Before I dive into scripture for Advent Day 7, I want to express how thankful I am for the local church that God has connected my family to here in Memphis. Finding a strong, Christ centered, Bible teaching, community focused local church for my family to join was a top priority for me. You can read more about Fellowship Memphis at www.fellowshipmemphis.org, but I just wanted mention how thankful I am for this local body of Christ. The passages that I am exploring and reflecting on during this Christmas season come from an Advent Devotional that they assembled for us. Please feel free to download it and for yourselves.
Now onto today’s Scripture…
6 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.
7 Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
I don’t know if there are any more well known Old Testament “Christmas” prophecies than the one found in Isaiah 9:6. It really is an amazing revelation of hope that has made it’s way into hymns and songs for a very long time. In my study on this passage, however, I don’t know of many passages in the Bible that have been surrounded by more debate. So with that in mind, rather than offer a fluffy, romanticized Christmas card version of this passage, I am choosing to yield my heart to the truly amazing idea that the Everlasting, Mighty God of the entire universe would dwell among us in the flesh through his Son, being born into our world as an infant. I also follow the interpretation that the prophecy of a Messiah is only half fulfilled. I believe that Jesus is Mighty, God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace. I believe that He was even before He was born into this world as an infant.
John 8:58 – 58 “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!”
I believe that God, being Mighty could have wiped out all of His enemies at that time and set up an eternal government on the shoulders of Jesus, but he didn’t. Why?
2 Peter 3:8 – 8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
And so this brings me to my final thought as I process the overwhelming idea that this Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace would enter into this world as an infant. I believe that if we are to have any concept of who God is, we have to come to the realization that He is absolutely Powerful. The Hebrew word for Mighty itself as it is used in Isaiah 9:6 is גִּבּוֹר. (gibbor) . Strongs Hebrew Dictionary defines this word as champion. I believe it was a word that was commonly used to describe a mighty warrior or a hero. With this definition it is easy to understand why people living at that time might reject Jesus as not living up to their expectations as a Messiah. Even today we can miss the fact that Jesus, the Son of our most High God is Mighty, able to unleash terrible power on all creation. But in his love and extreme patience, he does not. In His infinite wisdom he is also the Prince of Peace and Everlasting Father. So as I continue to prepare my heart for this Christmas season. I long for the day when Jesus returns. I long for the greatness of His government and the peace the will never end. Jesus come quickly. I confess this is a selfish prayer as You are wanting no one to perish…still I ask…come quickly.