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September 12, 2023

What a Mighty God We Serve

In the midst of a troublesome time for God’s people, Isaiah tells them that a child will be born who will bring hope. This messiah will be great, greater than David, who will bring all enemy forces to their knees, who will liberate and restore his people to power and joy and glory. This much has never been a matter of dispute. However, if the messiah is the great God and mighty God, this raises questions about his nature. How is he able to do all of this?

This is where the second name in Isaiah 9:6 comes into play. He will be called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” How is it possible for one person to be all these things? The answer is that he is Jesus. He is able to be all these things because of the nature and work of his own person.

Those who know the Hebrew Bible will be familiar with the word gibbor which denotes a powerful individual. It is often used in conjunction with chayil “wealth; power.” It is also used to describe groupings of elite troops such as the palace guard (1 Sam. 23:9; 30). It is also used to describe individuals with superhuman powers such as the nephilim of Genesis 6:4.

The prophet Zephaniah gives us a beautiful promise: “The Lord your God in your midst is a mighty (gibbor) God to save; He will take great delight in you; He will quiet you with his love, And rejoice over you with singing.” He is the mighty God who can deliver.