Lord’s Library contributor Bill Furioso offers commentary on the Wonderful Counselor Scripture found in Isaiah 9:2, 6-7. Check out his ministry At Christ’s Table for additional Bible studies and resources.
The passage Isaiah 9:2, 6-7, is the foundational Scripture for this message. This passage is actually a messianic prophecy about the coming of a child, a son, one from the lineage of David, who would reign as a King; but One Who would reign over, not only the entire earth, but also the heavens; One Who would reign forever, and One Who would reign, O, so very different than any other king in human history.
Let’s look at this first name which Isaiah attributes to the coming Messiah. The Hebrew word translated “wonderful” is pele. It can also be translated as “marvelous” or “extraordinary.” The origins of both the Hebrew and English words contain the meaning of “supernatural” and “miraculous.” Isaiah was introducing this “Wonderful Counselor” as the solution to Judah’s desperate situation.
Christ, the Messiah, is God’s solution to the desperate human condition. And because it is God’s solution, it is by nature of the case, a supernatural, miraculous solution. True wisdom is coming to the realization that natural, human solutions fall far short, and, in fact, are without any hope of rectifying the human condition. Only the supernatural power of God working through the Word and Spirit of God can actually change a human heart and mind, and thus change the factors that create the “dead-ends” we experience in human relationships and situations.
Wonderful Counselor Scripture in Isaiah 9
The Hebrew word translated as “Counselor” is yaats. In its verb form, the word means to advise, counsel, devise, or plan. It has a much wider meaning than our modern applications of the words “advisor” or “counselor.” In this, and in other places in the Scriptures, it refers specifically to One Who has the ability to create and carry out a plan of government – specifically, in this situation, a military plan.
Again, the nature of this plan or strategy would not be natural or human, but divine, supernatural – even miraculous. And again, this is what is required to affect change in human lives and situations – a spiritual plan, even spiritual warfare, in order to accomplish what is humanly impossible. Putting the two words together, we have someone who is a “Miracle-working Strategist” – One Who has been “made unto us wisdom from God.”
Jesus is the Miracle-working Strategist Who can deal with all our problems – even problems we have made on our own, but can’t solve on our own. He is not surprised by our problems or the messes we get ourselves into. He specializes in hopeless situations. He doesn’t necessarily choose to eliminate all our problems – He may choose to use some of our problems for His purposes. But He will always give us His strength and wisdom to deal with even the situations we find most hopeless.
Jesus doesn’t just deal with our immediate problems – He is also able to deal with our ultimate problems – problems we may not know that we have – root problems. He sees all the problems we can see, but can also see problems we can’t see – problems in our hearts. Ahaz and Judah were conscious only of the immediate, visible problem of Assyria. But God knew that their ultimate problem was in their relationship with Him – they did not really trust Him. Isaiah counseled Judah to trust in God alone, but they devised their own plan to trust in themselves and something or someone other than God.
Jesus is the Miracle-working Strategist Who can deal with our deeper problems. We were created by God to have a relationship with God, but we try to fulfill this innate desire for a relationship with God by substituting everything else. We are hungry for a relationship with God but look everywhere else to be filled. Like Israel and Judah, we follow after idols.
But our Heavenly Father and Jesus strategized this eternal plan which is revealed in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians where he writes in Ephesians 1:4-5: “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,”
Therefore, let’s pray what Isaiah prayed in Isaiah 25:1: “O LORD, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.”
We’ve seen that the first name given, “Wonderful Counselor”, can be understood in the context to mean “Miracle-working Strategist.” Jesus – the “Child born”, the “Son given” – is the “Miracle-working Strategist” Who can create and carry out a supernatural plan to solve all the problems arising out of our desperate human condition.
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