By M.E. Golder
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
To my mind, of all of the Messianic prophecies, this one rises highest in stating the dignity, splendor, power, authority and eternal glory of the heralded coming One.
The setting for our text is one of blackness and melancholy. Behold! Trouble, darkness and dimness. But the psalmist declared to the upright there shall arise light in the darkness. (Psa. 67:4)
There had been both a dimness and a vexation upon the nation of Israel. The Assyrian hordes had tormented the land; first, lightly afflicting the land of Zebulun and Naphtali (which lay remote and most exposed to the inroads of neighboring enemies) and afterwards the Assyrian more grievously afflicted the land by the way of the sea and beyond Jordan.
I want you to notice, God tries what less judgments will do with a people before he brings greater, but if a light affliction does not do
its work with us, we must expect to be afflicted more grievously, for when God judges he will overcome. Those were dark times with the land of Zebulun and Naphtali and there was “dimness of anguish in Galilee of the Gentiles” both in respect of ignorance and in respect of trouble and the desperate posture of their outward affairs. But in the midst of deepest gloom and the heaviest darkness; yea, in the shadow of death God promised: “a light shall spring up.” Note the promises made here by a never-failing God to a burdened, down-trodden people: (1) “they shall joy before thee”, (2) “thou shall break the yoke of oppression”. In breaking Israel’s present yoke God used a former deliverance a pattern-deliverance from the Midianitish bondage, a little company with God’s help (300 to be exact) overcomes a Midianite army.
The “wonderful thing” about this is, the “wonderful way” that it was to be accomplished. FOR UNTO US A CHILD IS BORN, UNTO US A SON IS GIVEN: AND THE GOVERNMENT SHALL BE UPON HIS SHOULDERS, AND HIS NAME SHALL BE CALLED WONDERFUL or as one commentator says MIRACLE.
Tonight, briefly, look at the wonders of this GREAT ETERNAL WONDER. The Creator of the ends of the earth; the Mighty Maker, Heaven’s High Monarch, the thrice Holy God of the throne, the Blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, the Giver and Sustainer of Life. God, himself becomes a “child born, a son given”. THIS IS WONDERFUL!
The “mighty God” is a “child born”. The “Ancient of Days” of Daniel becomes an infant of a span long. The Everlasting Father is a Son given. The Father of Eternity becomes the Son of Time. The “Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory.” The Eternal “I Am” becomes the Present “I Am”. Oh glory! This makes His name WONDERFUL.
Before His ascension, he made promises to everyone that would believe on Him. “He that believeth on me, as the scriptures hath said out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. This spoke he of the Spirit which all men that believe on him should receive.”
And he left us a “bedrock promise” that “in his name shall the Gentiles trust”. This name is to be trusted for salvation, for “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:12) Every Christian life is to be lived by faith in His name. Every message of salvation is to include His name, for repentance and remission of sin is to be preached in His name, beginning at Jerusalem. The songwriter declared:
“How sweet the Name of Jesus sounds, To a believer’s ear. It soothes our sorrows, heals our wounds And dries our falling tear.”
HIS NAME IS WONDERFUL! Yes, He is wonderful in all of his ways of dealing with sinful men.
“I was sinking deep in sin,
Far from the peaceful shore;
Very deeply stain’d within
Sinking to rise no more:”
But the “wonder of this age” made possible by the “Wonderful One” transformed my life.
WONDERFUL! I stand in amazement as I gaze upon such condescension and humiliation. The “high God” becoming “a lowly man”. He made himself of no reputation, but took upon him the form of a servant. He stood in my place, carried my sorrows, bore my shame, took my sins, died my death, suffered God’s wrath for me, was buried to carry sin far away, rose for my justification, entered into the “holy place” made without hands!
WONDERFUL! His love for the lost and dying! When we were yet sinners, yea, even enemies, God commended His love unto us. Love that is real, love that covers a multitude of sins, love amazing, love so divine. Love that reaches the downcast, the defiled, the unbeliever. Love that rescues, love that saves to the uttermost.
WONDERFUL! Yes, wonderful is His grace. What is grace? The unmerited favor of a merciful God given to unworthy men, lifting them from the awful fall and making them accepted in the beloved. Sinners become saints! Soiled men become sons of God. WONDERFUL! Marvelous Grace! Exceeding Grace! Exceeds our sins and our guilt. Grace that lifts us from the lowest hell, up to the highest heaven. Grace that clears us in the courts of heaven and makes all powers of darkness realize the clearance.
History has repeated itself. A day of dimness, of grief, of heartache, of sorrow is here upon us again. The world mourns and languishes. Hearts are heavy; eyes are tearstain’d, war seems to be here to stay and despair seems to be our portion.
But tonight, “the child has been born”. The “son has been given”. And the affairs are upon his shoulders. He can carry your load for you, bear your burdens and make you a new creature to face life bravely. If you will be buried with him by baptism in Jesus’ name for the remission of sins and be filled with the Holy Spirit, evidenced by speaking with other tongues, you’ll find Jesus to be WONDERFUL in peace, WONDERFUL in comfort, WONDERFUL in keeping. Just completely WONDERFUL, that’s all.
(The original publisher of the above material is unknown.)
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