By Marlys Burgett
“For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
“This also comes from the Lord of hosts, who has made His counsel wonderful and His wisdom great.” Isaiah 28:29
This first week of Advent we celebrate the first title of the coming Messiah, our Wonderful Counselor.
Webster’s defines the word “wonderful” as: to excite wonder or admiration, surprising or astonishing. However, in the Old Testament, the Hebrew word pala [wonderful] is identified more with a “miraculous work,” “miracle,” “marvel,” or “sign.” Other synonyms are: mystery, revelation, incomprehensible, and extraordinary. Wonderful means something out of the ordinary that cannot be explained by human experience.
“Many, O LORD my God, are the wonderful works which You have done, and Your thoughts toward us; there is none to compare with You. If I would declare and speak of Your wonders, they would be too many to count.” Psalm 40:5
“I will give thanks and praise to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:14
I love walking my dog at night or early morning and seeing the wonderful works of our Creator God–the crisp cold air and the dark sky illuminated by bright shining stars. How in awe the shepherds of ages past must have been to see the heavens and multitude of angels declaring the birth of the Savior saying;
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” Luke 2:14
“He counts the stars and calls them by name!” Psalm 147:4
Too wonderful! Too marvelous to comprehend!
I see the wonderful works of God in the faces of tiny new babies . . . and I am reminded:
“A holy Child shall be called the Son of god.” Luke 1:3
In the New Testament, the Gospels define “wonder” by the marvelous and wonderful works of Christ’s power and wisdom. Some examples are:
After being with Jesus; “The little girl immediately got up and began to walk…And immediately they were overcome with great wonder and utter amazement.” Mark 5:41-42
“No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God [that is, the unique Son, Jesus] who is in the intimate presence of the Father, He has explained Him [and interpreted and revealed the awesome wonder of the Father]. John 1:18
“this man came to Jesus and said to Him, “Rabbi, we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.” John 3:2
The second word in this title to describe the Messiah is “Counselor.” In ancient Israel, a counselor was associated with wisdom.
“the Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and strength, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.” Isaiah 11:2
In Jesus is “hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Colossians 2:3
In the next two verses, we see Jesus offering us 24/7 comfort and counsel:
“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener), to be with you forever.” John 14:16
“Our High Priest is not one who cannot feel sympathy for our weaknesses. On the contrary, we have a High Priest who was tempted in every way that we are, but did not sin. Let us have confidence, then, and approach God’s throne, where there is grace. There we will receive mercy and find grace to help us just when we need it.” Hebrews 4:15-16
Jesus as our Wonderful Counselor means we can trust Him to care for us and lead us with wisdom no matter what our circumstances may be:
“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to Him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.” Romans 11:33-35 NASB
My prayer is you would personally experience the presence of our Wonderful Counselor not only during this holiday season, but now and forevermore. Amen and amen!
Spend a few moments praying through the verses above.
In what areas of your life do you need Jesus to be your Wonderful Counselor?
How can you deepen your relationship with Jesus this Christmas season?