8 December 1999

"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"-Isaiah 9:6 It is the time of the year that many hearts have been opened to confer a gift or two upon the objects of their love. But let us pause for a moment to consider the greatest gift that has ever graced the halls of time. This gift was given to, and for, the objects of God's love. It was the most expensive gift that has ever been given; it had a purpose that has never been equalled; and to those who possess this gift, its value grows more and more each passing day. The gift was God's Son. The same that is the mighty God is a child born, the ancient of days becomes an infant of a span long; the everlasting Father is a Son Given. As Mary held the babe in her arms she looked directly into the face of God; her redeemer; the great I Am; one that would open the eyes of the blind; the ears of the deaf; cause the lame to leap; the leper to be cleansed; and speak the dead to life. Though He had just made His advent into this world, He came from another: He had walked where angels tread. Unto "US" this gift was given. Do you have an interest in this gift? Is He your hearts desire, the key to your greatest expectations? Then He must have been given for you! Let us consider His value. The "Government shall be upon his shoulder". I love the "shalls" of the Bible. When we read them as such our theology will never waver. This government speaks of His divine authority in the redemption and preservation of His people. It equally speaks of the many blessings He bequeaths unto the objects of His grace. In redemption, the government was upon "His" shoulders and not the shoulders of His elect. He died for them and redeemed them from all iniquity. He did not leave the legality of salvation for preachers and clergy to figure out. Could man ever agree upon any one plan of redemption if left to himself? Let us just rejoice in the gift. It is complete in every way. Though Peter, Paul and the other apostles declared the gift, they added nothing to payment rendered for our debt. Though Mary brought Him into this world, she too, was of the sons of Adam and will claim no part in the redemption of God's people: He trod the winepress alone. The Government was upon His shoulders. His alone. Because of His divine authority in the legal phase of His government we "shall" speak many wonderful things of Him. Here, Isaiah provides another "shall" that has proven to be true for almost two-thousand years as His beloved reflect upon Him as "Wonderful". He was wonderful in His birth; in His life; in His miracles; in His patience with sinners; in His death; and certainly in His resurrection. A constant series of wonders attend Him. He "Shall" also be called "Counsellor". Have you sought Him out in your difficulties? There has always been much counsel from the minds of men. But the instruction from this Counsellor must be the litmus test for all advice. The wisdom and philosophy of man is sand, let us build upon the Rock. The Psalmist has declared "Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counsellors." And David wrote, "I will bless the Lord, who hath given me counsel"-Psalms 16:7. His office is always open and it will cost you nothing but to obey. He is the "Mighty God". Though a babe, El-Shaddai is revealed to Israel. Dagon must fall before Him. He opens and no man can shut. He shuts and no man can open. He is the "Lord of Hosts", the commander of angelic host. All things are upheld by His omnipotent power. At His word, all of creation would dissolve in a fervent heat. All power is given Him by the Father. All of which pale into view before the great and Mighty work of redemption at the cross. He is the "Everlasting Father". Though a Son, He is yet the Father of a noble seed. His people are, "born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever" 1 Peter 1:23. All of the elect are His offspring; born of His spirit; the seed that shall serve Him; His seed is in them; His spiritual descendants, not Abraham's. This relationship has no end. He is the "Everlasting Father". He is the "Prince of Peace". Where genuine peace is found, He is the author of it. Though peace between nations shall falter; peace between man shall be fickle; this peace is permanent: it brought peace between fallen man and God. Though the gulf was great, He spanned it with His blood. "For he is our peace"-Ephesians 2:14. Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift! Come and worship with us at Harmony Primitive Baptist Church, at Donaldson, where God is sovereign, and salvation is by His abundant and amazing grace. Services begin at 10:30 each Sunday morning. By His mercy and grace, Neil Phelan, Jr., Pastor