One of the verses that is often quoted when we talk about the prophecies surrounding Christmas and the identity of the babe born in Bethlehem is Isaiah 9:6.
“For a child has been born for us,
a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders;
and he is named
Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
The assigned Psalm for thiis week on the liturgical calendar is Psalm 72. The first eight verses flesh out and give depth to the title “Wonderful Counsellor.” The Psalm was written by Solomon who famously asked God for wisdom to rule God’s people. Jesus as our savior will take the title to a whole new level.
1-8 Give the gift of wise rule to the king, O God,
the gift of just rule to the crown prince.
May he judge your people rightly,
be honorable to your meek and lowly.
Let the mountains give exuberant witness;
shape the hills with the contours of right living.
Please stand up for the poor,
help the children of the needy,
come down hard on the cruel tyrants.
Outlast the sun, outlive the moon—
age after age after age.
Be rainfall on cut grass,
earth-refreshing rain showers.
Let righteousness burst into blossom and peace abound until the moon fades to nothing.
Rule from sea to sea,
from the River to the Rim.
Solomon intersperses references to nature through these verses.
- “shape the hills” – pictures of bombed out cities with craters of destruction by our human wisdom compare with God shaping beautiful mountain contures.
- Wisdom the “outlasts the sun” and moon. No need to escape to new worlds as his wisdom will bless our life now.
- “rainfall” – not like the floods destroying cities now but refreshing, bringing life to that which has been cut down.
As we think of the name of Jesus, we can think of beautiful hills he is forming, eternal light, and watered growing areas in our lives. Those are hopeful pictures to hold on to for 2023. Perhaps you have a favorite photo that speaks to you of “Wonderful Counsellor”! Blessings as you ponder those happy, growing times.