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JOY: Daily Reading Plan #2

Reading Plan Day 2
Isaiah 9:6-7

"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.

Of the greatness 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 forever.

The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this."

Isaiah 9:6
Isaiah 9:7

Isaiah has been describing Israel's future, when the Lord will return light to their dark land (Isaiah 9:2–3). He will bring rest, security, and abundance to them once more by breaking the oppression of their enemies. He will even bring an end to war itself (Isaiah 9:4–5). How will God bring about all this splendor for Israel?

This verse begins to describe how God will accomplish all of this. He will do it through a person: a human being who will be human born. This is a famous verse that modern Christians tend to think of as a Christmas passage. That's because it predicts the birth of Jesus, the hope of salvation for all peoples. However, it is also the promise of God to Israel of a deliverer, a Messiah, who will restore glory and joy to their nation. This child will be the King of Israel, as well as of the world.

This person Isaiah pictures is truly unusual and remarkable. He is undeniably human because He is born as a child. He will clearly be a king, because Isaiah states that the government "will rest on His shoulders." It was not unusual for kings to be given lavish titles in this era, but the titles given to this king quickly escalate. The titles start with the level of a crown prince, or specially empowered agent of God, to that of God. Isaiah leaves no room for question, this child Who will be born will be God Himself.

Isaiah writes that this deliverer will be called "Wonderful Counselor." This describes the kingly wisdom of a monarch such a Solomon. He will be a leader who will always make the best decisions in every scenario and give unfailing counsel to His subjects.

While that title might be given to an especially worthy human king, the next one could not. This person will be called "Mighty God." Some scholars attempt to render the language here to mean "great hero." But Isaiah clearly means to communicate that this deliverer of Israel, and the world, will be divine in and of Himself. He is describing the Messiah, who will ultimately be revealed to be Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

In addition, this king will be called both "Everlasting Father" and "Prince of Peace." Many kings have been referred to as the father of their people. However, this king's fatherhood will not end. He will continue as Father to one generation after another and then to all generations of His people for eternity. In short, He is God.

This king's reign over Israel and the earth will not be an endlessly bloody one where He rules with an iron fist. This divine king will be so powerful that He will create lasting peace on the earth, bringing an end to all war. He will rightly be given the title of "Prince of Peace." This is one of the names by which we know our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ, the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy.

The prophet has described a man and king who will come and restore Israel from darkness to light and abundance and peace (Isaiah 9:1–3). Through his narration, this king is clearly more than just a man. Isaiah has called him both Mighty God and Everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6).

There can be no mistake, this will be no mere mortal. His government and the peace that it brings will never end, as would happen with the death of even an extraordinary monarch. This king will occupy the throne of David to the end of time. He will be king of Israel and the world forever. This could only be true of an eternal being. Finally, this coming king will be good and will never become corrupt. He will rule with justice and righteousness.

All of this will be brought about by the enthusiasm of the Lord of hosts. In other words, God will accomplish this because He wants to do it. It is His plan and purpose, and He will bring it about by His power. This is Israel's great future.

Believers understand clearly that this coming king of Israel is Jesus the Messiah. Many passages of Scripture support this. Possibly the most direct one is found in the words of the angel Gabriel to a young virgin named Mary. "You will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end" (Luke 1:31–33).

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