Summary: We find the name WONDERFUL COUNSELOR in Isaiah 9:6 given in the context of a troubled nation that was trusting in everyone else but God. This sermon will examine the life of Judah's king Ahaz as we are encouraged to trust the Lord in our circumstances.
Today, we begin a new sermon series for Christmas that we will call “A.K.A. JESUS.” This series title originated when I asked our pastors to think of a title for a series on the Names of the Savior. Pastor Frank, who worked in a prison for many years came up with the idea. “In prison, inmates are known by their many aliases. We use the abbreviation, A.K.A. as a short cut for also known as.” I thought that this would be a great theme to use for the month of December.
Names are very important. We give careful thought to the meaning of names that we give to our children. But even with the best of intentions, sometimes we come up with nick names. Kim’s cousin’s name is Matthew, but ever since he was a child, he’s been called “Chub.” He’s in his 40's and still called “Chub.” The strange thing is that he has never been overweight! The nick name was given to him when he was little and used to love go to the creek and chase the little bait fish called chubs!
If you have ever been called by a nick name, you will appreciate the following anonymous poem.
My aunt calls me "Elizabeth."
My grandma calls me "Liz."
My sister calls me "Lisa,"
and the baby calls me "Wiz."
My uncle calls me "Betty,"
while my grandpa calls me "Beth."
My brother calls me "Dizzy Liz"
or sometimes "Lizard Breath."
My teacher calls me "Betsy,"
and my friends all call me "Bess."
I find these nicknames more annoying
than you'd ever guess.
I wish that they would call me
by my real name instead.
I simply hate those nicknames;
see, my real name is Fred.
The first NAME that we will study is from Isaiah 9:6
The name is WONDERFUL COUNSELOR, and it refers to JESUS is the one whom we must trust!
Isaiah 9:6 "For 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 Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
The question that each one of us need to answer today is “Who will you TRUST at Christmas?
This verse is ONE of the MOUNTAINTOPS of Isaiah. These are passages that we know well and bring us great comfort. Many of these mountaintops are Messianic verses that we think of at Christmas.
Isaiah 7:14 "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel."
Isaiah 53:3–4 "He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. " "Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted."
We find the name WONDERFUL COUNSELOR in Isaiah 9:6 given in the CONTEXT of a TROUBLED NATION that was trusting in EVERYONE ELSE but GOD!
INTRODUCTION to ISAIAH
The TIME that Isaiah wrote was 740-680 BC. His prophecies were written to JUDAH, the southern kingdom. This was a time when Judah faced great trouble. The Assyrians were on a military quest to conquer the world. A predominant king of Assyria was Tiglath Pileaser (745-727 BC). Assyria was a powerful nation that no one could stop. They captured the ten northern tribes in 722 BC.
Isaiah’s prophetic ministry occurs over the reign of three kings:
1. JOTHAM. He reigned during a time of transition from greatness to decline.
2. AHAZ. He is the King that we will study today. During his reign, Israel Falls.
3 HEZEKIAH. He followed Ahaz and was the king when Assyria surrounded Jerusalem. Only the direct intervention of God kept Judah from being conquered at that time.
Isaiah preached to Judah and warned them that they should trust in the LORD in the middle of this troubling time. Their trust was in their own strength, and sometimes in the armies of other nations. In the Introduction to Isaiah by Celenden (NAC), we read: “The prophet Isaiah speaks with clarity and emotions against the proud people of his day that arrogantly thought they were in full control of their world.” (E. Ray Clendenen, New American Commentary: Isaiah 1-39 (B & H Publishing Group, 2007), 8.
Isaiah preached a message of HOPE in the midst of TROUBLE
In this context, we are examining the name “WONDERFUL COUNSELOR”
It is one of the eight names of the Messiah given in Isaiah 9:6
This passage contains four sets of compound names. Compound names were common:
a. Immanuel - “God with us”
b. Isaiah - “God saves”
c. Shear-Jashub (Isaiah’s son, Isa 7:3) - “A remnant will return”