Summary: Looking at the wonder of the revealed names of the Lord in Isaiah 9:6
HE SHALL BE CALLED
6 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 Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase 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 for ever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this. [NIV]
What’s in a name? Today we see names given to children that have no apparent meaning, certainly not relating to the future of the child! What a difference to the days of long ago, when names were given relating to the hopes and aspirations of the parents, or in many cases the names were given according to the ability or work of the person concerned. It was quite common in Wales to have nicknames given to a person relating to their employment. In the village where we lived there was ‘Bowen the Butcher’ who sold fresh meat, and ‘Parry the Post’ who ran the local Post Office, amongst others.
In our text we have something a little different; for here we have names being given around 700 years before the person concerned was born. These names all related to the individual in a remarkable way, as we will see. These were the names by which the Messiah was to be known, and I want us to look briefly at the amazing truth being revealed through these names. It appears to me that there are four distinct names given each describing a different aspect that would be revealed concerning ‘the Christ’.
The first of these names is
1. WONDERFUL COUNSELLOR,
This is sometimes expressed as Wonderful, Counsellor, as in the KJV. Most translations seem to agree on it being a composite name.
This is a very special name, as it speaks of someone who can be consulted, and is able to give advice; not only that but the counsel given would be wonderful, or marvellous.
Isaiah tells us of the Messiah,
The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him - the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. Isaiah 11:2 [AV]
Isaiah goes on to tell us that the Lord would be
Wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working. Isaiah 28:29. [AV]
All this was hundreds of years before the actual coming of the Messiah.
Paul picks up the theme in his epistles. I love the way the Amplified Version expresses Colossians 2:3
In Him all the treasures of divine wisdom (comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God) and all the riches of spiritual knowledge and enlightenment are stored up and lie hidden. Col 2:3. [Amp]
The Lord showed us a glimpse of His counselling ability when He was in the Temple as a child, speaking with the teachers;
Luke 2:46-47 they found Him in the court of the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard Him were astonished and overwhelmed with bewildered wonder at His intelligence and understanding and His replies. [Amp]
While I might enjoy the words of the Old Testament prophets, and the New Testament Apostles, I am excited by the words of the Lord Himself, for He knew the importance of having a counsellor available to us, and promised that, even though He was going to die, and be resurrected, we would not be alone.
And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counsellor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever. John 14:16. [Amplified]
I understand that the original language gives the thought, not of a replacement, but of an additional comforter – the Holy Spirit.
Do you need advice? Then remember that
He gives wonderful advice; He gives great wisdom. . Isaiah 28:29. [Holman]
The second of the four given names is
2. MIGHTY GOD,
What a great title this is. ‘Mighty God’. The nations around all had their so-called ‘gods’ who were claimed to have a variety of abilities, but here we have ‘the Mighty God’, and this God is not confined to a given locality, see what the Psalmist says,
Psalm 50:1 THE MIGHTY One, God, the Lord, speaks and calls the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting. [Amp]
Paul claims that the Messiah is this very God;
Romans 9:5. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are their ancestors, and Christ himself was an Israelite as far as his human nature is concerned. And he is God, the one who rules over everything and is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. [NLT]