Summary: The Messiah’s rule is one of perfect righteousness,in which God’s people find perfect deliverance.
Most people feel a bit uneasy when they see an ambulance racing down the road. First, it catches us off guard, and, then, all other vehicles try to get to the side of the road so that the speeding ambulance has a clear path through the traffic. Those flashing lights and blaring siren send a somber message; someone is in desperate need of help.
Often times, a speeding ambulance puts things in perspective. Not only is it an obvious sign that someone is hurting, but it also reminds us that we are all too mortal ourselves. We all need help at one point or another in our lives.
That’s the very same message God gave to the people of Judah in the eighth century B.C. To them, and to us, Isaiah says, "Hang on. HELP HAS ARRIVED. Someone has come to save you--someone uniquely qualified for the job. I. He has the Spirit’s anointing on his head. II. And he has righteousness tied around his waist."
1) He Has the Spirit’s Anointing on His Head
Just as an ambulance seems to come out of nowhere, Isaiah tells us that help is coming from an unexpected place. The bulk of the first half of Isaiah’s book is about how Judah was on its way to destruction, because of its sins of idol-worship and immorality. God was going to level Judah like a lumberjack clear-cutting a forest, one who leaves nothing behind but stumps. Even the tallest, mightiest tree in Judah--the line of kings descended from Jesse, father of King David--was going to come down. The kings, together with the people, would go away into exile in Babylon. It would look like the once-great nation of Judah was finished.
But then suddenly, a little sprout would come up from the stump of David’s family. A baby would be born to a poor couple, and laid in a manger. But this would happen in Bethlehem, the City of David. That was because the baby would be a direct descendant of King David, on both his mother’s and his father’s sides. The baby, of course, was Jesus Christ.
Did you ever wonder why we call him Jesus Christ? Christ is not Jesus’ last name. Christ is his title. Christ, or Cristo~ in Greek, means exactly the same thing as Messiah or m’shiach does in Hebrew. It means "the anointed one." You see, back then, prophets and priests and kings were anointed. They had a little sacred oil poured on their heads to show they were set apart from the rest of the people and had a special mission to fulfill. Jesus Christ is Jesus, the Anointed One, the one set apart by God for a special mission. But he wasn’t anointed with oil. He was anointed with the Holy Spirit.
Jesus, of course, is both God and man. As God, Jesus needed no anointing from anybody, and didn’t need any gifts from anybody. But as man, Jesus received the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and with it, all the Holy Spirit’s gifts. Just a few of them are listed here. The Holy Spirit is called "the Spirit of wisdom and understanding." Now this isn’t mere intelligence. Isaiah isn’t simply predicting that Jesus would be a smart. In the Bible, "wisdom" has very little to do with facts and information. It has everything to do with morals. When the Spirit of Wisdom comes, he gives a keen sense of the difference between right and wrong. He gives "understanding"--which more literally here means "discernment," the ability to sort out various options and choose what’s best, what’s right.
This Spirit is also the Spirit of counsel. A person who has the Holy Spirit is a person you can go to for advice. He not only knows the right way for himself; he can help you see what it is for you. When you study Jesus’ teaching and see how clear and to the point it is, and see the help it gives you, the light it throws on your path every day, you thank God for giving Jesus the Spirit of counsel. And you also see that Jesus is full of the Spirit of power; power that healed the sick, and raised the dead; power that stood up and told the truth, even when it cost Jesus his life.
But the Spirit’s greatest gift is "the fear of the LORD." Does this mean that the Holy Spirit, when he comes, makes us afraid of God, so that we want to get as far away from God as we possibly can? Of course not. The Old Testament talks about, and praises, "the fear of the LORD" constantly. And when you study that phrase you see it’s talking about the kind of fear you have, not for a burglar or an enemy, but for your father. Think about this. If you’re a child in a healthy, normal household, you love your father. But you also respect him. You know that your relationship with your father isn’t the same as it is with one of your friends at school. You realize that dad is in a position of authority and responsibility over you, and that he’s going to discipline you if you step out of line. And so you are afraid to do anything that would hurt or anger your father, because you love him. When the Bible talks about "the fear of the LORD," it’s talking about the kind of reverence you have for your father, only multiplied many times over. It’s really the Old Testament’s way of talking about what we New Testament Christians call "faith."