Here we are... it’s the Second Sunday of Advent... and we’re still anticipating... still looking forward to the coming of God’s Promise... as our Second Advent candle reminds us, we watch and wait, in faith - believing with a hope filled assurance that God always keeps his promises.
Of course, we wait for a lot of things in life! When we were school kids we waited for recess... or for the end of the school day. When we were in Jr. High, we couldn’t wait to be in High School, and to get our driver’s license... to maybe get our own car! When we were teenagers we couldn’t wait to be grown - so we could do whatever we like without being told, “no!” Little did we know, right? Of course, as adults we’re always waiting for Friday to end... or for a child to call... or for retirement. We’re often so busy waiting that we forget to live (but that’s a sermon for another day).
The point is we’re always waiting... we’re experienced at it... we’re just not very good at it. We ask the Lord for patience, and we expect it now!
God’s people waited over 800 years for Isaiah’s prophecy to be fulfilled: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
We talked about the “Wonderful Counselor” last week. And how Jesus is our hope, our awe inspiring, wonder filled, and over-flowing with wisdom Redeemer. The One, the only One, who is yet coming to establish God’s perfect kingdom, once and for all... ending all heartache, grief and pain... removing everything that’s not of God.
Today, I want us to think about Isaiah’s second title for the Messiah: The Mighty God.
In Hebrew, the title "God Almighty" is the phrase El Shaddai - which means “God, the All-powerful One” or “The Mighty One” (Genesis 49:24; Psalm 132:2,5).
It clearly speaks to God’s ultimate power over all things. He is all-mighty, He has all might. As Presbyterians we stress the sovereignty of God... his power and authority and knowledge over all things. We even profess it every week in the Apostles’ Creed, “I believe in God, the Father Almighty.”
Of course, God has many names and attributes laid out for us in the scriptures.
*He is the Almighty (Genesis 49:25),
*Creator of heaven and earth (Genesis 14:19),
*the Builder of everything (Hebrews 3:4),
*the King of heaven (Daniel 4:37),
*the God of all mankind (Jeremiah 32:27),
*and the Eternal King. (Jeremiah 10:10).
*He is the only God (Jude 1:25),
*the Eternal God (Genesis 21:33),
*the Everlasting God (Isaiah 40:28),
*and Maker of all things (Ecclesiastes 11:5).
This Mighty God, our Savior, is able to do more than we could ever ask or even imagine (Ephesians 3:20). His wonders can’t be fathomed and His miracles cannot be counted (Job 9:10). God’s power is unlimited. He can do anything He wants, whenever He wants (Psalm 115:3). He spoke, and the universe itself came into existence (Genesis 1:3).
I speak and people go to sleep! :)
God answers to no one or no-thing! Daniel 4:35 reminds us that God “does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth.”
When we come to know, and appreciate, and respect, God as the Almighty, we can’t help being struck by His power and by the fact that He is indeed a great, mighty, and awesome (Deuteronomy 10:17). The fact that God is Almighty - and sovereign - is what overwhelms us with awe and wonder and the realization that He is God above all things, without limitation.
Of course, we have limits, don’t we? There are times in our lives when we need a limitless, Mighty God. Times when our circumstances are just too big, too frightening... too overwhelming for us to face on our own. And, for me, it’s the Mightiness of God that calms my anxiety and eases my fear.
God’s power... His strength and authority... means that you and I can rest in Him... as we turn our worries, and fears, and burdens, and uncertainties over to our Mighty God, who is big enough to handle anything we give him.
Even when we don’t understand why something is happening, we can rest assured that God is ultimately in control...
Especially when life doesn’t make sense, I need the Mighty God who is bigger than even the most difficult circumstances I face...
Isaiah is trying to tell us that this promised ONE, the Anointed One, is no normal son, no normal child. This child... is God in the flesh. This is the astounding miracle of Christmas.
It’s easy to argue that THIS is the most amazing miracle in all of the Bible. Greater than turning water in to wine... greater than calming of the wind and waves, or turning a few loaves of bread and fish into enough food to feed thousands... even greater than the resurrection from the dead. Because none of those things would have ever happened, if Jesus had not been born the Mighty God.
This Child who is born to us... that we celebrate during Advent and Christmas - this infant holy, infant lowly... this Sweet Little Jesus Boy... this child in a manger... wrapped in swaddling clothes - is the Mighty God who has come to save us. The very same Jesus who identifies with us and relates to us, in every way, yet without sin, and has saved us through His finished work in the cross and resurrection... He is the Mighty God.
Enjoy the twinkle lights... the Christmas trees... the gifts... AS YOU and I patiently WAIT for the Mighty God to be truly revealed, in our hearts & lives, and in this world...
Trust in his love, and grace, and forgiveness... and salvation. The Mighty God always keeps his promises.
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”