Christmas 2019/ Isaiah 9:2-7: Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace
If you take your Bibles with me, open to Isaiah, the reading from chapter nine verses two through seven
[Isaiah 9:2-7 ESV] 2 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone. 3 You have multiplied the nation; you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as they are glad when they divide the spoil. 4 For the yoke of his burden, and the staff for his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian. 5 For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire. 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.
Yeah. I’m so glad that the zeal of the Lord of hosts accomplishes that. Cause if it were up to you or I to accomplish that, it would never happen. Let’s pray. Father, please open our eyes now to see the wonders of who you are that this Christmas baby would reveal to us. You as the wonderful counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting
Yeah. And the Prince of peace.
Show us what you’d have for us this morning. I asked, can I pray this in your precious name? Hey man sand on the beach. How many of you have done that before? Built little sandcastles. How many of you would admit that you kind of look forward to taking your kids to go do that? Cause you kind of still enjoy it. Okay. I do. I’ll admit that. So the, the sand on the beach, you get there and you get this idea, you know what we should do, we should build this big reservoir of water that we can hold a bunch of water in and then we’ll dig out a channel from that reservoir up on the beach down all the way to the bottom and, and back to the Lake or the ocean from where you get water. And so you dig out this channel carefully, you, you go back and forth with the channel and then you build up the, the, the reservoir and the walls around it.
And then you send your kid while you’re having fun digging, you send them for the water to go dump in the, in the ocean are to go dump in the reservoir and you build up that water. And then once the water is full within the reservoir, you decide, okay, all it takes is just a little bit, you just with even just your finger, you carve out a small channel from the reservoir to the channel that you have prepared for it. And with just a trickle of water coming through that wall. Suddenly all of the wall is washed down into the channel that you prepared in. All of the water carries through the channel back and forth and back and forth and returns to the home from where you took it.
It’s satisfying the moment when you see the water escape through that small channel and and wash out the walls is extremely, almost as satisfying as that. You know the, the sound the scissors make when they’re going through the wrapping paper. You know what I’m saying? I can ever do it the right way. I was in a terrine part of it to ne can attest to that, but as satisfying when you see that happen, because you know it’s the beginning and you see suddenly it floods more and more water down and I want to say that’s like Christmas. The baby of Christmas is the trickle. It’s the trickle from the damn wall that finally burst through with an outpouring of God’s presence and his peace in this world. That’s where we’re going today. I want you to look and think about that Christmas baby start of the peace that God promises. You. Remember what the angel say? Peace on earth.
Just the beginning. It’s just the beginning. Christmas is amazingly satisfying because of the longing that we have, the narrative that’s built into each one of us for things to be made right. They’re broken and we want them to be right. And finally the baby burst onto the scene exactly when the prophet said it would. And it begins this, this moment of peace where all who place their faith in Jesus have peace with God. All right? But that piece is just a foretaste. It’s just the introduction to your favorite song. It’s just the appetizer before Christmas dinner. It pioneers the way for God to be with man one day. Finally, with all the pieces that he promises. So today we are finishing our series through this Christmas. We’ve looked at the, the name Emmanuelle. We’ve looked at the name, wonderful counselor and mighty God. Today we will look at everlasting father and Prince of peace to put a bow on this.
And then, and each one of these candles this year represent one of those four titles. And when we like the central candle on Tuesday, Christmas Eve, we will talk about Emmanuel, God with us, and then we’ll sing silent night with all of our candles. Everyone will get one. We’ll sing silent night. All of our candles would be lit from that middle one, manual God with us. So we’re going to look at two things today. First of all, we’re going to look at how Christmas introduces the way that God wants to be with us. And that’s got us father. And finally Christmas introduces the setting. When God is with us, or Shalom or heaven or Eden, whatever you want to call it, it’s peace. That’s God’s intent. So we’re going to start with everlasting father everlasting father. Now have you ever stopped and wondered and thought, okay, the names of Jesus, he’s called Emmanuelle.
He’s called wonderful counselor. He’s called mighty God. Do you ever get a little hang up on, Oh, you everlasting father. But Jesus is the son. He’s not the father. Now you’re not alone if you do the, and in fact there’s a lot of wrong theology that comes from a misunderstanding of how these three chapters of Isaiah from chapter seven through chapter nine are kind of confused. I talked about a little bit on the first time. I want to answer this question because these things matter in our theology. A good understanding of what we call the Trinity God, the father, God the son and the Holy God, the Holy spirit, one God, three persons absolutely United. That’s important to understand the mysteries of our salvation and if we confuse those or if we get in our I in our mind that there’s one God that occasionally acts like a father and occasionally acts like a son.
Then we’re going to be confused about what’s going on in the word of God, so I want to just quickly answer that. Okay? The names of God are real are the names of these child. This children who are born in chapter seven, eight and nine are important. You’ll remember right, chapter seven verse three Isaiah takes his son who’s named Shear-jashub to go meet with Ahaz and his son. Later on, it’s revealed as a sign to King. Ahaz as Isaiah for the first time gives a prophetic word day has and said, Hey, guess what got bad news for you? You don’t have to worry about Syria and Israel who are forming a coalition against you but are going to have to worry about us. Syria, they’re dangerous and here he brings his son as a sign because his son’s name means a remnant shall return. This is both a threat and a promise.
It’s a threat because only a remnant will return. It’s a warning, but it’s also a promise because a remnant will return. Is Isaiah son the remnant? This is the interactive portion of the sermon. You can answer it out loud. No, he’s not his name. Reveal something about the circumstances around his being. He’s a sign. His son’s name is a sign. It’s not the first time though. We looked at the first Sunday, how in chapter seven, verse 14, the Virgin shall conceive and give birth to a son who call his name Emmanuel. And we see the very next chapter. Isaiah thinks that’s his son. Isaiah has his son and then multiple times, the only other few times in the Bible, the word Emmanuelle is used about the Assyrian judgment. So a title is given for Isaiah son as Emmanuel, but not because I say a son is God with us, but because it reveals something about the circumstances around his birth that in his birth he would be a sign that God would be with Northern Israel in judgment through Syria. The third name that you see there is the other title that’s given to Isaiah son the name. Can you pronounce it?
Verse one of chapter eight Maher-shalal-hash-baz, kids. Can you say that with me? Nice job. Okay. I, I need to hit the pause on my sermon because I feel, you don’t have to pause it on there. I feel terrible. But I printed these off. I spent a lot of time working on these for the kids. So I need somebody to help me pass these out to the kids. Jones coral. Could you get these to the kids? And this is important today. Kids. You know why? Because if you bring these to me afterwards and you did a good job filling these out, I have candy for you. Okay. So I want to see what questions you have, what drawings you came up with. There are about the things that I’m preaching. Okay, so this is important. So if you guys do a good job of filling that out, I’ve got lifesavers and I’ve got Starbursts.
I thought that was about as Christmasy as I could get other than candy canes. So that’s what I went with. So you’ll be able to pick out a piece of candy if you do a good job filling out these paper. Thank you, Joel and scorer. I just remembered that as I tried to get the kids to say, ma may hear shallow hash pass. That’s a big name, right? Do you know what may hair shell hash Baz means? It means something along the lines of a soon prey, soon spoil our, it’s common quickly. The prey is coming quickly. The spoil is coming quickly. It’s his name represents a threat in the circumstances around that child’s birth is may hear shallow hash FAS, the prey and the spoil.
No, his name represents circumstances around his birth that will happen. So having set that up in chapter seven and eight, three different times that the child’s name does not mean the child himself is that thing, but that the circumstances around will be that thing. Having set that up three times, he then introduces chapter nine and a child is born and when the child is born, some kind of circumstances around that child’s birth will reveal God is the mighty God. God is the wonderful counselor. God is the everlasting father. God is the Prince of peace. Jesus is the son of God. This is very obvious from other portions of scripture, but these titles are not necessarily intended for us to think of these are Jesus. He’s the everlasting father. That’s the answer to this question. If you are struggling with it. I want you to think about this though. Have you ever noticed that there aren’t very many times in the old Testament when God has referred to his father?
Have you ever noticed they’re all over the new Testament? Plus it’d be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Behold what manner of love the father has given to us are blank in heaven, hallowed be your name. Ask and it will be given to you. Seek and you will find knock and it will be open to you forever. Everyone who asks receives and the one who seeks, finds and to the one who knocks, it will be open our which of which one of you. If a son asks him for bread, will you give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will you give him a serpent? If you then who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him? God is referred to in the old Testament in different places as the father, but there’s a special way in which Jesus when he comes into the world, shows us the father.
I think this is what Jesus has in mind. I think it’s John chapter 14 if I remember when Thomas is like, show us the father and it’s good enough for us and Jesus is like he who has seen the son has seen the father. Look at me. I’m here to show you about the everlasting father to reveal to you something wonderful that God intends to be with his people as their good heavenly father. See what kind of love the father has given to us, that we should be called children of God. And so we are, the reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now and what we will be has not yet appeared, but we know that when he appears we will be like him. For we shall see him as he is and everyone who has this hope purifies himself as he is pure.
There’s a special way in which when God comes into the world, he broke into that world, that Christmas baby 2000 years ago was sent to us to bring us to God as his children, that God would be our everlasting father. Now I, I’m well aware that some of you have broken families and you don’t know necessarily, you’re not super familiar with what a good father looks like. And I’m increasingly aware as a dad that I have a heavy burden on me to represent my heavenly father well to my kids so that they get just a hint, hopefully from my life of their good, good father in heaven.
But I want you to know that this father that we’re talking about here, he’s a good father. He’s an everlasting father. He won’t be taken away from you. He’s good in his heart toward you, always desiring your best. He will correct you, he will discipline you, but he will always love. That’s not changing. And it’s not on the basis of your performance today as if you are some kind of you know, friend of the family who can get kicked out of the house if you’re not behaving. No, it’s on the basis of the fact that he is your father. That relationship’s not changing.
He is the everlasting father and Jesus reveals that to us through the cross. We’re going to talk more about that in a minute, but I want to move on to Prince of peace, Prince of peace. The word Prince here. And the word for government in the next verse are actually from the same root word. I think it would be clever to show the connection by saying the everlasting father, the Prince of peace, of the art, the everlasting father. Maybe you could say the governor of peace, of the increase of his government and of peace. There will be no end, or you could say the ruler of peace, of the increase of his rule. There will be no one to show you that connection there. Because as I’ve told you before, this whole section six and seven are built as a chai ASM. In other words, that last name there, Prince of peace goes with the first part of verse seven.
The Prince of peace, of the increase of his government and of peace. There will be no end. What does a piece you ever tried to define peace. Welcome to my job, right? Trying to explain an idea that’s kind of complicated. You know it when you’ve got it, you’d know it when you don’t have it and you want it. Isaiah is one of the most jam packed books of the Bible regarding that word, peace or Shalom. It’s a word in Hebrew that goes beyond just like an inner sense of good and goes to an entire wellbeing of the person. It’s often in connection with the idea of Eden coming back to their earth or heaven coming to earth or things being made perfect here on earth so that there’s no more sin and struggle. A little bit of that piece breaks through here are there with you and me.
Isaiah 23 verses three and 12 say you keep him in perfect peace. Whose mind is stayed on you because he trusts in you. How many of you memorize that verse and use that? I know I do. Verse 12 O Lord, you will ordain Shalom or peace for us, for you have indeed done for us all our works. In other words, all these acts of salvation, you’ve done it all. So you’re going to establish peace for us. How do you know that one day you will be part of a world where everything’s made right? You’ll be in heaven one day. How do you know that? Cause he’s already done all these works in your life today to save you.
What must I do to get this piece? Oh that you had paid attention to my commandments. Then your piece would have been like a river and your righteousness like the waves of the sea. So we have to obey his commands, but later on in that same passage, this is Isaiah 48 it says, there is no peace, says the Lord for the wicked. There is no peace for the wicked. That’s awful because I know my heart and I can examine the commands of God carefully and I see really quickly I’ve broken them because if I only obeyed and paid attention to God’s commands, then I would have peace like a river. But what happens when I don’t obey? Well, there’s no peace for me. Broken the commands of God. If you haven’t done it with your hands, you’ve done it with your heart. You haven’t done it with your mouth.
You’ve done it with your mind. We’ve broken God’s commands, not only outwardly, but inwardly. There’s something wrong with us. We are wicked and we’re hopeless, and that’s the [inaudible] they is building to this. This is chapter 48 there’s no peace for the wicked Israel. You’ve been wicked. What’s the hope for you? Well, how beautiful on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news? This is Isaiah 52 what good news. Who publishes peace or Shalom? A message of peace. Who brings good news of happiness? Who publishes salvation? What is the salvation? Who says in Zion your God reigns. When God reigns, there is peace. There’s a message of peace coming in that Isaiah 52 passage and you expect it to climax and another one of the boy, I wish I could take you through the mall. Another one of the four cycles that he keeps are it at this point in 52 would be six cycles that he keeps going back to look at the kingdom. Look at the King, he’s on the throne, he’s writing in power and you say, yes, I need another one of those choruses. I look forward to the King who reigns and then Isaiah 53 happens. What’s Isaiah 53 it’s the man of sorrows. Right after this passage you says your God reigns. He goes into this man, this Davidic King figure who is going to be beaten and chastised and broken for our sins.
And you think Isaiah 53 five says he was pierced for our transgressions. He was crushed for our Nick. Woody’s upon him was the chastisement that brought us Shalom and with his wounds we are healed. You and I can’t get into that kingdom. We don’t have the qualifications. We can’t get off that floor of the elevator without the right key card. We can’t get into piece cause we’re broken sinners and so God sends his son God. The father sends God the son to take on flesh here on this earth and be beaten and bruised for our sin, taking on himself the punishment for sin so that we could receive peace and be here. It’s the message of Christmas, but is this piece then contingent on my obedience? Do I have to continue to obey?
Isaiah 54 10 the next chapter, the mountains made apart and the Hills may be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you and my covenant of you guys can do better. My covenant of shall not be removed says the Lord. I have given you peace. It’s going nowhere because that covenant of peace is given to you on the basis of what Jesus Christ has done, not on the basis of your obedience anymore. It’s a gift to you. What will this piece be like? If I accept a gift, if I believe in trust in Jesus who died on the cross for my sins, Isaiah 55 12 you shall go out with joy and be led forth in the mountains, in the Hills or break forth before you in singing and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Have you ever had a moment of peace with God where the trees of the fields were clapping their hands where the mountains were singing praise to God? I have.
It was as if creation itself was worshiping God because God has made peace with man who was able to access this piece. Can anyone get it? Do I have to have gone to church for a while? Do I have to be a good person? Isaiah 57 19 creating the fruit of the lips, peace, peace to those who are far and to the near says the Lord and I will heal them. I don’t care how far away from God you are today. I don’t care how close you think you are to God today that peace is offered to you to today. All are welcome to this piece. Finally, will there be ever enslavement or curse again?
Isaiah 60 verse 17 instead of bronze, I will bring gold instead of iron. I will bring silver instead of wood, bronze instead of stones, iron and I will make your overseers peace and your task masters righteousness. Where else have you seen the word task masters in the Bible. Exodus. We’re going to go there in two weeks. That’s where we’re going to be. We’re going to go through Exodus in the new year. I’m excited about it. Exodus account, they, they get taskmasters and set them over the Israelites and whipped them and abused them and oppress them and God says, you know what? Your task master is going to be peace.
It’s going to rule over you. You’ll never have to fear being under sin ever again. You’ll never have to fear being enslaved to sin ever again. You’ll never have to fear death ever again. You’ll never have to fear sickness ever again. Your task master, the one who leaves you and rules you will be peace. You will be under a reign of peace. The holiday season is very difficult for many. Those of you who have lost loved ones, you feel it during this time. Those of you who have difficult family relationships, you feel it during this time. Those of you who have experienced great loss or maybe you just have a bad habit of trying to do too much in the holiday season so you’re already stressed out. I want you to remember that Christmas is a time for God’s peace to guard your heart and your mind. In Christ Jesus, it says, of the increase of the government and of peace, there will be no end. Think about that.
There’s never going to be an end to the growth of his rule and peace. It’s very reminiscent. That’s shallow. That’s Shalom expands to encompass. The universe is rule, establish the Milky way and all the galaxies. This never ending journey is very reminiscent of the Chronicles of Narnia series. How many of you have read that? The whole thing. Okay. Crock calls, Chronicles of Narnia as an allegory of the real world. It’s a narrative woven to resemble and explain truths that we see in every day to day life. Obviously the famous one is the lion, the witch, and the wardrobe, but it’s the last battle that I want to about after the history of Narnia has, has gone for some time and there’s this great last battle. They come to the end of it all and this is what said, and as he spoke, he no longer looked to them like in lion.
He’s talking about Azland. But the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them for us, this was the end of all the stories, but we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All of their life in this world and all of their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page. Now at last they were beginning chapter one of the great story which no one on earth has read, which goes on forever and ever in which every chapter is better than the one before. Expanding that piece, and this is what he said, this is what made me remind it. Since the response I have come home at last, this is my real country. I belong here. This is the land that I have been looking for all my life though I never knew it till now and then the lion that represents the jeez Jesus, he says, come up, come further up and further in and the rest of their story is them going further up and further in, indefinitely into heaven and into God’s presence.
That reminded me so much of this phrase of the increase of his peace. There will be no wet. You think eternity is going to be static the same day after day after day. God is going to reveal new wonders to you about who he is every day. That baby in the manger is the introduction to God as father. It’s because of his death on the cross that we get to be with God as his children. It is the beginning of peace on earth that peace is spreading even today in your and my life on the other side of the planet, from where it started today, here in Norwalk, Iowa. Every time someone turns from their sin and turns to God, another pocket of peace Springs up in this dark desert wasteland. One day Jesus will return. He will remove the curse from the ground. He will banish sin and death forever.
Heaven will thread throughout the earth with prosperity and fruitfulness and that will fulfill the first commandment given to mankind that is be fruitful and multiply. His piece will continue to expand with his government to encompass all creation. So when you are looking at the baby in the manger this time, think about the love God has shown to us. Think about the peace that God has brought us, but also think about the future that awaits us. That baby and Christmas of Christmas is the trickle from the dam that finally will burst through one day and bring peace. The outpouring of God’s presence, God with man, they will be with him and he will be their God and they will be his people and it will be the final outpouring of God’s peace into this world. We have that day to look forward to. God is going to do that one day. We get a foretaste through Jesus today. So I encourage you, worship from your heart today and then hope. Yeah, tomorrow.
Just stand with me please and we’ll close in prayer. Father, I pray that you would reveal to us the wonders of Jesus Christ, the wonders of the piece that we have wonders of being called a children of God, such we are bored. Open our eyes during this Christmas season to help us see that you are the everlasting father, Prince peace. If there’s anyone here today who does not know, that does not trust that I pray that you would cause their hearts today to turn to you, you’d remove the blinders from their eyes so that they can see the glories of this Christmas story. They would find peace. ISIS in your precious name. Amen. Rejoice in the Lord always again. I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand, not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with Thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God and the God, the peace of God, which surpasses all will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, there’s any excellence. If there’s anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me. Practice these things and the God of peace. We’ll be with you.
Thank you so much for being here this morning. Members here at Redeemer. We do have a meeting here just a few moments about the potential for a facility. So I encourage you to get around and talk to some people, shake hands, talk to any visitors we might have, and then we’ll make our way. Sit back down. What we’ll get going here in about five minutes and we’ll pass out some sheets. It’s going to be a meeting and some question and answer time. Thank you so much for being here this morning. I will be up here for a few minutes here afterwards. If you’d like to talk or pray, I’d welcome that opportunity. Other words, otherwise you guys are dismissed.