In Isaiah 3:1-4, God declares that he will take away the leaders from Israel, such that the people will make children their rulers. It’s somewhat ironic, then, that God later gives the sign of a virgin having a child to be named Immanuel as the sign of the destruction of the Aram-Israel alliance (7:1). Even more ironic are Isaiah’s words in 9:6-7, stating that God himself would make a child their leader. Yet, unlike the children chosen in 3:9, this Child would accomplish everything the leaders of Israel and Judah could not. He would be a wonderful counselor to the people, their mighty God, their eternal Father, and a bringer of ultimate peace. Also unlike previous kings, even the greatly revered David, this Child’s rule would never end – this peaceful and perfect kingdom was going to last forever. Surely this promise was a comfort to the faithful remnant as they watched kings rise and fall along with their kingdoms. They had hope that One was coming to finally bring peace, justice, and righteousness forever.

My take-aways:

  1. God is the master of turning apparently horrible and foolish things into good. In the incarnation of Christ, He would take a child born amidst scandal and make Him the ruler all had been waiting for. The world, of course, rejected Him and only mocked Him as a king, but God would use even His death to accomplish salvation for His children. I can trust Him when things are ugly or just confusing, knowing that he makes all things new and good.
  2. Peace, justice, and righteousness will never come through an earthly government. We may get glimpses of such things in current kingdoms, but until Christ returns, we will never know them fully and for all eternity. And when such a kingdom does arise, it will not be through our own working (politics, grassroots campaigns, democracy, etc.); Isaiah says, “The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.” In other words, the promise of this perfect rule is completely contingent upon God Himself, so when it happens, He alone will receive the glory. Such thoughts should bring comfort, confidence, peace, and joy to my life, as it surely did to the faithful of Isaiah’s day. When those attitudes are part of my life, I am living out kingdom principles until the ultimate establishment of the kingdom. Surely more could be said about how peace, justice, and righteousness have been brought about through Jesus’ first advent, and will be seen worldwide in His second, but I’m getting in over my head now…. I need to think some more. Help is welcomed.