Today you may be celebrating Christmas, or lighting the final Hanukkah candle tonight, or both. Whatever way you look at it, today is a day to remember the One who came to be the Light of the World. YHWH promised to send a Messiah, an Anointed One, to be a Redeemer-Saviour who would rescue the world from darkness. One of the most famous passages in the Tanakh that highlighted YHWH’s forthcoming Anointed Rescuer can be found in Isaiah chapter 9:
But there will be no more gloom for her who was in anguish. In earlier times He treated the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali with contempt, but later on He will make it glorious, by the way of the sea, on the other side of the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles.
The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them.
You will multiply the nation, You will increase their joy; they will rejoice in Your presence as with the joy of harvest, as people rejoice when they divide the spoils.
For You will break the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, as at the battle of Midian. For every boot of the marching warrior in the roar of battle, and cloak rolled in blood, will be for burning, fuel for the fire.
For a Child will be born to us, a Son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders.
And His name will be called, Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore.
The zeal of YHWH of armies will accomplish this.
Isaiah foretold of a little child who be a bringer of light to a world lost in darkness. This One would make Galilee shine and He would be a bringer of joy and peace. Isaiah also identified the Light-bringer’s character by the names He would be called:
His name will be called, Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
Over these holy days I encourage you to try to learn this verse in Hebrew. I have added the pronunciations to help. Let’s break it down:
He will be called: Wai-yeekra sh’mow
- Wonderful: Pehleh
- Counsellor: Yow’etz
- Mighty God: El Gibohr
- Eternal Father: Ah’vi’awd
- Prince of Peace: Sawr Shalowm
I recommend taking a week to learn this. Every day repeat a small section and each subsequent day add a new word:
Day 1: start with Wai-yeekra sh’mow
Day 2: Wai-yeekra sh’mow, Pehleh
Day 3: Wai-yeekra sh’mow, Pehleh, Yow’etz
Day 4: Wai-yeekra sh’mow, Pehleh, Yow’etz, El Gibowr,
Day 5: Wai-yeekra sh’mow, Pehleh, Yow’etz, El Gibowr, Ah’vi’awd
Day 6: Wai-yeekra sh’mow, Pehleh, Yow’etz, El Gibowr, Ah’vi’awd. Sar Shalom
By Day 7 you will have it memorized:
Wai-yiqra sh’mow: Peleh, Yowetz, El Gibor, Aviad, Sar Shalom
Image by Gareth Harper (Unsplash.com)
Let’s take a look at one of these descriptor words, Aviad. It doesn’t take long to trace this Hebrew word, which has been primarily translated as “eternal father”, because it only occurred once in the Hebrew Scriptures. Isaiah 9:6 provided the only use of the word Aviad.
Aviad was a compound word made up of Avi, meaning my Father, and Ad meaning eternal or forever or in perpetuity. Aviad was not just someone who continued on indefinitely, it was meant to imply that this kind of Father continually supported and upheld its children forever. Aviad was a good, unshakable, father who supported His children no matter how far they’ve strayed. This was YHWH, the Creator God who loved His children even when they did not love Him in return. Gods love was the kind of love that was unyielding, unstoppable, and endless.
This is the beauty of the Yeshua the Messiah, the Prince of Peace… He is eternally loving and He is eternally enduring. There is no end to His love and no end to the Peace He brings. He came into the world as a baby, completely reliant on humans, and when we leave the world we’re completely reliant on Him. Full peace is returning home to Our Father and Yeshua came to pave the way home.
However you celebrate today, may you seek out the Creator who loves you and remember that the Everlasting Father came to earth to take your hand and lead you home.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Shalom one and all!
Next week: GOLD