This past Sunday, I taught from Psalm 124 about humanity's natural desire for safety. Our desire for safety actually comes from a deeper desire: a longing for peace. From the moment a newborn is pushed from the comfort of the womb to the final breath on their deathbed, humans crave peace.
Need proof? Just read the news headlines:
This longing for peace transcends culture, history, age, race, and just about any other category you can come up with for humanity.
So you can easily imagine just how comforting the final title given to the Messiah by the Old Testament prophet, Isaiah, would have sounded to his readers.
Isaiah 9:6 (ESV)
Through much of the writings of the prophet Isaiah, God rebuked the Israelite people for their sinfulness and hardheartedness. The consequence for rejecting God and His ways was ultimately going to be the destruction of their land by a foreign nation. In the very first chapter of Isaiah's book, God said,
"Your country lies desolate;Isaiah 1:7 (ESV)
your cities are burned with fire;
in your very presence
foreigners devour your land;
it is desolate, as overthrown by foreigners."
I don't know about you, but if I were an ancient Jew of Isaiah's time, these words would be unsettling, even depressing. Why would a loving God allow an ungodly foreign nation like Babylon to invade and destroy us, robbing us of the peace for which we long?
Yet right in the middle of Isaiah's prophetic writings of rebuke, God promised a child who would grow to be the Prince of Peace, one who would ensure the people don't wander from God, so that foreign nations are no longer needed to bring correction and renewal.
Think about that. Most parents, when correcting their kids, discipline out of anger, focusing only on the "crime" and the deserved punishment. Yet God gives the people hope even as He warns them. He would not abandon them. Their punishment would not last forever. He would come, sending them a baby who usher in an age of everlasting peace.
I hope this encourages you! No matter what you are going through right now, it is temporary. Which means if you are in a time of struggle or conflict or uncertainty, the peace you long for can be found in Christ, the Prince of Peace.
Before I let you go, let me finish our series with one last thought. It was common in ancient cultures in the Middle East to have kings and rulers with names and titles that were basically just a run-on sentence. For instance, in ancient Egypt, many Pharaohs were given five titles during their coronation that became as one name.
We even see this in Isaiah's writings. In the first verse of chapter 8, Isaiah has a son and names him "Maher-shalal-hash-baz," which means (according to the NET Bible's study notes) "One hastens to the plunder, one hurries to the loot." (Doubt you'll find that name in any Baby Name book!)
If you noticed in our key verse for this series, Isaiah wrote "his name (singular) shall be called," not "his names (plural) shall be." This means Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace aren't just four separate titles. They all work together to help describe this Given Son. So do you long for peace? You will find it in the Amazing Supernatural Divine Peace-Bringing Strategist Who Is The Loving Sovereign Of Time.
Wow! What an incredible Son given to us and for us! He isn't just the most impressive human ever. He is the true G.O.A.T, the Greatest Of All Time. May you run to Him in all circumstances, knowing that through His death on a cross and resurrection from the grave you can find a true peace that surpasses understanding.
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