Summary: Jesus has many names that tell us He will always be there for us.

Jan. 23, 2011 Isaiah 9:2-7 C & Z “Claim the Name"

There are many times in our lives when we take God for granted. For instance we are truly blessed that we can have a meal every day. For many people of the world this is a luxury. The people of Haiti for example have a hard time eating once a day. They had this problem before the terrible earthquake. Now it is worse. We take having clean water to drink for granted. There are many places in Africa where having any water at all, whether it is clean or not, is a luxury. We take for granted the everyday things of our lives. We have vehicles and grocery stores and freedoms that most people of the world don’t have. But I was thinking, after reading our passage for today that we really take ‘light’ for granted. With a flip of the switch, we have light. With the strike of a match we have light. If we wait a few hours, our nighttime becomes the light of day. One of the properties of light that I think is phenomenal is that you can see a light for miles if it is dark out. A match in a darkened room will light things well enough to see all, although maybe not that well. But if you try to take darkness into the light, darkness disappears. Look at my hands. I have darkness cupped in my hands but if I open my hands the darkness instantly disappears. It doesn’t have a chance in the light. This morning we are going to look at an ancient text from Isaiah, that’s Australian, which names some of the names that we have for Jesus. It begins with darkness but this all disappears. Let’s just take a look at some of these names this morning and then claim them.

Max Lucado tells the story of a woman who lived by the seashore in Ireland many years ago. She was quite wealthy and quite frugal. Her neighbors were surprised when she was one of the first people in the area to have electricity in her home. Several weeks past after the installation and a meter reader came knocking at her door asking if the electricity was working. She said it was working well. Then he said, “I’m wondering if you can explain something to me. Your meter shows hardly any usage. Are you using the power?” “Certainly,” she said. “Each evening when the sun sets, I turn on the lights long enough so I can get my candles lit. Then I turn them off.” She had tapped into the power but she did not use it. I look at our world today and I wonder the same thing about God. How many people tap into the power of God and then go back to their old way of doing things and leaving God out of it. Think of all the power we are wasting.

This morning I would like to take a look at some of the names Isaiah calls Jesus centuries before He is even born. Before we begin I would like to say that Isaiah made these statements more than 2700 years ago and 700+ years before Jesus was born. So he had no idea of what he was talking about. Most of the time these ancient prophets thought that they were talking about something of their time; not a time far, far into the future. So Isaiah really has no idea of who will be born and called Wonderful Counselor.

Several things may come to mind when we hear the word counselor. We may be thinking of a psychiatrist, one who looks at our inner being. We may also think of an attorney as a counselor. But I don’t think this is what Isaiah had in mind. I think that he was talking more about an advisor. This was probably written just prior to the fall of the northern kingdom of Israel. Remember that the southern kingdom was Judah and it fell later. But just prior or during the fall of the north, Isaiah is telling the people that in spite of all the trouble and bad times that they are in now, God will send someone who will be a wise advisor to help them.

If you think about that, it would really be nice to have a wise advisor. If this country had a wise advisor, maybe we could get the health bill squared away. Wise people would take out what is bad and leave in the good parts. Obviously, neither democrats nor republicans are that wise. A wise advisor would look at the size of our government and cut in in half, at least in half. I was looking at some of the things that they are going to vote on that they consider to be so important. I looks to me like our congress could meet every other year and they would have plenty of time to pass the important laws.

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