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.
7 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 9:6-7 NIV, emphasis mine)
Today we look at the second of four attributes Isaiah records about Messiah: Mighty God.
“Mighty God” is one phrase, consisting of two Hebrew words:
- “gibbor” – mighty (as a warrior), strong, powerful, valiant.
- “‘el” – a deity, specifically, God (the God of Israel), taken from the last syllable of “Immanuel.”
“Mighty God” is one of the names God gives Himself to help us understand His character and attributes.
The order of these four attributes is also significant. Isaiah says that the Lord is a Wonderful Counselor, possessing all wisdom and kindness, but also Mighty God, fully capable of carrying out His will and valiantly defending and protecting His own.
Moses understood God’s might and power and taught the children of Israel (and us) about Him:
17 For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty [gibbor] and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes.
(Deuteronomy 10:17 NIV, bracketed text mine)
Moses continues, not only telling us what God can do, but what He has done what He is doing, and what He will do as the Mighty One of Israel:
18 He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing.
21 He is the one you praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes. 22 Your ancestors who went down into Egypt were seventy in all, and now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the sky.
(Deuteronomy 10:18, 21-22 NIV)
God also reminds us through the prophet Zephaniah of His promise to be El Gibbor to His own:
17 The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.
(Zephaniah 3:17 NIV)
Messiah may have come as a baby, given His life for ours, but has promised to come back one day as a victorious warrior to take back His own:
14 They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.
(Revelation 17:14 NIV)
As you worship Messiah today, may you be reminded of God’s faithful character and His power to carry out good and protect His own – yesterday, today, and forever.
A promise kept, and yet to come.