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The Song of Isaiah

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
December 12, 2022 12:00 am

The Song of Isaiah

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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December 12, 2022 12:00 am

Jesus Christ is the subject of more than 300 Old Testament prophecies. His birth and life were foretold by numerous prophets over a period of 1,500 years. So why do people still refuse to believe in Him? Stephen gives us insight as he takes us to one of the most beautiful prophecies in the Bible.


Paul wrote in Romans 11, verse 34, who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has ever acted as his counselor?

Nobody, the rhetorical question demands, nobody. He is infinitely wise, so he already knows all the details. Jesus Christ is the only counselor you will ever go to who does not need your advice.

Isn't that a wonderful thought? He doesn't have some nagging problem back in his sovereign mind, and as soon as we finish talking, he's going to work it out. He is counselor. Jesus Christ is the subject of more than 300 Old Testament prophecies. His birth and life were predicted by many prophets over a period of 1,500 years. One of those prophets was Isaiah.

Today, Stephen begins a three-part series called Prelude to Bethlehem. We'll be looking at some songs, actually written prior to Jesus' birth, but pointing to him. Today's song comes from Isaiah 9-6. Isaiah gave Jesus several titles.

You've heard them before, but Stephen will help you understand the implications today. This message is called the Song of Isaiah. I don't think Christmas would be the same without music, and I think what's interesting when you study those passages related to what we call Christmas, those biblical accounts of Christ's birth, you discover that music played an irresistible role in the events. You can't get halfway through the first couple of chapters of Luke's Gospel before you've read at least four hymns that have been sung. Songs that were sung about his coming birth, songs on the day of his birth, and songs shortly after his birth. And it's still true today, no matter where you go in the world, wherever there is the Gospel of God becoming a Redeemer, a man to walk among us, you discover music. Music is the natural, predictable response of a grateful heart.

Whether you can sing or not, you find yourself singing something to him. You go all the way back to Moses. When they walked through the Red Sea, God parted the water.

You remember the Egyptians were pursuing them, and they got safely across on the other side, and the waters came back and destroyed the Egyptian army. And they got to that bank side, the Israelites, and what did they do? They stopped then and there, and they began to sing. An entire chapter in the book of Exodus records their hymn, their gratitude to God had redeemed them. David compiled a hymnal of songs that reflect his own heart, that God had put a new song in his mouth to the God of his salvation. You find Paul writing a letter to the believers in Ephesus literally commanding them to sing. He assumed they would, and he said, sing with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, making melody out of your hearts to God. It's interesting that God, when he created the angels, created in them the ability to harmonize, the ability to sing. Job chapter 38 tells us that the morning stars, a reference to the angels, they sang together when God was creating the universe. They were so overwhelmed with joy and what God was doing, they sang to him. Of course, you're familiar with the passage in Luke where those shepherds are tending their sheep and the angels gather and they have that huge choir in the sky and they begin to sing and you say, well, no, it says that they praise God saying they weren't singing. Well, the word praise is an interesting word that rarely occurs in the New Testament. It's from the verb I know that is the counterpart to the Hebrew word Halel, which means to praise.

And it usually is associated with music. In fact, whatever that verb is used and following that verb, there are some poetic lines. It's an indication to us as Bible students that they are literally singing a hymn. And so the angels gathered and they begin to praise God.

You could render they praise God. And these were the lyrics. And what were the lyrics of their their choirs song? Glory to God in the highest. The tense of the verb indicates they sang it over and over and over and over again.

Glory to God in the highest. And all those shepherds could do was to stand there with their mouths open and their hearts thumping and their minds racing as they heard this incredible music, giving glory to God for the fact that the Redeemer had come. Well, what I want to do with you over the course of these three Sundays is look at some of the songs that have been sung. Singing just didn't start when the baby was born. By the way, the angels weren't the first ones to begin singing. Now, there actually was a prelude of music long before Joseph and Mary ever arrived in Bethlehem. Today, we'll look at the song of Isaiah next Lord's Day, Lord willing the song of Zacharias. And on the third Sunday, the song of Mary, one of the first hymns composed by a human heart, perhaps the earliest poem relating to the incarnation that is Christ becoming a man was composed 600 years before Jesus Christ was even born. I want you to see the lyrics for yourselves.

Turn to Isaiah chapter nine and look at verse six. These are words that have been the foundation for music since this time on. He's writing a poem. It would be set to music. The Old Testament choirs would sing it. Here are the lyrics for child will be born to us. A son will be given to us and the government will rest on his shoulders and his name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God, Isaiah composes a verse in his hymn here that goes for several verses to describe who the coming Redeemer was in our seven different expressions bound up in his lyrics.

The first one we read at the beginning of the verse, a child will be born to us. This is an obvious reference to the humanity of Jesus Christ, that God would become literally a part of humanity, fully God, yet at the same time fully human. The next phrase relates to his deity. A son will be given to us. It speaks of existence prior to birth. This is the preexistence of our Lord.

This is a reference to the eternality, the deity of Jesus Christ who had no beginning and no ending. He is fully human. Yes, but he is also fully divine. And he's called here by Isaiah a son. Now, if you have been reading the Bible, you've noticed that there are several kinds of sons that he is called. He is referred to as the son of Mary.

This is a reference describing his relationship with the human race. He's called the son of man. This describes his role as humanity's Redeemer. He's called the son of God.

This describes his royalty as the second person of the triune God. So he was the son of Mary. This is his merger with humanity, the son of man. This is his mission among humanity and the son of God.

This is his membership within the Trinity. And Isaiah sings for a child will be born to us. A son will be given to us and the government shall be upon his shoulders. I want to talk about that phrase in a minute, but I want to get to the part where Isaiah gives us his name.

What's the baby boy's name? Well, it tells us there are several in his name. First of all, shall be called wonderful. Now you can stop there because the word is not an adjective describing the next noun. It is a noun.

You ought to put a little comma in your translation. That is a separate title of our Lord. It stands alone as one of Messiah's names.

It isn't the first time by the way that this expression appeared in the Old Testament. A man by the name of Manoah, an aged man and his aged wife were going to have a baby boy named Samson. And so the angel of the Lord came to Manoah to deliver to him the news. The angel of the Lord is a reference in the Old Testament to a, what we call a Christophany that is a pre incarnate expression or appearance of Jesus Christ, often called the angel of the Lord. The angel of the Lord who is the pre incarnate Christ appears to Manoah telling me he's going to have a son. And Manoah says, I need to know what your name is. And, and our Lord responds to him by saying, why do you want to know my name seeing it is wonderful? In other words, it's incomprehensible.

It's a title that relates to our inability to come up with the words. And so we say, well, he's, he's simply wonderful, right? I've had brides to be in my office planning their wedding ceremony. I've had more than one of them try to describe to me their future husband with gushing and sighing and saying, well, I can't describe him completely. He's just, he's just wonderful. And I think to myself, just give him a few months, maybe for some of them a few days. I have no doubt he'll be sort of wonderful.

I have no doubt that sometimes he'll be wonderful. Yesterday, I went up to my wife. I was waiting for the right moment. And I said, happy anniversary, honey. We were married in July. So she turned and looked at me and I said, you remember, it was December 7th, 1977 when we had our first date.

Isn't that good? I can tell man, her eyes, you know, that I remembered that. Her smile, it let me know that I had just done something wonderful.

And it was about time too, if you want to know the truth. Well, Isaiah is not telling us by the way, what Jesus will do. He will do wonderful things. He's telling us who he is. He is wonderful. And the longer you live with him, the more wonderful he becomes. The more you get to know him, the more you have to say, I don't have the words he is. He is wonderful.

He goes on to add to his song. His name will be called Counselor. I love that name. People are in desperate need of good counsel.

I know I am, aren't you? We tend to go to everybody else for advice, but to him, even though he's never given bad advice, he's never been wrong. He is the infallible counselor. He has never had to say to anybody, oh, I'm sorry. I said that I didn't have all the details.

I wish I had held back until I knew more. He never did. Not this counselor. Whatever he speaks, it is the truth. Whatever he advises, it is insightful. Whatever he reveals, it is discerning. Whatever he commands, it is perfect. Go to him. He has given us to one another to counsel one another, yes. But go to him too.

Go to him first. He is not one of, not one among. He is counselor. He has never had to amend his words. He's never had to modify his counsel.

He's never had to alter or adjust his insight. No wonder William Jennings wrote nearly 100 years ago, can we do anything other than fall at his feet and cry with adoration, in thy fathomless wisdom, thou art well named counselor. You know the one thing we all have in common, among other things, is that we are all in need of good advice about something. And we try to go to somebody to get advice that we assume doesn't have the same problem we have, right? You wouldn't want to go to somebody that had the same problem you had.

So you assume the person you're going to doesn't have that struggle or challenge or problem. I mean, can you imagine just for the sake of a trivial illustration, me taking my pickup truck, nothing trivial about that, but me taking my Chevy pickup truck to a mechanic and saying to him, I've got a little rumbling sound. Now it's not the muffler that's been loose for six months. I like that sound. It's another kind of rumbling. And he says, well, let me listen.

And so we raise the hood and we stick our heads under there. And I said, can you hear that? Can you hear that sound? And he, he listens. And then he says, I hear it.

And I think, great. Just to get the mechanic to hear the sound you've heard is a wonderful step in the right direction. But what if he said to me, you know, I got the same sound in my truck.

Come over here. And he goes over to his truck. He raises a hood, fires it up and he says, listen, and I listen.

And sure enough, he says, I got the same sound you've got. I don't know. What am I supposed to do about that?

Do you know what I can do to fix mine? Do you think I'd leave my truck with that? Unworthy man?

No. Can you imagine going to a Christian counselor? Maybe you have some difficulty in your marriage and you go and sit before him. And before you speak and tell him your problem, he says, listen, before we get to your marriage problems, I got a few myself. I'd like your advice. Let me share mine with you.

Then you can tell yours to me. Would you think you'd pick the right person? Jesus Christ is the only counselor you will ever go to who does not need your advice. Isn't that a wonderful thought? He doesn't have some nagging problem back in his sovereign mind.

And as soon as we finish talking, he's going to work it out. He is counselor. Paul wrote in Romans 11, verse 34, who has known the mind of the Lord or who has ever acted as his counselor? Nobody.

The rhetorical question demands nobody. He is infinitely wise, so he already knows all the details. He is on my presence, so he already knows all of the extenuating circumstances and conditions related to your issue and your need. He is omniscient, so he knows your need and your heart and your desires and maybe even your sin. He might know your contribution to the problem. He knows all about your situation and he's omnipotent. That's a wonderful part of this counselor. He's not only able to give you discernment and wisdom and good advice, but he is able to empower you by his omnipotence to go and put it into action. So he not only tells you what to do, but he empowers you to do it. Human counsel can never come that close.

We might give good advice, but we could never empower anybody to live it. He can do both. He is wonderful.

He is counselor. Isaiah adds to his lyrics, he is mighty God. If you've ever wanted to have a little verse tucked away in your mind or memory or maybe a reference written in the fly leaf of your Bible about the deity of Jesus Christ, here's one of the best you'll find.

He is mighty God. The coming Messiah, the one who will be a baby, who will be a son who will walk among us is also El Gabor, mighty God. This was a traditional name in the Old Testament for Israel's God. Moses used it in Deuteronomy 10 verse 17. Jeremiah used it in chapter 32 verse 18 of his book of prophecy. Nehemiah in his memoirs used it in chapter 9 verse 32. And David in one of his songs used El Gabor in Psalm 24 verse 8, all referring to this God of Israel as the mighty God.

Of course, the liberals and those who deny the deity of Christ know they're in a pickle. So they say, well, no, what we ought to do here is translate this a little differently. Let's translate it hero of strength. Let's dilute the claim to deity because we know we're in trouble if it is.

And let's just say this could belong to anybody of heroic stature so this really isn't anything special even though it begins El, the name for God, and Gabor, strength, might. All you have to do is let the Bible commentate sometimes on itself. In fact, every time if we can just find the right verses to comment on it, if you just go over a paragraph or two to chapter 10, you read the same Hebrew phrase applied to the God of Israel.

In fact, it's translated in my translation the exact same way. Look at verse 20. Now it will come about in that day that the remnant of Israel and those of the house of Jacob who have escaped will never again rely on the one who struck them but will truly rely on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel. We're clearly talking about the God of Israel. Now look at verse 21. A remnant will return the remnant of Jacob to the El Gabor, to the mighty God.

There it is. The baby about to be born, the son who will one day walk on the earth happens to be Almighty God. Not just a good teacher, mighty God. Not just a moral man, mighty God. Not just a righteous model, mighty God.

Isaiah now adds another descriptive name. He's not only wonderful, counselor, mighty God. He writes he is also eternal father. That's strange to have the phrase father related to the Messiah whom we know is the son of God, the second person of the triune God. Here he's called the father or eternal father. Literally you could render this he is the father of eternity.

Even more bluntly you could render this originator of eternity. It's a reference not to his position within the Trinity but his authority. In fact the phrase is used in a negative sense in John chapter eight verse 44 where Jesus is talking about the devil. He said to those religious leaders, he said you are of your father the devil and the lusts of your father you will do. For he was a liar. He is the father of lies. In other words he is the originator of deception. He is the father of lying.

He is the source as it were having given that first lie. What he meant then was this was Satan's natural domain. In fact Jesus went on to say whenever Satan tells a lie he speaks with his natural tongue his native language.

He's very comfortable. That's his homeland tongue whenever he deceives or lies his native language. So this is his domain and his specialty is lying. So when we hear that the Messiah is the father of eternity the originator of eternity what he is saying is that the Messiah his specialty is eternal things. His specialty is eternal life.

In fact he came to give everlasting life to those who believe he is the originator he is the dispenser of eternal life therefore he is in authority the originator of everlasting life the eternal father. He's finally called the Prince of Peace. This name is highly prophetic even for us today. The birth of Christ didn't bring peace to planet Earth even though our power is still out. We have a generator and I have watched the news but as far as I could probably guess there still isn't peace in the world.

There's probably a war somewhere probably a battle raging. Much of the battles raging have to do with this person Jesus Christ. He didn't bring peace to Earth.

If you understand what Luke was saying he brought peace to the hearts of those of goodwill those that would receive him. He brings peace not as the world gives his peace is different and he's called the Prince of Peace. This is a reference to that literal day where he will mount the throne of David during what we call the millennial kingdom Revelation 20 talks about that thousand year reign where he will fulfill those promises and he will sit as prince upon the throne and rule with his iron hand. That kingdom will empty out into a new heaven and a new earth. So as the son of Mary the descendant of David he will rule over Israel as the son of man. He will rule over the earth as the son of God. He will rule eternally over heaven and all of the universe. He is the prince and his everlasting kingdom will be one of perfect peace. Now Isaiah has sung a song and is leading us to want to sing the same lyrics of the Messiah seven things that he is tucked away in this verse is one thing that he does.

Go back to the beginning of the verse and the government will rest upon his shoulders. You cannot understand this phrase unless you travel back in time to the wedding ceremony of an Orthodox Jewish couple during the days of Christ following the year long betrothal period which we have studied in the past as a congregation what they call the kiddushim that procession would begin to form. He's been working at his father's house building on an addition that was the custom of that day and depending on how many sons there were eventually they'd have a compound of units all connected and inside would be an interior court. Well a year's up and he goes to get his bride and that's when all the neighbors empty out into the narrow streets of the village. All the relatives have come for the beginning of the celebration and they follow him as he goes to get his bride. He arrives at her home probably some short distance away. He probably met her in the village and she comes out and she is dressed in as much finer as she can either make or borrow.

It was their custom to even borrow jewelry just to dress up. She would try to be as much like a queen as she could on this day. Of course the customs in many ways still come to her own Western world and and he would retrieve her there and he would escort her back and everybody is following them the entire villages come out and they're singing and chanting and celebrating and and the couple is is walking along back to the father's house and somewhere along that brief journey the woman it was their custom that she would take off her veil from her face and she would lay it on her husband to be his shoulder and the crowd would begin to chant something along the lines that the authority for her life now rested upon his strength. You could say it like this her government shall be upon his shoulder.

That's what he means here. The government shall be upon his shoulder then in the future and even now for those of us who've become members of his bride we at some point in our lives rested on his shoulder our will our hearts our dreams we have given him the authority to govern us as our prince and when we do lay upon his shoulder the governance of our lives the leadership and authority of our lives we don't have to wait till that time when he comes to take us and escort us back to the father's house. Even today we can know some of the rich truth of the one we follow the one we love the one we submit to the one we have surrendered to this one who is wonderful counselor mighty God everlasting father Prince of peace. The coming of Jesus Christ was the fulfillment of God's promise to us.

God used men like Isaiah to predict Jesus birth and Isaiah's words can now be the song of our hearts. If you joined us midway through this broadcast you're listening to Wisdom for the Heart featuring the Bible teaching ministry of Stephen Davey. Stephen is the president of Shepherds Theological Seminary. The school offers courses both in person and online and that makes it possible for you to study God's word at the seminary level without relocating to our area. Shepherds Seminary is a fully accredited graduate school with a world-class faculty.

The school offers a unique program that might interest some of you. How would your life be impacted if you were to set aside one year to study God's word, experience authentic community, grow in discipleship, take a trip to do some study in Israel and earn your master's degree in theological studies all in one year. Shepherds Seminary offers a program called the Shepherds Institute and you can experience all that I just described. We've had men and women join us right out of college and before entering the workforce. We've had men join us who believed they were called to be a pastor. They did this program to start their education and then jumped into the Master of Divinity program. Whatever God has called you to, investing one year like this will help you.

The school has campuses in North Carolina, Florida, Wyoming and Texas. We also have an opportunity for you to save a little bit of money because we have a discount code you can use to get a free application to Shepherds Seminary. When you apply, simply use the word WISDOM. Again, that discount code is WISDOM and that will give you a free application to Shepherds Seminary. Visit, scroll all the way to the bottom of the page and you'll see a link to Shepherds Seminary. Stephen's been teaching the Bible for over 36 years. In that time, he's preached hundreds of sermons. All of those are posted to our website. You'll find that collection of sermons organized by Book of the Bible. If there's a particular book that you want to study and if Stephen has preached through it, you can listen or read each message.

All of that content is available to you free of charge. You can access it anytime at Today's message was called The Song of Isaiah. It's message one in a three-part series entitled Prelude to Bethlehem. This series looks at three different songs, all related to the birth of Jesus, but all written before his birth. Next time, Stephen will be back to look at the song of Zacharias. And the next day, he'll conclude this series with the song of Mary. Please join us next time here on Wisdom for the Hearts.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-12 00:06:53 / 2022-12-12 00:17:19 / 10

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