Summary: The introductory sermon to a series on the titles of Jesus from Isaiah 9:6.

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The Psychiatrist's 23rd Psalm

The Lord is my external-internal integrative mechanism; I shall not be deprived of gratification for my viscerogenic hungers or my need-dispositions.

He motivates me to orient myself toward a non-social object with affective significance.

He positions me in a non-decisional situation.

He maximizes my adjustment.

Although I entertain masochistic and self-destructive id impulses, I will maintain contact with reality, for my superego is dominant.

His analysis and tranquilizers, they comfort me.

He assists in the resolution of my internal conflicts despite my oedipal problem and psychopathic compulsions.

He promotes my group identification.

My personality is totally integrated.

Surely my prestige and status shall be enhanced as a direct function of time,

And I shall remain sociologically, psychologically and economically secure forever.

I don’t even know what half of those words mean but I’ll tell you this, God’s version sound a whole lot better then the world’s version does. “The Lord is my shepherd…” It’s not just that it sounds right but it sounds comforting, tangible, real. That is what God is, and why we celebrate Christmas, because on that dark and lonely night, God came down in the form of a man, in a form we could see, touch and hear to all of our senses He became real.

Over the next few weeks we are going to spend time looking at one section of the writings of the Prophet Isaiah. He wrote 66 chapters that are filled with judgment, justice, love, and redemption. Throughout all of his writings, through the hard times as well as the seasons of peace and prosperity, there is a thread of hope. Some of the most vivid and awe-inspiring words of hope that have ever been produced are found in the pages of Isaiah. His brilliant and encouraging words are set against a backdrop of politically and spiritually unsettling and disastrous times.

But God moved upon Isaiah’s heart and he was able to write about God’s promises because he had his heart and mind fixed on the sovereignty of God rather and on the circumstances of this world. A study of all of his writings in valuable, but for the next few weeks our study is going to be limited to these 6 verses. By the way after that we will be walking line by line through the 23rd Psalm. The focus of this study will be the different titles that are given to the Promised One that Isaiah saw as clearly as if He had already come. Understand what this passage is, this passage could be called a birth announcement. Isaiah is declaring to the whole world and for all time that the Messiah was coming and with awe saying what he would be like. If we could look back with the 20/20 vision of hindsight we would see how clear Isaiah’s vision was, he saw the one who would make things right once and for all. The titles that Isaiah gives us are –Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. I think that anyone who knows Jesus as Lord of their lives would have to agree with me that those titles capture the heart and ministry of our Lord.

I want to take a minute to take a paintbrush and dab it into a pallet of despair, dejection, and desperation so that we can paint a canvas of utter darkness-darkness that was familiar to those who lived in Isaiah’s time darkness that may present in our land and your life this morning. If that is true then know that the same great light that was seen so clearly by Isaiah can bee seen today.

Let’s look at Isaiah 1:1-2 to begin, “The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the day of Uziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth! For the Lord has spoken. ‘I have nourished and brought up children, And they have rebelled against Me.’” Uziah died in 740 B.C. after reigning as king for 52 years. Under his reign Judah was strong and many people prospered. Jotham, Uziah’s son, reigned for 16 years and his administration was remembered for its many building projects, material prosperity, and military successes. Jotham did something his father never allowed, the worship of idols, and the decline of the nation began. Ahaz, who was Jotham’s son, was known as an evil king and he ruled for 16 years. The idol worship permitted by Jotham was taken to a new level as Ahaz sacrificed his own son to pagan gods. Ahaz also nailed the temp doors shut and forged alliances with the surrounding pagan nations rather than trusting in the Lord for the nation’s security. Last of all, Ahaz’s son, Hezekiah, is known as a great king and he reigned for 29 years. He reopened the temple and brought about much needed religious reform. Hezekiah destroyed the idol worship that had been permitted by his father and grandfather. Tradition tells us that Isaiah saw the end of Hezekiah’s administration and then he was he was killed by Hezekiah’s son, Manasseh, by being sawn in two.

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