Hope For Us (Isaiah 6-9)
The days of Isaiah were difficult, dark days, not unlike our own. But on the black canvas of the grim reality of his time, the prophet, like an artist, splashes a breathtaking portrait of the Lord of Light. Yes, things are dark, and they may get darker, “but” there will be no more darkness or gloom for those who were previously in anguish (Isaiah 9:1). Darkness does not equal hopelessness. There is a plan in place and light will shine into the darkness. Hope is being promised, and we see it fulfilled in the pages of the New Testament when Christ is born.
The basis for the hope: “For a child will be born to us” (Isaiah 9:6). This promised One, the hope for all who dwell in darkness, bears God’s own name. The name of God is God Himself. His name is who He is, synonymous with His person and character (Isaiah 48:9-11, Exodus 20:7). In other words, the foundation of our hope is found in God’s name, in who God is.
His name is Wonderful Counselor. God’s wisdom is the perfect, skillful, practical application of His knowledge in the orchestration and ordering of all things. He has devised in infinite wisdom the best ends imaginable and He achieves those ends by perfect means. All that God does, He does in perfect wisdom, both for His own glory and for the highest good of the largest number of people. He is perfectly wise, in every aspect of who He is and what He does, and His wisdom is perpetual, never fading or decaying.
His name is Mighty God. His power is infinite, eternal, and incomprehensible. All that God does He does without effort, and each act of God is as easy as another. His power can never be checked, restrained, or frustrated by anything created. Though He delegates His power to His creatures, He doesn’t relinquish any of His might or give anything away.
His name is Eternal Father. God is not limited by time. He has no past and no future, but lives in the perpetual “now.” He remains the same forever and ever, without mutation, alteration, variation, or fluctuation. Not only is God incapable of changing, but He is not even susceptible to change. This is what the writer of Hebrews meant when he wrote, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
Prince of Peace
His name is Prince of Peace. His wisdom, might, and all of His unchangeable attributes are used to orchestrate peace for His people! The One who was promised in the days of Isaiah brought about peace for us by reconciling us to God (2 Corinthians 5:17-18a). As sinners, we are at enmity with Him, but through the saving life, death, and resurrection of Christ we now have hope and peace and joy, which result from humbling ourselves before Him. While only war and enmity result from rejection of who He is, hope is promised for those who bow in worship to Him. Christ Jesus is our hope promised and fulfilled. He is hope for us!
– What is the relationship between God’s wisdom, power and eternal immutability and the peace He gives to His people? In what ways do each of these attributes of God find their fulfillment and manifestation in the person of Jesus?
– Do you consider our days (or your life’s circumstances) hopeless? If so, what is the foundation of your hope? Why is a hope set on this promised one a hope that is not overwhelmed by the darkness of our circumstances?