Broad Shoulders

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 9:6-7 NIV, emphasis mine)

Isaiah continues his prophecy, describing Messiah first as a child (taking on flesh and blood, just like us) then to a son (the Son of God) and now ruler (King of Kings and Lord of Lords).

When Isaiah speaks of the burden of government on Messiah’s shoulders, he was looking back and looking forward:

For as in the day of Midian’s defeat,
    you have shattered
the yoke that burdens them,
    the bar across their shoulders,
    the rod of their oppressor.
(Isaiah 9:4 NIV)

Isaiah remembered back when God defeated the Midianites (Judges chapter 7), and freed the Israelites from their oppressors.  Isaiah looked forward to the day when God would establish His eternal kingdom with Messiah as its King.

And what about Jesus?  Did He embrace His prophecy as Messiah, His rule over all creation, and accept responsibility for the burden of rule over all?  Let’s permit Jesus to speak for Himself:

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
(Matthew 28:16-18 NIV)

Just as God defeated the Midianites and broke their rule over the Israelites, so has Jesus broken the power and rule of sin and death (eternal separation from God) over us through His death and bodily resurrection.

So as our Eternal Commander-In-Chief, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, what does He say to us?  Once again, let’s allow Jesus to finish speaking:

19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
(Matthew 28:19-20 NIV)

We now have the honor and privilege of sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with the world.  The promise kept, and yet to come.

May peace rule in your hearts today, along with thanksgiving and worship of the One who made all this possible.  He empowered us to be part of His plan to show love to a hurting world in desperate need of hope.  May we see with His eyes and hear with His ears and have the courage to share freely what we have experienced in Christ.

Blessings,
~kevin

A Son is Given

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 9:6-7 NIV, emphasis mine)

Isaiah continues with his prophecy, telling us this child will be a son.  And this son will be given with a purpose, for a purpose.

John reminds us of this purpose in his gospel:

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
(John 3:16-17 NIV)

This baby born, this Son given, was from God, for us, to save us and reconcile us back to God and give us eternal life.

God’s giving us Messiah, His one and only Son, was not a random act of kindness.  God gave us His Son with a plan and a purpose from eternity past, in preparation for eternity future, with a love so profound that we can barely comprehend.

God’s gift of His Son cost us nothing but cost Him everything.  The Apostle Paul reminds us of God’s character and love through the price God paid to ransom us from our sin:

32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
(Romans 8:32 NIV)

God gave us Messiah, His one and only Son so that there could be peace between a holy and righteous God and sinful and wayward humanity, so we could spend eternity with Him.

May our hearts rest in His peace and may our souls worship in praise and thanksgiving for Messiah, the one born to die, given for us, that we might live for Him.

A promise kept, and yet to come.

Blessings,
~kevin

To Us a Child is Born

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 9:6-7 NIV, emphasis mine)

Isaiah’s prophecy of Messiah pointed both backward and forward in time.

As Isaiah reflected on God’s covenant, he remembered God’s promise all the way back to Adam and Eve and the fall of humanity:

[God speaking to the serpent]
And I will put enmity

    between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
    and you will strike his heel.
(Genesis 3:15 NIV, emphasis mine)

Messiah – God with us.

In the flesh, not just in spirit.

Inconceivable, but the greatest of all hopes, spanning generations and millennia until God’s promise was realized in the person of Christ.

Isaiah captured God’s words and the reminder of His promise but went to his grave without seeing it fulfilled.

Luke reminds us of God’s fulfillment of this promised Messiah who came as a child:

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.
(Luke 2:11 NIV)

And whom did God reveal Himself to first?

Not to the mighty, but to the meek – not to Herod, but to herdsmen.

A promise kept, and yet to come.

May your heart and soul be filled and overflowing with thanksgiving for God’s promise kept through Messiah, none other than Jesus of Nazareth.

May your worship be sweet today as you reflect on the Christ of Christ-mas.

Blessings,
~kevin

A Promise Kept, and Yet to Come

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 9:6-7 NIV)

In this Christmas season, I find myself extremely busy on every front – work, home, church, family, friends, ministry.  The busyness of the season is no different than many past Christmas seasons.

The difference this year?  I am deeply drawn to a quietness of heart and soul, to focus on worship of the God of the universe, the Christ of Christ-mas.

Even though God was fed up with the Israelites’ disobedience, stubbornness, and rebellion, He still loved them and sought to redeem them for His own.  Today’s passage is a reminder that God kept the first part of His covenant, and will one day fulfill the rest.

The Israelites’ story of waywardness is our story, and their Promised One is our promise.  God’s pledge of redemption is still faithful for us today as it was for the ancient Israelites in their day, and will be for our children’s children in their day.

In the next few postings, we’ll examine a few aspects of this Scripture as they speak to our hearts and lead us into deeper community with the One of whom this passage speaks.

As you draw near to Christmas, may you carve out time for quietness and reflection that leads your heart and soul to worship the Christ of Christ-mas.

Blessings,
~kevin