Here’s a word association test: If I say “government,” what’s the first word you think of? Ooooh, nasty… but, truth be told, I feel the same way. Don’t get me wrong: I’d rather live with our government in the USA, than, say under the rule of that psychopath in North Korea. And let’s take Putin… actually, let’s not. But, even though our government is so much better, it still is broken. We humans need governing, but we don’t do a very good job of it.
That’s what excites me about this Christmas prophecy from Isaiah:
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. (Isaiah 9:6a)
Isn’t that just a figure of speech? Nope. Isaiah goes on to say,
Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. (Isaiah 9:7)
Obviously, this has not yet happened, so why should we believe it? We can believe it because Isaiah accurately predicted the rise and fall of kingdoms in the Middle East – hundreds of years worth. He nailed it. Imagine accurately predicting what will happen in the Middle East next week! It was because Isaiah and other prophets were so accurate that people were looking for the coming of Jesus when He was born and where He was born. Nailed it again. Not only that, Isaiah foretold Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. Obviously Isaiah had “inside information.” He knew what he was talking about.
We can count on it when Isaiah says Jesus will return as “Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” And that His government will be characterized by perfect righteousness and justice. The world has never experienced a government like that. But this Christmas promise says you can count on it.
My money is on Isaiah. Which is to say, I’ve bet my life on Jesus. Merry Christmas!