May your sons and daughters be love
You’re always near
Abraham Lincoln is possibly the most important president in United States history. He led a divided nation through an extremely difficult time. Yet, one of the most fascinating things to me about any great leader, president, or king is their relationship with their children. As historians show, this powerful and influential man, leading a nation being pulled in a million different directions, was the President of the United States of America and was also a father. By day, he was asked to give leadership to the military as “commander-in-chief,” and by night, he was asked for a glass of water before bedtime as “dad.”
Now think about Isaiah 9:6. Up to this point in Isaiah’s prophecy, God has been shown as strong and mighty over all rulers, all people and all nations—which He is. However, God will indiscreetly establish His kingdom through a coming child, and this child will be wonderful, mighty, a prince of a great kingdom, and the government will rest on his shoulders. He will establish and uphold justice and righteousness forever. He will be the King of all kings.
In the midst of this promise, we see that this great King will also be called “Everlasting Father.” It was not totally unheard of for an ancient ruler or king to be referred to as “father.” In many ways, the ruler does what a father does: provides safety, stability, love, care, guidance, wisdom and so much more. But this coming “Father” is different; he will provide for his people eternally.
We come to learn that this child—the “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”—is Jesus Christ. And, Jesus is this very God of Israel who has taken on human flesh. To be clear, we should not confuse Jesus Christ, the Son of God, with God the Father. God exists as Holy Trinity—Father, Son and Holy Spirit. But, it is clear in this text that the Son, Jesus, will display fatherly qualities. While God the Father is the Father of all his children (humans who are believers in Jesus Christ), Jesus does the work of the Father on earth. In so doing, Jesus displays the love and justice of the Father and in those ways, shows the true qualities of the Father toward us.
See this picture. This powerful King who is mightier than any other king, who is greater than any other kingdom, and who will rule as King forever is like a father to us. No person, no matter how powerful, can ever get close to Him by mere power, and yet, when we come to him like children, he welcomes us with open arms. Jesus is our King who rules over all, and He is as approachable as a father bringing a glass of water to his children. Come to Jesus with everything that you have because he cares for you like no one else ever will. This Jesus will give you all you’ve ever hoped for and more for all eternity, because He is like a father to us—the perfect father who only knows how to give good things.
Weekly Advent Readings: Psalm 103:13; Isaiah 40:11; John 1:18; Galatians 4:4-7