“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
I remember as a teenager, a male student in high school complained that he was being called “box” by the class bully who was referring to his nose. One day, he could take it no longer and drew him into a boxing ring during lunch period, and “boxed” him to the ground. Never again was this name hurled at him. How many of us know of others who were called insulting nicknames that stuck with them through to their graves? A name is powerful to the extent that it can gain you respect or cause you to lose respect. To me, it seems that these days, names take you from where you are to the sublime.
In our text today, Isaiah is prophesying about a child who is to be born into the world and the powerful attributes that come with his name, the name of Jesus. It was a time of gloom, doom and oppression of the enemy for Judah. The Assyrians ruled with an iron hand but the people got deeper in sinning. Things were about to change, as great rays of hope brightened. Isaiah said that it was in the year that King Uzziah died that he saw the Lord.
He was sitting on his throne, high and exalted, and his robe filled the whole temple. And flaming angels with six wings were calling out to each other, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty. He is holy and his glory fills the world.”
Isaiah lamented that there was no hope for him because he had sinned and also the people, but a burning coal was pressed against his lips by one of the six winged creatures telling him that his sins were forgiven.
Then Isaiah heard the voice of the Lord saying “Who shall I send? Who will be our messenger?”
Then I answered, “I will go! Send me.”
Isaiah is now set to proclaim restoration through repentance. Repentance is the only cure for sin.
“If my people will pray to me and repent and turn away from their evil they have been doing, then I will hear them in heaven, forgive their sins and make their land prosperous again.”
Until this happens the state of the land will remain the same only to get worse. Indeed, restoration comes through repentance and Isaiah proclaims breaking news which is good news. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. They lived in a land of shadows, but now light is shining on them. You have given great joy, Lord. You have made them happy. They rejoice in what you have done, as people rejoice when they harvest grain or when they divide captured wealth.
You have broken the yoke that burdened them and the rod that beat their shoulders. You have defeated the nation that oppressed and exploited your people, just as you defeated the army of Midian long ago. The boots of the invading army and all their bloodstained clothing will be destroyed by fire.
Why? For unto us a child is born. Unto us a son is given. The government shall be upon his shoulder. His name shall be called wonderful, counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the prince of peace. His royal power will continue to grow. His kingdom will always be at peace. He will rule as King David’s successor, basing his power on right and justice from now until the end of time. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
God sent his son. They call him Jesus. He came to love, heal and forgive. He lived and died to buy my pardon. An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives. This Christmas season, no matter how desperate your situation is, remember that this baby is the giver of life and the change to situations no matter how dark or bleak.
So, you have lost all that you had in recent storms or fires or foreclosure, then believe in this child turned savior of the world and your situation of darkness will turn to radiant light. You never lose with him.