Thought For The Week
THOUGHTS FROM ISAIAH
HIS NAME – PART 2
He is called the ‘Everlasting Father’
Isaiah leaves us with no excuse for doubting that this child is God. It is God who is eternal – everlasting. It is God who endures forever. It is God who is ‘the Father’ of all created creatures, and who is, on another level, the Father of all who believe in his Son. Yet here the child is called the ‘everlasting Father’.
This is forever the heart of God towards those who are his:
‘As a father has compassion on his children
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him’ [Psalm 103:13].
‘But you are our Father,
though Abraham does not know us
or Israel acknowledge us;
you, O LORD, are our Father,
our Redeemer from of old is your name’ [Isaiah 63:16].
‘I have loved you with an everlasting love …’ [Jeremiah 31:3].
‘It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms …’ [Hosea 11:3].
And this Father-heart is the heart of Jesus Christ:
‘… how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings …’ [Luke 13:34].
‘… he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd …’ [Mark 6:34].
‘Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love’ [John 13:1].
The heart of the Father is the heart of the Son: a heart of everlasting love.
The Prince of Peace
This child of whom Isaiah speaks is ‘the Prince’ – he is at the head: he is the Master, the One in charge, the Leader, the Lord. He is the One who holds the sceptre of authority over all nations.
Genesis 49:10 anticipates his coming:
‘The sceptre will not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
until he comes to whom it belongs [Hebrew: ‘until Shiloh (= ‘tranquil’) comes’]
and the obedience of the nations is his.’
Similarly, Isaiah 11:10:
‘In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious.’
As indicated in Isaiah 9:4-5, by his victory he establishes peace.
At the deepest, spiritual level, the victory won by this Prince is a spiritual victory against evil [Colossians 2:15], and the peace established by this Prince, is peace with God, a peace that results in a deep inner personal peace. By the victory of this Prince the enmity between man and God is removed because by this Prince the just cause of that alienation has been dealt with:
‘… the punishment that brought us peace was upon him … the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all’ [Isaiah 53:5,6].
‘Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ’ [Romans 5:1].
‘For God was pleased … through him to reconcile to himself all things … by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross’ [Colossians 1:19,20].
When this child, the Prince of Peace, was born the angelic hosts sang: ‘… and on earth peace to men’. When the apostles spoke of him, their message was called ‘the gospel of peace’ [Acts 10:36; Romans 10:15 (KJV); Ephesians 6:15] or simply ‘peace’ [Ephesians 2:17].
This child, this Prince of Peace, says to us:
‘Come to me … and I will give you rest … rest for your souls’ [Matthew 11:28,29].
‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you’ [John 14:27].
And beyond this personal peace with God, this Prince of Peace, by his ultimate and final victory, establishes universal, cosmic peace:
‘They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD
as the waters cover the sea’ [Isaiah 11:10; 65:25].