For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness 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 portrays the eternal hope of God’s people in this passage. This prophecy refers directly to Jesus, the One who was to fulfill Isaiah’s words (Lk 1:32 – 33). The coming of Jesus represented a new rule and a new King who would reign forever, and ultimately he will establish God’s rule and reign forever Rev 21:5 – 7). “Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end” (Isa 9:7). Earthly kingdoms advance through greed, war and oppression. God’s kingdom advances through righteousness and peace (Jn 14:27) — peace that will prevail forever in God’s new heaven and new earth.
The people of God longed for this type of peace. Though the promised land was meant to be marked by God’s provision and freedom from war, this had not been the case. Israel’s persistent rebellion and idolatry prevented the kind of peaceful situation that God had promised, had they been obedient (Dt 6:3).
Isaiah encouraged the people to maintain hope that God’s peace would prevail, but it would come in a future day inaugurated by the appearance of the Messiah. Believers today can have this hope as well. Though the world has been broken with strife and sin, Isaiah pictured a day when peace will cover the earth and all pain will cease (Isa 9:7; Rev 21:4). Jesus encouraged believers to have hope, for he overcame this world and is bringing about a new and better one (Jn 16:33). It is this hope that believers cling to, and it is their faith that makes hope possible. Jesus came to earth to seek and save those who were lost and wandering from him (Lk 19:10). He came to establish a way for people to enter into his kingdom and find the peace he offers. Believers find peace with God, knowing that their sins are forgiven, and they can rely on the presence of a holy God, both now and forever. And they experience peace knowing that they will, one day, inhabit a world ruled by God himself that is free from violence, where peace reigns supreme.
Content adapted from The Jesus Bible, NIV Edition.