For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 (ESV)
A generation ago, our parents looked to Dear Abby for advice. Today, we are the generation of Oprah and Dr. Phil. And, it seems that those that are coming after us turn to Google for the advice they need. Whatever our age and whatever our resource, the fact that we are seeking counsel says something. We all need guidance from time to time. We all need advice. The lesson worth remembering, however, is that the advice we’re given is only as good as the source.
Over 2,700 years ago, the prophet Isaiah foretold of the birth of a special child. He would fulfill the hopes and the dreams of generations of men and women. He would be a great deliverer and He would have authority resting squarely on His shoulders. And He would be characterized by the name wonderful counselor.
In ancient times and cultures, names meant something. They revealed something of the character of the individual. The prophet tells us that Jesus, this child to be born, would be a source of great wisdom. He would be unlike most kings and political leaders of his day (and sadly ours). When Isaiah wrote these words, a man named Ahaz was king. He was intelligent, but foolish. He was far from wise. This coming king, however, would be different. He would be someone we can trust.
In a world where we are surrounded by foolish voices, it’s comforting to know we can turn to Jesus to find the direction and counsel we need. The Bible tells us that God thinks differently than we do (Isaiah 55:8-9). Because of that, He is not swayed by the sentiments of the day. Remember those clothes you wore back in the seventies? That hairstyle you had back in the eighties? Your musical tastes back in the nineties? Ever look back and wonder, “What was I thinking?” The truth is, we were thinking the same thing as everyone else. We followed the crowd and the crowd followed us. While that’s relatively harmless when it comes to clothes, haircuts, and music, it can be really dangerous when it comes to the important decisions of life.
So the question is this. To whom will you listen? To whom will you go for advice? Dear Abby’s not published much anymore these days. Oprah’s off the air. And Google? Please. Stop listening to everyone else and begin to listen to the real source of wisdom. Turn to Jesus for direction. Look to Him for guidance. He will never lead us astray.
Further Reading: Psalm 111