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Written by Jim Jordal   
Thursday, 17 December 2015

“FOR UNTO US A CHILD IS BORN…”

By Jim Jordal

 “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, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”

Isaiah 9:6-7 KJV

You’ve probably heard many times this beautiful prophecy by Isaiah concerning the birth and eventual rule of a Savior destined to bring order, justice, and peace upon the earth. You’ve also celebrated his birth by the giving of gifts amid joyous family gatherings, and Christmas pageants, special church services, nativity scenes and plays, and the literally hundreds of different ways of paying homage to the coming Deliverer.

But read it carefully and you’ll see some of the reasons for His Advent. Notice that “the government shall be upon his shoulder,” as he assumes his Father’s throne, bringing order, justice, and peace from the turmoil, injustice, and war brought by human rule. It’s truly an awful mess we’ve made of the world---with daily reports of violence, cruelty, and injustice in every form; and it’s becoming ever clearer that we don’t have whatever it takes to bring justice and peace to this earth. But this problem will disappear when the government is upon his shoulder. He will be King of the most efficient and effective governmental system, a benevolent monarch who will provide the real goal of government---to bring the greatest benefit to the greatest number of people.

The prophetic reading goes on to promise no end to this new era of righteous government and peace among nations as it is ordered and established upon righteousness and right judgement forever. It’s sometimes difficult to believe that justice and peace could ever come to this broken world as it slides seemingly ever-faster toward perversion and the dissolution of virtually every structure of society.

But God promises in the last phrase of the passage above that “the zeal of the Lord of Hosts will accomplish this.” When God acts there is nothing mere humans can do to resist. We can only recognize, honor, and celebrate the imposition of his will upon the lives of his people and the pages of history.

A favorite verse of mine is found in King Solomon’s sermon preparatory to the dedication of the temple in Jerusalem. Concerning God’s faithfulness in honoring his word, Solomon said:  “Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, who has with his hands fulfilled what he spoke with his mouth to my father David…” (2 Chron. 6:4).

So biblical prophecy is not just wishful thinking or nice-sounding rhetoric: It is the word of God followed by his action in the affairs of men to do exactly what he said he would do---nothing more, nothing less. How wonderful if we would do the same in fulfilling with our actions what we promise with our mouths.

Another prophecy in Isaiah 65:17 reports God as saying, “Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth…” Whether this means physically regenerated heavens and earth, or recreated world systems populating the same physical earth, remains to be seen, but one thing we know---what God has promised will be done as his hands act through human tools in carrying out his will.

I think we will see both the physical reconstruction of the earth we have polluted and violated as well as the rebuilding of world systems that began as benefits to humankind, but were perverted by evil into the grossly twisted monsters we now endure.

That’s a large part of what the Babe in the Manger came to accomplish.