The Son Is Given
6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peacethere shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
Isaiah here speaks of an incredible event that would occur yet future for the people of Israel who lived in a very dark time in their history. Isaiah wrote of a Child that would be born, more incredibly of a Son that would be given, and more incredibly still is the nature of this child and son recorded as The Mighty God and The Everlasting father.
Our question this morning is not who is this Child that would be born, for we know it speaks of Jesus, but in what way was he to be given? How was he here spoken of to bring hope and light to the people of Israel who were in such darkness at the time this was written for them?
Of the Book of Isaiah wrote J Sidlow Baxter saying;
WHAT Beethoven is in the realm of music, what Shakespeare is in the realm of literature, what Spurgeon was among the Victorian preachers, that is Isaiah among the prophets. As a writer he transcends all his prophet peers; and it is fitting that the matchless contribution from his pen should stand as leader to the seventeen prophetical books.
And indeed it is. It is the first of the five major prophets that begin this portion of the Old Testament, the 12 minor prophets are yet to follow that will conclude it.
The Old Testament having begun with seventeen historical books, it ends with seventeen prophetic. The historical books are broken up with the Five Books of Moses and followed by twelve other narratives, so too the seventeen prophetic begin with the Five Major prophets and follow up with twelve minor ones.
But this makes up only 34 of the 39 books of the Old Testament, and we find the missing five being the poetic wisdom books of Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Song of Solomon and Ecclesiastes neatly placed in the centre, between the historical and the prophetic portion of the Bible.
There is a fascinating symmetry to the Old Testament, and it does not end here, nor does such symmetry limit itself to the Old Testament alone, but continues into the New. But I digress.
This morning we are going to speak a little of a son that is given, who came as a light in the world, and it is important to give a short historical placement of these two incredible verses that would otherwise have us a little perplexed because it says so much of one who does not appear on the historical scene for another 700 years.
The text speaks of ‘a child to be born’, and ‘a son given’, and the government to be upon his shoulders’, these three phrases are not so remarkable on their own, no doubt many children have been born to whom were given governing rule, so each of these seem on the surface to be reasonable, it is not however until will permit the balance of the verse to come into the picture that we need to take a breath and step back a little;
and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Suddenly we come to find something far, far greater spoken of here than we first stepped in to see, suddenly we see that the child born and the son given, is also to be called by name Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Here we are introduced to a person distinct from all people in history, the names by which he is called being reflective of who he is.
And in the context of the passage, he is given to a people who sit in darkness, he is given to them as a light for their hope in the midst of a dark day and time.
This time of the history of the nation of Israel is a dark time.
The nation itself was already long divided; the ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom separated from the two in the south, the tribe of Judah (from whence the name of Jew comes) being one of them. Judah you recall has the Davidic line of Kings through whom Christ was promised to come.
There was true darkness however, over the entire nation. It would be only a few more years and the entirety of the Northern Kingdom would be taken by the Assyrian empire into captivity and never historically seen again. And Isaiah makes the prophecy of the southern kingdom also taken by the Babylonians. Isaiah had witnessed the captivity of Israel, but Judah’s would not come for another hundred odd years.
It is certain however that by the time Jesus came, the nation shall be forsaken of both her kings. (Isa 7:16)
Turn back a little to the last verse of the previous chapter;
22 And they shall look unto the earth; and behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish; and they shall be driven to darkness.
1 Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations. 2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
The darkness of Israel would be lifted when Jesus came the first time;
Matthew 4:12–17 provides the detail.
The passage in Isaiah we just read also alludes to him coming again, just while the world itself seems to have slipped into the dark.
We are not exactly living today in a time of light. No, we have no wars presently before us, at least no kinetic war, we don’t have a hot war with guns and bullets, bombs and planes, but we do all seem to feel a dark cloud overshadowing the world and even ourselves.
There is a general sense of foreboding in the world, an expectation that tomorrow is not as predictable as it once was and people finding it difficult to know what to do.
Distrust of both governments and the, so-called “fourth estate” i.e The media, adds to the disenchantment and a type of ‘take the opportunity to live while you can’ is springing up.
Couples seem to be having second thoughts of bringing up children in such a world as this, compounding an already long-standing demographic winter for the world.
This seems all under the surface, however, to us it seems quite covert yet we sense it, to Israel at the time of this prophecy, it was quite OVERT and seen, yet no more real to them was what we sense is surrounding us.
Christmas seems to have come up suddenly, in Victoria we did not even see a hint of the weather change to warn us that the Christmas season was coming and now its virtually here.
Interestingly, we call this the festive season, which has its story in history to that which Isaiah was writing of for a time yet future some 2700 years ago. Isaiah was writing of a joy to come, and we celebrate a joy that has been, and for many in this church, still is and will be evermore.
These two verses in Isaiah speak of a historical sequence, both future to Israel, but one passed and present for us. We look back to see the significance of verse 6, but still, look forward to seeing the hope of verse 7.
The first coming of Christ drew the focus of Israel in verse 6, but it is his second coming that is drawing our attention in verse 7.
Nevertheless, both are light coming during a time of particular darkness.
The Son Was Given
6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Certainly, one of the single most incredible portions of the entire Bible is this verse. How can it be that a Child could be born into the world and yet called such names as these? How can a human Child ALSO be “The mighty God”? How can a human son also be “The everlasting father”?.
Beloved clearly this is speaking to no ordinary man, but to Christ. It was he to whom Isaiah drew the attention of the King in chapter 7, a sign, a miraculous sign that would prove the hope that God would soon bring.
Turn back to Isaiah 7
Remember the historical reference point of the passage before us.
The Northern Kingdom is at war with the southern kingdom, in chapter seven it is the Northern kingdom teaming up with Syria to come against them. In several years this Northern Kingdom, together with her King, be taken away, but ALSO the Southern Kingdom of Judah will suffer a similar fate about a century later. Both kingdoms will lose their kings, until to the King of kings comes.
Isaiah was here sent by God to king Ahaz to encourage him of the hope to come.
10 Moreover the LORD spake again unto Ahaz, saying, 11 Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above. 12 But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD. 13 And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is ita small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. 15 Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. 16 For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.
Here hope is presented to be looked forward to, a hope that is purposed to lift Israel out of its darkness that is yet to get darker.
6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:
The trouble of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah did not occur by accident. The people themselves drew the darkness to them because of their own sin. They disowned God, they rejected him, they did all they did because that is what they wanted to do, even though they all know it was evil and wrong.
Their own sin brought the darkness upon themselves, they would not trust God nor would they call upon him for their good.
“every man did that which was right in his own eyes” says the final verse in the book of Judges (Jd 21:25)
Yet in spite of all that, in spite of all their sin, in spite of how often they returned to do evil before the Lord like a dog returning to its own vomit, God would favour them with the most incredible light the world has ever seen, a light that has shone for some two thousand years now, a light that was forecast, and illuminated expecting hearts 2700 years ago, a light they can look forward to with hope.
But when it came to them, Israel rejected it.
11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
Turn to John 3
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
We are not unlike Israel in our own day
The dark times that Israel had gone through did not come out of nowhere. Each individual, to one level or another loved darkness rather than light, they rejected God, first in the heart, and then in the life and it spread through society until it enveloped the nation.
That is what we have done individually, through our own choices in our own day. And what is done individually soon affects a portion of the population that is difficult to ignore.
More than 10 years ago, a European study stated that 38% of Europeans are suffering mental illness of one form or another. The study’s author said “”Mental disorders have become Europe’s largest health challenge of the 21st century,” The study covered 30 countries and over 514 million people. An incredible 165 Million people in Europe suffer with mental disorders.
In the United States, a 2017 study said 28% of the population suffers from alcoholism, that’s 60 million people. Another 24 million people are addicted to illicit drugs, and over 3 million children aged between 4-17 years of age have an ongoing prescription to Ritalin or Adderall which has been shown time and again of its dangers toward psychosis. 1/3 of American employees suffer with chronic stress and sleeplessness, and 11% of the entire population above the age of 12 years are taking antidepressants just to help them get through life with some comfort according to the Centre of Disease Control in the U.S.
The World Health Organization said that Depression alone will be the second largest contributor to the Global Burden of Disease across all ages.
When we include addictions to pornography affecting 85% of ALL men and 50% of ALL women in the west and addictions to all forms of other vain amusements to distract the population from reality, we are already WELL ABOVE the majority of people in the Western World living in darkness and doing all they can to avoid seeing that darkness in their own lives
This is the darkness of the world today, and those statistics are a decade old. But we don’t really need “Statistics” these days, do we? We can see it for ourselves every time we turn on the news.
When God is cast out of society so too is truth, and we are living in times of the greatest evident deception the world has ever seen…no…sorry…the world largely DOESN’T see deception, because the individuals in the world have hidden their eyes from the truth.
22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
There is going to be this morning a decision for you to make.
Israel rejected the light when it was presented to them, they chose the master they would serve and to this day their remains a vail over their hearts that they cannot see the light of Christ, at least not until the fullness of the gentiles come in, then God will open their eyes when he comes the second time.
6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:
That light is presented to you today again for you to choose.
You know the truth, you look back to the record written of the child born and celebrate every year a recognition of that event.
You also look back every year to a son given
“a son is given”, “a son is given”.
6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:
Isaiah writes that this child born and this son given is to “US”, not only to Israel but to the world, but what does it mean that “A Son is given”. How is he “given”.
Turn to John 3 again and consider for a moment a few verses
You all recall the account of Nicodemus who came to Jesus by night requesting understanding of who he is and truth respecting eternal life.
You see this darkness that we spoke of has ETERNAL consequenses not just temporal ones. We all know this is true, each one of us has an innate understanding of this, otherwise we would never have asked the question of what happens after we die!
And all people have aksed that question at some point in their lives. This is the knowledge deep within that there is more to this life than meets the eye.
This is also that knowledge of judgment within that causes people everywhere to convince themselves there is no God and there is nothing hereafter.
Not so with Nicodemus, and so Jesus continues his answer to him of a son that is given.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
In this room this day there are some who know they are in darkness and have every desire to accept the light that is come into the world. This sermon is for you. You have the choice to make to believe this Gospel, this the greatest news in the history of the world, this is The EVERLASTING Gospel of Jesus Christ.
This is the son who was GIVEN to become a sacrifice for your sin, even a RANSOM, and GIVEN to God as a just recompence that YOU may be forever free.
Jesus testifies of himself in Mathew 20:28
28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
Paul the apostle speaks of it to Timothy saying;
1 Timothy 2:3–6
3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
The sins of Israel knew no bounds, our own sins also know no bounds, that are NONE excluded from this Gospel, but ALL who would believe that Jesus Died for you will be saved.
How can this be?
Because this Child that was born is also the Mighty God, this Son that is Given is also the “Everlasting father”, he alone has both the means to atone for your sin and the ability to redeem
The Son Was Given, is the single greatest news in the history of mankind, there has never been greater news, there will never be greater news, and ALL WHO WALK IN DARKNESS can behold his light and walk in him….if only they would believe.
 Baxter, J. Sidlow; Baxter, J. Sidlow. Baxter’s Explore the Book (p. 761).