This is the season of Advent, when we celebrate the coming of the Son of God into the world. The birth of Jesus is now more than 2000 years in our past. But it was foretold in about 730 BC, more than 700 years before the event, by the prophet Isaiah:
Isaiah 9:6-7 (NKJV) 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. 7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
As I thought about this prophecy, I began wondering why it was given. After all, at the time God had Isaiah make this first Advent announcement, the coming of Christ was more than seven centuries in the future. None of the people to whom Isaiah proclaimed that good news would be around to see it fulfilled! So why did God announce the Advent of Christ at that particular time, when the people who heard the announcement wouldn’t live to see it happen?
I think it’s because God wanted to give His people hope. He wanted them living in joyful anticipation of their coming Redeemer. Even in the darkest of times, such as the very time in which Isaiah spoke, God’s people would know that He had a glorious future in store for them. The Prince of Peace would come, and would set all things in order.
We, too, live in dark times. We have seen the Child who was born, and He has indeed been to us “Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” In that we can rejoice right now!
But, like the people to whom Isaiah first revealed the coming of the Son, we too look forward in anticipation and hope to the time when He returns to sit upon the throne of David. Just as surely as He came 2000 years ago to be the Prince of Peace, He has promised to come again to establish His reign of judgment and justice. And that reign shall never end!