(Isaiah 9:6) “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
This season we call “Christmas” should be a time for laughter and happiness, yet during this same season many people will suffer deep depression and anxiety. A few poor souls will even contemplate taking their own lives, leaving behind a terrible hole in the hearts of those who loved them. Though psychologists and psychiatrists will give a number of reasons for this horrible reality, in many cases the reason for destructive behavior is the poor foundation a person has built their life on. If you have based your happiness and sense of self worth on the foundation of money or fame these ever shifting foundations will take you on an emotional roller coaster. The things of this life are fleeting, what the Bible calls “vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” (James 4:14). If you don’t get what you want for Christmas you’re disappointed, depressed. If you didn’t achieve the goals you set out to achieve this year, you are sad. If you couldn’t afford to buy your friends and family a certain gift, you feel ashamed. If you’re living apart from your family in a long term care facility or a hospital during this holiday season you’re lonely and homesick. All these things are very human, and very understandable – I’ll not tell you that these same emotions don’t come to us all. But the foundation of your life must be more than this. The foundation you build your life on must be that Child in the manger the children’s Christmas program talked about. The only sure foundation for this life is God Who walked among us – Jesus Christ.
When the Prophet Isaiah wrote this often quoted passage he saw a Child coming forth from God to bless each and every one of us who believe. Isaiah used a number of titles for this Child to show that He is more than an ordinary Baby. The Child is “Wonderful”. Our Wonder-Working God Himself became a Wonder when He came to earth to give His life for us (John 12:24-33). Jesus came for another reason as well, seen through the other names given Him in our passage. The name “Wonderful” emphasizes His miraculous birth, and the miraculous New Birth (see John 3:3, 7; 1 Peter 1:23) that He freely gives to those who believe in Him. The name “Counselor” shows us that we are never alone – He ever abides with us. He Who was betrayed by every friend at Calvary is a friend to you when all others turn away. Our “Counselor” represents the believer before God the Father (Isaiah 53:10-12). Our “Mighty God” can lift us up from that sick bed when all the doctors can do is shake their heads in confusion (John 14:9-11). As “Prince of Peace”(John 14:27) Jesus is the Perfect Foundation for life. He does not merely bring peace, Jesus IS our Peace (Ephesians 2:14). Unlike the shifting foundation that foolish people trust their lives to, Jesus Christ is The Rock (1 Corinthians 10:4).
In Joshua 5:13-15 Joshua was getting ready to fight the Battle of Jericho. As he waited, somewhat nervously, for the new day to begin, an unnamed Man walked up. Joshua asked Him Who He was, and the Visitor replied that He was the Captain of the LORD’s Host. Just two verses later we see that this Person was an Old Testament manifestation of Jesus Christ (Joshua 6:2). Joshua’s heart burned within him: What do we have to do to beat this superior, entrenched force? The Lord gave Joshua the same answer He gives us today. Trust Him, be obedient to Him, and He will fight your battles. You know the end of the story: the walls of Jericho, built on the foundation of human power and majesty, fell down. The city was beaten because its foundation was man power and not God power. What is your foundation dear friends? Is your life based on Jericho or on Jesus? The Rock you choose does make a difference!