Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The most wonderful gift for Christmas…

I just wanted to write few thoughts, as Christmas is so close, about a gift that cost the giver everything he loved the most, his only son. “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, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 (KJV)

The word Counselor in the original Hebrew language is "yaw-ats" meaning: to advise, consult, give counsel, counsel, purpose, devise. This is a primitive root; and it is used 80 times in The Old Testament most of the time describing the king’s advisers or the advice a king would receive or related to plans or planning done by a king or a leader. This word has no meaning of a counsel that is done one on one on personal issues. This word was never used by the author of Job Book. The word was not intended to be a word used in a personal setting in a comforting or empathic way. The closest this word is used to describe a personal intimate relationship is in Psalm 16:7-8 “I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken” (NIV). But even here God is seen by David as his right hand. For a king the “right hand” was the most important person in the kingdom after the king himself. In this position would be the most important person of all counselors and the most sought after from all the king’s counselors. Joseph and Daniel, in The Old Testament were both a “right hand” in the biggest empires of their time. Today the equivalent is a prim-minister. So again the Psalm 16:7-8 show the connotation and the basic meaning of the word. We can say with no mistake that the word’s meaning is a combination of advice, wisdom and teaching.

It is interesting that Jesus is described by Isaiah using this word with aprox. 700 years before he was born. The Jews had another word that they used for counseling, a word that involves a more personal an intimate counseling. The word is: cowd {sode}. Isaiah could have used this word but It seems that the type of counseling was announced to be done by Jesus was more a ministry of teaching, advising and wisdom and not neceswsary a personal intimate one that we have in mind today when we think of counseling. I think we can say now, 2000 years after Jesus ministered in this world, that his ministry was really well characterized by the word Isaiah chose to use when he was presenting “the child given” to us. Jesus indeed came to save and to show us “the Way … the Truth … and the Life”. What a wonderful gift !!!!

1 comment:

  1. Daniel, your post was exactly what I needed to read today! With Christmas approaching, I often lose sight of what the reason for the season is! I too often get caught up in the decorating, and what present I need to get for this person and that person. But Christmas is not about the presents, the ornaments, or even our families- Christmas is about Jesus! The ultimate gift we could be given was born over 2,000 years ago, and that's what Christmas is all about. Thank you!


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