Summary: He is the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace. In this series we will take a look at each of these titles given to the Promised One of God.
The Gift of Christmas
Four the next four weeks I want us to spend our study time taking a look at a section of the Prophet Isaiah. Isaiah was a prolific prophet in perilous times. He wrote 66 chapters that are filled with judgment, justice, love, and redemption. Throughout all 66 chapters, through the hard times as well as the seasons of peace and prosperity, there is a thread of hope. Some of the most vivid and awe-inspiring words of hope that have ever been produced are found in the pages of Isaiah. His brilliant and encouraging words are set against a backdrop of politically and spiritually unsettling and disastrous times.
God moved upon Isaiah’s heart and he was able to write about God’s promises because he had his mind and heart fixed upon the sovereignty of Almighty God rather than the situations that the nation and the people found themselves enduring. It would pay us great dividends to study Isaiah through and through, but for the next four weeks we will fix our gaze upon seven little verses. The focus of our study will actually be four different titles that are given to the Promised One whom Isaiah saw as clearly as if He were already present.
We look back upon Isaiah’s words and see so clearly that the One Isaiah was describing was none other than the Christmas Gift – Jesus the Messiah. As we look back with 20/20 vision Isaiah looked forward with equal clarity to the coming One who would make things right once and for all. The four titles that Isaiah gives us are—Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. For those of you who know Jesus as Lord of your life then you have to agree with me that these titles, more than any other, capture the heart and ministry of Jesus in your life and mine.
I want to take a minute to take a paintbrush and dab it onto a pallet of despair, dejection, and desperation so that we can paint a canvas of utter darkness—darkness that was all too familiar to those who lived in Isaiah’s day. You might find some of the same dark hues and tones present in our own land or your own life this very morning. If that is the case then know that the same great light that was seen so clearly by Isaiah can be seen by your heavy eyes this very morning. Let’s begin our study. Take a look at Isaiah 1:1-2 with me to get us started.
1The vision concerning Judah and Jerusalem that Isaiah son of Amoz saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. 2 Hear, O heavens! Listen, O earth! For the LORD has spoken: “I reared children and brought them up, but they have rebelled against me. (Isaiah 1:1-2 NIV)
Isaiah tells us that the vision God gave him came during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. Uzziah died in 740 B.C. after reigning as king for 52 years. Under his reign Judah was strong and many in Judah prospered. Jotham, Uzziah’s son, reigned for 16 years and his administration was remembered for its many building projects, material prosperity, and military successes. Jotham did something his father never allowed, the worship of idols, and the decline of the nation began. Ahaz, who was Jotham’s son, was known as an evil king and he ruled for 16 years. The idol worship permitted by Jotham was taken to a new level as Ahaz sacrificed his own son to pagan gods. Ahaz also nailed the temple doors shut and forged alliances with surrounding pagan nations rather than trusting in the Lord for the nation’s security. Last of all, Ahaz’s son, Hezekiah, is known as a great king and he reigned for 29 years. He reopened the temple and brought about much needed religious reform. Hezekiah destroyed the idol worship that had been permitted by his father and grandfather. Tradition tells us that Isaiah never saw the end of Hezekiah’s administration because he was killed by Hezekiah’s son, Manasseh, by being sawn in two.
As I mentioned earlier, the forty years of Isaiah’s ministry were difficult times for Judah. The truth of the matter is that after Uzziah died the nation was sick with prosperity, they had forgotten the Lord, and they were set on doing what they wanted to do. The Assyrians were getting ready to be a rod of judgment in God’s hand to get the attention of His people. It was in the year that Uzziah died that Isaiah had a marvelous vision of the Lord and it brought him to his knees. Read along with me in Isaiah 6:1.
1In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. (Isaiah 6:1 NIV)