Wonderful Counselor (Isa 9:6)

https://growinggodlygenerations.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/dec-5_isa-9-6_wonderful-counselor.mp3

MOTIVATE

–          Children’s Name Meanings: Brown Family Video

EXAMINE                

As you consider the name meanings of children we enter into the season of celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Before Jesus entered this world, an angel appeared to Joseph saying, “do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel’ (which means, God with us).” Matthew 1:20-25

Jesus’ name means “Jehovah Saves”. He was also called Immanuel (God with us), which was from a prophecy in the book of Isaiah. Through December I will be teaching from this prophetic book. It has a unique theme of darkness yet also hope[1]. Recently SPBC finished a teaching series from the Psalms titled “God of Darkness” with the theme of why God allows difficult circumstances in our lives and how we can and should respond toward them. As we noted, everyone faces dark times, even God’s people. In the book of Isaiah, and most of the Old Testament, we see God’s people facing darkness largely as a result of their sin.

Judah followed the 10 northern tribes of Israel into ungodliness. Rather than pursuing God and seeking righteousness, the people fell into sinful rebellion, corruption, rote religion, consulting mediums, and the like. Because of their actions God brought judgment upon the people.

The prophet would say, “The people will pass through the land, greatly distressed and hungry. And when they are hungry, they will be enraged and will speak contemptuously against their king and their God, and turn their faces upward. And they will look to the earth, but behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish. And they will be thrust into thick darkness.” (8:21-22).

The Assyrian army invaded the land of Judah (tribal territories of Zebulun and Naphtali or more commonly known in NT as Galilee) leaving the land famished, empty and in total darkness. Left alone, there was little hope in Judah. But God is faithful to his covenant (Gen 12:1-3, Psalm 105:8-11)

In time these lands would be re-made glorious, the people would see a great light (cf. Matthew 4:12-17). God would not leave Israel alone. He promised to intervene with a deliverer to save Israel. Isaiah depicts this deliverer as a unique child having 4 names which find significance in the life of Jesus. A child’s name is often significant to their identity and in OT times was an expression of that person’s character. By looking at each of these names you can gain a greater understanding of Jesus and bring him greater worship in your life.

ISAIAH 9:1-6  The Child with 4 Names

Jesus is a Wonderful Counselor

The child is called wonderful counselor. The name[2] emphasizes the supernatural deity of this child. During a time when life is gloomy and uncertain, Israel needed hope in something-One wonderful. This supernatural child would give kingly counsel and instruction.

People everywhere are in need of a counselor. The national Institute of Mental Health (nimh.gov) says
“An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older — about one in four adults — suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. When applied to the 2004 U.S. Census residential population estimate for ages 18 and older, this figure translates to 57.7 million people.” Another 21 million have mood disorders, 18 million have depressive disorders, 5 million are bipolar, 2 million schizophrenic adults, 52+million have a anxiety or panic disorders, 20 million have a specific phobia, and this doesn’t include those with eating disorders, or those diagnosed with ADHD, Autism, or other personality disorders[3] OR even those receiving counseling for irreconcilable marriages, defeating and destructive habits and the like.  

Without a doubt, millions upon millions are spent on counseling and medications. This is all the result and reality of living in a Fallen and broken world. Some of these do need psychological assistance while others need a defined identity from their created purpose.

ð      How do you know if you need a counselor? (If you experience darkness or difficulty – that’s everyone!)

God said, “Why will you still be struck down? Why will you continue to rebel? Your whole head is sick, and your whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it, but bruises and sores and raw wounds, they are not pressed out or bound up or softened with oil.” Isaiah 1:5-6

ð      Where do you need counseling? Where do you need help?

Many do not go to a counselor (they do but a different source), but they get their counsel from:

–          Television: It’s not realistic that all of life’s problems are solved in one hour. Even reality t.v. is condensed to fit the time slot; and who knows the baggage those individuals leave with from the shows.

–          Pop culture: Why get your cues from entertainers who confess the emptiness of their wealth, status and surroundings? (i.e. Britney Spears, Heath Ledger, all the relational splits)

–          Friends: This is a step in the right direction but also falls short for two reasons. One is that friends have opinions based on their own interests, which may or may not be helpful. Every counsel is somewhat, if not largely, tainted by personal sin. The second is that your friends are not all-knowing of every detail nor have the benefit of knowing the future result of every decision. This points to the benefit of having God as your wonderful counselor who removes these two shortcomings.

–          Parents: Parents are a foundational resource of advice. However, they fall short for the above reasons as well. This is why it is important for parents to be connected to God as well as they look to raise children.

–          God: The commandments of the Lord give warning and great reward (Ps 19); “your testimonies are my delight, they are my counselors” (Ps 119:24); “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2Tim 3:16).

Jesus is a wonderful counselor.

He gives light to any subject (9:2)

He gives freedom (9:4)

He gives justice, righteousness and fairness to all situations (9:7)

APPLY/THINK

How should we respond to the counselor?

Openness: A counselor is ineffective if we are not honest and open
“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:8-9

Obedience: A counselor is ineffective if we do not heed advice.
“My sheep know my voice and listen” John 10

***Difference between Hearing (religious) & Listening (relationship)

My Story: YM at rapid pace, 1 new child… church member had chest pains and called ambulance from office – Car Prius (needed book to start); Cop “if you don’t slow down you won’t be good to anyone”. These were instant reminders for my life.


[1] The NT quotes Isaiah more than all the other prophets. Isaiah is like a miniature Bible: Bible has 66 Books, Isaiah has 66 chapters; OT has 39 books, NT 27 as Isaiah 39 chapters speak of God’s judgment and the next 27 chapters speak of God’s comfort and hope for Israel; The NT opens with announcements of Jesus’ birth as does Isaiah; The Gospels end with the crucifixion and end the NT with Revelation of new heavens and earth as Isaiah does in chapters 53 and concluding 66:18-23.

[2] J.A. Motyer, Isaiah, Vol.20 Tyndale Commentary says this word “is the nearest word Hebrew has to the idea of ‘supernatural’”. Further, the Hebrew (פֶּ֠לֶא יֹועֵץ֙) pele[2] (astonishing, marvelous, wonderful, uniquely separate) yawts (advise, counsel, one of kingly rank)

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