We read this verse every Christmas season as we prepare our hearts for the coming of the king, but do we really understand the truths this prophecy holds? Let’s take a deeper look at what it means that Jesus is called Wonderful Counselor and Mighty God.
For 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. (Isaiah 9:6)
During some of Judah’s darkest days, they had this hope. A hope of a deliverer, one who would set up an everlasting and peaceful kingdom.
I can imagine fearful Israelites on their knees praying for a deliverer; mothers holding their newborns and hoping with all their hearts that their children would see the promise and live a life easier than their own.
They needed a wonderful counselor. They needed the great Yahweh to be their Mighty God here on earth. Can you feel that same tug? Can you feel the desire to reach heaven and beg for God to save you from the turmoil around you?
His Name shall be Called Emmanuel
Right in the middle of a troubesome time for Judah in which two nations marched toward Jerusalem to conquer it, the Lord prophecies of a time in the future to give his people hope.
Then he said, “Hear now, O house of David! Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:13-14)
I know this is not wonderful, or counselor, or mighty God but Emmanuel certainly leads into the meaning of these carefully selected titles.
Emmanuel means “God with us”.
Because God is with us, we know that these titles are personal, meant for us to embrace and put our faith (and hope!) in. We know that He is closer than we often allow ourselves to believe.
Wonderful Counselor Meaning
Wonderful means feeling awe and wonder and is used in the New Testament to describe Jesus’s miracles. In the Old Testament, it is the same such as when God is dealing with Pharoah.
But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my signs and wonders in Egypt, (Exodus 7:3)
For the term counselor, we need to understand what the role of an Old Testament counselor was. It was an important and respected position in which he advised the king on critical matters such as national security.
How is Jesus our counselor?
Wonderful Counselor Scripture, there is more than one!
God is actively working in our hearts and lives. When we follow Him, we put him in the position of a wonderful counselor. We ask Him to guide us and advise us in our daily lives.
We turn to Him in times of indecision, trouble, and for support. We long for Him to show us what to do and where to go. David did the same.
I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me. (Psalm 16:7)
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. (Psalm 32:8)
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory. (Psalm 73:24)
God is our counselor! Now, let’s focus on the mighty God part of the verse.
What Does Mighty Mean in the Bible
According to Jerusalem Prayer Team who has an excellent article on the Hebrew meaning of Mighty, we’ve missed a good portion of the meaning in our English translation.
Mighty refers to power and physical strength but in Hebrew it also lends itself to “courage, self-sacrifice, and moral excellence”.
Who is God Almighty?
We know the living God is God Almighty, but let’s take a closer look at the Hebrew because it reveals more about who our God really is.
Most English Bibles translate El Shaddai into God Almighty. Raise your hand if the first thing you think of when you hear El Shaddai is the beautiful Amy Grant song?
Anyway, what exactly does El Shaddai mean and how does it show us how relatable God Almighty is in our everyday lives?
God first uses El Shaddai when speaking to Abraham.
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.” (Genesis 17:1-2)
There are two thoughts on where El Shaddai is derived from. “Shadad” meaning to overpower or destroy therefore Almighty God would be the greatest of all Gods, the strongest, most powerful.
In a world full of false gods, it was important for the true God to show Abraham who He was.
The second thought on El Shaddai is that it comes from “sha” meaning who and “dai” meaning enough. Our Almighty God, our Wonderful Counselor is enough for us. He is all we need.
Isn’t that beautiful? The God we serve is all powerful and yet close enough to us to meet all of our needs. (If you are interested in learning more about the names of God, check out “Praying the Names of God”)
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God Verse
It’s no wonder the angels appeared in the heavens singing praises! The great I Am was here among us. The long awaited for son of God.
Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.
Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:8-14)
How about you, dear friends? Are you ready to embrace God in a different way this season? Are you ready to truly make Him your Wonderful Counselor and Almighty God?
I’d love for you to share with me what this means to you in the comments below!
Jesus isn’t just our wonderful counselor, but our prince of peace as well. Check out “Jesus as Prince of Peace and How to Embrace Him this Season”