and shine his light in the dark corners.