Summary: This is the third message of five from the text in Isaiah 9:6 for Advent, Christmas, and Ephiphany on the Names of Jesus and affirms He is our Mighty God, whom we can trust to care for us.
HE IS THE MIGHTY GOD!
It was April 1742 when George Fredrick Handel premiered his oratorio THE MESSIAH in Dublin. The next year several performances were given in London, and King George II was present on one such occasion. When the King first heard “The Hallelujah Chorus,” he was so overwhelmed and inspired that in homage to “The King of Kings and Lord of Lord” he rose to his feet as a tribute of respect. Whenever the monarch stands, protocol demands all present must follow suit. Thus began the custom the audience stands for the singing of “The Hallelujah Chorus,” and in doing honors Him Who is the “King of Kings and Lord of Lords.”
Under powerful, Spirit led inspiration Handel composed his masterpiece in just 24 days. He knew it was the Mighty God who had gifted him to create such a masterful piece of sacred music and told a friend that while composing it, “I did think I did see all Heaven before me and the great God Himself.”
Our passage in Isaiah 9:6 is the basis for another chorus in THE MESSIAH “For Unto Us a Child Is Born.” Jesus is the Mighty God, the Lord God omnipotent who shall reign forever and ever.
Mighty God is the most potent, power packed name given to our Messiah in Isaiah 9:6. In the original Hebrew the name is “Gibbor El.” When we examined the name Immanuel, we discovered that “El” is the most common term for deity in the Ancient World. Its root meaning is “strength or might.” Most times in the Hebrew Scriptures it refers to God Almighty, the one true God of Israel, but it may refer on occasions to pagan gods.
When “El” is used for the One, True Living God, it is usually paired with another term so that it will not be mistaken for some pagan counterfeit. Thus for clarity Isaiah yokes “Gibbor” with “El.” The basic sense of the term “Gibbor” is strength, might, power, powerful.
Sometimes “Gibbor” means a “strong or mighty man, a warrior.” “A fifth grade teacher in a Christian school asked her class to look at TV commercials and see if they could use them in some way to communicate what God is like.” Here are some of the results: “God is like Bayer Aspirin; He works miracles. God is like Tide; He gets the stains out that others leave behind; and, God is like Coke; He’s the real thing.” Biblically speaking “God is like a mighty warrior.” On several occasions “Gibbor” is used in a military sense for a “proven warrior.” When used in this way, it suggests spiritual strength or masculinity.
In the Ancient World a king exemplified the power of his kingdom. As Commander-in-chief he would lead his troops in battle and had to be a “mighty warrior.” The Hebrew women praised David’s military might in I Samuel 18:6-17, “As they were coming home, when David returned from killing the Philistine, the women came out of all the towns of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with songs of joy, and with musical instruments. And the women sang to one another as they made merry,
“Saul has killed his thousands,
and David his ten thousands.”
This is the imagery and expectation behind the promise of the Messiah in Isaiah 9:6; He would be “mighty” in similar fashion to His ancestor David. Our Mighty God is the most powerful Commander-in-chief.
Scripture continually declares that Israel’s God is a “Mighty God.” Remember Isaiah 10:21, “A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God.” Whenever Israel surrendered to God in obedience, He was her “Mighty Warrior” leading her to victory in all her battles, as in Zephaniah 3:16-19:
On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
Do not fear, O Zion;
do not let your hands grow weak.
17 The LORD, your God, is in your midst,
a warrior who gives victory;
he will rejoice over you with gladness,
he will renew you in his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing
18 as on a day of festival.
I will remove disaster from you,
so that you will not bear reproach for it.
19 I will deal with all your oppressors
at that time.
And I will save the lame
and gather the outcast,
and I will change their shame into praise
and renown in all the earth.
This promise will be fulfilled when Jesus returns and reigns over the entire world as “The Mighty God, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.” He will physically live with us again ruling as our absolute “Mighty Warrior giving us victory.”
God is mighty in creation and redemption; therefore, Jeremiah praises Him in Jeremiah 32:16-17:“After I had given the deed of purchase to Baruch son of Neriah, I prayed to the LORD, saying: Ah Lord GOD! It is You who made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for You.” Jesus is our Creator God who “made the heavens and the earth by His great power and outstretched arm” as John confirms in John 1:1-4: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men.” Jesus is our Mighty God who made the heavens and the earth and “nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing is too difficult for Him.”