Upon His Shoulder • Isaiah 9:6-7

I.   INTRODUCTION

A.  Set Up

1.   Isaiah's role as prophet was to preach a message of warning to the nation of Judah

a.   unless they repent of their rebellion against God,

b.   judgment would come and they would lose their land

2.   Isaiah painted in terrifying detail the devastation and destruction that would come on them

3.   But in this midst of these visions of ruin, he repeatedly looked ahead to the distant future when the Messiah would come and restore them

4.   In the midst of great darkness, a light would shine in the rule of the coming Redeemer

5.   Chapter 9 is one of those short punctuations of light; it's a vision of the Messiah's mission

B.  Vision

1.   Proverbs 29:18 tells us that where there is no vision, people wander around aimlessly

2.   Having no worthwhile direction or purpose, they just waste their lives away in meaninglessness daily routine

3.   We see the truth of this proverb in the world today

4.   There is no vision today; no bright tomorrow to inspire us and fill our lives with a sense of purpose and direction

5.   There are no leaders who have risen to hold before us a future that is worth investing in, worth working and sacrificing for

6.   Up until just one generation ago, the American Dream was that because of the great potential of our nation, our children could do better than their parents.

7.   The idea of Advancement was part and parcel of our national consciousness.

a.   the ideas that led us on were "bigger and better"

b.   "fast, more efficient"

c.   we had a national mission = IMPROVEMENT!

8.   And each new generation of Americans lived with the expectation that they would improve on their parent's accomplishments.

9.   They would stand on their shoulders and reach higher

10. This was the American Dream,

11. But now we hear that for the present generation of Young Americans, what is called Generation X; the American Dream has become a nightmare.

12. This is the first generation, we are told, that has resigned itself to the fact that it will have to live with less than their parents

13. This explains much of the behavior and attitudes of so much of what we see in Gen X'ers

14. Kevin Gilbert sings, "We're the clean-up crew for parties we were too young to attend.  The baby-boomers had it all, but they wasted everything.  And now recess is almost over, and they won’t get off the swing."

15. Where there is no vision, people wander around aimlessly

16. That's American today; people wandering around aimlessly!

a.   living 9 to 5

b.   then coming home to park it on the sofa for another 5 hours of mind-numbing video drivel

C.  Today

1.   The verses before us this morning give us a vision

2.   They tell us about a future not just worth living for, but a future that will in fact, one day be reality!

3.   This is the blueprints for the future; Your future, My future

II.  TEXT

A.  Vs. 6-7

6  Unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

7  Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

1.   The setting for these verses is Isaiah's announcement of judgment on the nations

2.   The political situation in the Middle East at that time was very delicate

3.   Several kingdoms were at war with one another and the political intrigues were deep and fierce

4.   But in these verses, Isaiah looks beyond that day to the future when the Messiah would come and set up His kingdom on earth and bring an end to the turmoil of the nations

5.   Kings and princes may devise wars of conquest and seek to expand their power and territory,

6.   But the vast majority of the common people just want to be left alone to live their lives in peace

7.   Isaiah looks forward in time to the day when peace will finally come

B.  The Child Who Is God

1.   The One who will bring peace is described in these verses

2.   And they are a straightforward and undeniable revelation that He is both God, and Man!

3.   It's rather comical to read the commentaries of those liberal scholars who want to deny the deity of Christ

4.   When they come to this passage, they are forced to perform some of the most wild mental gymnastics imaginable

a.   in their attempts to dismiss the very clear meaning of the text,

b.   they are forced to bend the rules of grammar

c.   and distort the meaning of the words

5.   It's laughable how far seemingly intelligent people will go in order to justify their denial of what stares them in the face

6.   No matter how you slice it, the text is clear; The one described here is both God and Man

7.   His humanity is revealed in the fact that He is a Child who is born and a Son who is given

8.   His deity is revealed in the names He is called

9.   This is clearly a prophecy of Jesus

a.   who came the first time to be born a child

b.   but who is coming again as the conquering King

C.  The Vision

1.   It's the vision of the future when He comes again that I want to concentrate on this morning

2.   One day - the government will be upon His shoulder

3.   And of the growth and influence of his rule, there will be no end

4.   He will sit on the throne of David and rule in perfect justice, forever

5.   In 2 Samuel 7, we read how David told the prophet Nathan that he wanted to build the Lord a magnificent temple

6.   God spoke through Nathan and told David that his desire was appreciated - God was blessed

7.   God then told David that because of this, the long hoped for Messiah would come from his line and would one day restore the throne to David's house

8.   Here in v. 7, Isaiah reaffirms that promise; the Messiah will sit on David's throne and bring in the long anticipated age of peace and prosperity

9.   He will bear the burden of government on His shoulder

10. As we look at the political situation today, there isn't a lot of room for hope

a.   next year we are facing an important election for a new president that will finally reveal the heart and soul of the American people

b.   but the candidates that have presented themselves so far are uninspired and uninspiring

c.   as we look to the south and see Mexico, the political situation is even worse than here

d.   South America is the same

e.   in Europe, we see confusion and continual hostility

f.    in Russia, we see corruption and clowns

g.   Asia is a seething caldron of turmoil and corruption

h.   Africa is the same

i.    there is a complete dearth of dynamic, visionary, courageous leaders with vision

j.    it seems they are all politicians, hacks, pundits,  and bureaucrats!

11. But one day, Jesus will come!

12. He won’t be elected - because Kings aren't elected, they are born!

13. He will take David's throne

14. And because He is the second Adam who reclaimed the territory that was lost by the first Adam in the Fall, His rule will extend, not just to the borders of Israel, but to the ends of the earth

15. His rule will be marked by perfect justice!

16. And peace will spread to the whole earth

17. Then, as is fitting for such a sovereign as this, Names will be given to Him

18. He shall be called Wonderful

a.   you know why?  Because He is full of wonder

b.   He is marvelous, so we shall all marvel at Him

c.   the picture that's conveyed by this word is of someone who is looking at something so extraordinary, so fascinating,  that they are lost to everything else

d.   their attention has been completely captured and now they are just gazing in rapture at whatever it is that holds them

e.   because Jesus is Wonderful, there will be nothing dull or boring about His reign

f.    every day will be a new day because it will hold forth the potential of more and more wonder

g.   there will be no boredom in the kingdom; no more mere routine, just constant marvel!

h.   the closest glimpse I've ever had to this was when Lynn and I went to Hawaii several years ago

1) oh, what a wonderful experience that was

2) every moment brought the sensation of unutterable joy!

3) I will never forget sitting on the chase lounge by the pool just 30 yards from the ocean

4) there was a light breeze and some light tropical scent in the air

5) all of a sudden, it started to rain, and my first reaction was to jump up and run inside

6) but as the first drops hit, and I realized they were the perfect temperature, I decided to just sit there

7) out over the ocean, the sun was shining; overhead there were black clouds that dropped big drops of rain - and it was all PERFECT

8) I just sat there, overwhelmed with the perfection of all I was seeing, and feeling, and smelling, and hearing, and tasting

i.    when Jesus comes, the whole earth will be restored like Hawaii - it will be the Garden of Eden all over gain - this time, without the serpent

19. He will be called Counselor

a.   this is a rich word that has many meanings

b.   all of them carrying the same idea that He is the one with the answers!

c.   all of the mysteries, all of the problems that have plagued mankind from the earliest days of history - He will have all the answers to

d.   and He will also know how to implement them

e.   but knowing what to do and how to do it are of no help if you don’t also have the power

f.    so that is why He is also called . . .

20. Mighty God

a.   this is a name that is reserved for God alone[1]

b.   I get excited when I see that He is the mighty God because the word Mighty means that He is the champion - the victor

c.   it's the picture of someone who's entered into a contest and because of his superior strength, has defeated all his foes

d.   in fact, it was never even really a contest

e.   his strength is so vastly superior, it was of a kind totally different than his foes -

f.    they didn’t even stand a chance

21. He is called the Everlasting Father

a.   this confuses many people because they find it hard to reconcile the Son of God with the title "Everlasting Father"

b.   what clears it up is to realize that we ought to translate this more literally as the "Father of eternity"

c.   and to understand that to the Jews, the idea of fatherhood meant origin or source

d.   what Isaiah is saying here is that when Jesus rules on earth over the kingdom, everyone will come to the realization that He is nothing less than the Creator, the Origin of the ages,

e.   out of His creative power, time itself came

22. Finally, he will be called Prince of Peace

a.   the Hebrew word for peace means much more than merely an end to hostilities

b.   peace was understood as the entire domain that comes when everything is in the right place, doing the right thing at the precisely right moment

c.   peace speaks of wholeness and prosperity

d.   this is what Jesus will bring when He comes again

e.   He is the Prince of Peace who has defeated all those who would want to destroy and ruin

f.    His kingdom is a domain of peace, of safety, of tranquility

g.   no more sirens screaming down the street

h.   no more need for burglar alarms, or to lock your doors

i.    no more worry about your 7 year old son or daughter getting abducted

j.    no more need to carry pepper spray or learn self defense

k.   and all the money the nations spend on weapons and research into new and better ways to kill - all of that will be redirected to more ethical and moral use

23. This is the future to which we are headed!

24. And of the increase of His government and peace, there will be no end!

a.   it will just keep growing and getting more and more pervasive

b.   as we read in Revelation, it will last for a 1000 years!

c.   and then, after a short parenthesis, it will continue eternally!

III. CONCLUSION

A.  Our Future

1.   If you believe in Jesus Christ - you will see this!

2.   For the Bible tells us that we who belong to Christ will be with Him when He rules

3.   In fact, we will have a part of administrating His rule across the Earth

4.   This is our vision - This is where we are headed!

B.  The Meantime

1.   What about in the meantime?  What are we to do while we wait for the Prince of Peace to come and set up His kingdom?

2.   That's simple!

3.   Jesus, who is the King who will one day come again and rule visibly on earth, now sits on His throne in heaven

4.   And we have already entered His kingdom by faith in Him

5.   He already is our King, our Wonderful, our Counselor, Our Mighty God and Prince of Peace

6.   The government of our lives is at present on His shoulder!

7.   At least it SHOULD BE!

8.   Is Jesus King in your home?

a.   does He rule in your marriage and family

b.   does His mastery extend over your job and the work you do?

c.   when you are at the store and rubbing shoulders with strangers or sharing the road with other drivers, does His kingship direct your words and actions?

9.   It is a unique experience to travel to another country, specially where the language and culture is different

a.   it's always a kick to watch other Americans whenever we go to Russia

b.   after a day of ministering in different places around the city, we retreat to our hotel room at night

c.   we gather in one person's room, and then we drag out our snacks and goodies we've brought from home

d.   though we are still in the middle of a foreign land, we form a little enclave, a little refuge of American culture

e.   it's like we are trying to preserve something

f.    though all day long as we’ve moved about the city, trying to blend in,

g.   at night, gathered in our room, we let our Americanism out

h.   and it is always interesting watching the Russians we've invited to join us

i.    at first, they are tentative as they try to switch gears and blend in with us

j.    after a few hours, you can see how they begin to smile more and relax as they are influenced by the power of our shared American identity

10. As Christians, this world is not our home - it is a foreign country

a.   we are citizens of heaven

b.   and as the citizens of heaven, we have a shared culture of love, joy, and peace

c.   though we live in this world, it's as we gather together as brothers and sister in Christ that we preserve our real identity

d.   when we gather here, or in small groups in our homes, it is like an outpost of heaven

e.   it's a refuge, where we share our lives together

f.    and when those who have yet to received Christ join us, what God wants them to witness is a little slice of what heaven is like just like those Russians who join us in our hotel room see a little bit of what it means to live in America

11. Now - do they?

a.   does our worship sound anything like what worship in heaven sounds like?

b.   our fellowship, our ministering to and care for one another - does it look like what we expect heaven will be?

12. This is our future - This is our vision - This is our hope!



[1] Deut 10:17  Isa 10:21 Jer. 32:18