This is the first description of His Name in Isaiah 9:6 – “He shall be called Wonderful Counselor.” What an incredible Name for an incredible need – we all have the need for direction and wisdom and help.
The Hebrew word for “wonderful” here is based on the word “pala” which means “a phenomenon lying outside the realm of human explanation; that which is separated from the normal”. The counsel, the wisdom that Jesus has for us is separated from the normal, it’s beyond the realm of human explanation. I love that so much! I have and continue to benefit so greatly from my earthly counselors (our parents, pastors, leaders, etc) – those who help me rightly interpret situations when my judgement is clouded by emotions or inexperience or fear. I’ve had the gift of having counselors walk with me through traumatic situations, through the deepest, lowest valleys. My husband and I often get marriage counseling, to help us grow and continue to learn. I have mentors and pastors that so often counsel me in my own leadership. I know that through them, I constantly hear the counsel that could only be given by One Wonderful Counselor, and for that, I am so grateful. Why? Because His counsel lies beyond the realm of human explanation. When He speaks through those who counsel me, I so, so often think, “Wow! That could only be God!” because the things they are saying are beyond the realm of what they could know on their own – what a gift!
Through His Word and through prayer, we have access to counsel from the One Who sees all (past, present and future), knows all (how I’m feeling, how others are feeling, all the details of every situation that I’m not even aware of) and cares for all (He is weaving a beautiful story for ALL of us). His counsel is not biased, it’s not uninformed, it’s not ill-experienced, it’s not partial. That is incredible to me!
The verse in Isaiah starts by saying, “He shall be called…” – God did not say, “This is what I call Him.” He instructed US to call Him that. Is that the description you have for Jesus? There is a lot of pressure, when we are unsure of what to do, when we need help or wisdom or advice, to turn to friends, social media, the experiences of others, etc, and by no means is any of that necessarily bad or wrong…God often will use each of those things to align and help us! But the root question here is, do I consider going to Jesus for advice first? Do I even trust that His Word truly has the counsel I need? Am I looking for an organization to help me with what He can do wonderfully? Do I call Him my Wonderful Counselor? Think about it… do we think His counsel is outdated, not applicable for business decisions, career moves, relationship advice, financial decisions, depression, anxiety, diet, entertainment selections…or is it only for “spiritual, church-y” matters? Think of how many “counselors” are out there…marriage counselors, school counselors, career counselors, trauma counselors, mental health counselors, etc etc… and thank God for every single one of them that are helping us rightly understand and apply Godly wisdom, principles and counsel in those specific areas!
But Jesus Christ is our WONDERFUL Counselor…every area, every need, every situation, every circumstance, every challenge, every question, every hurt, every fear, every decision, every choice…He has the EXACT wisdom and advice for it! 1 Corinthians 1:30 says, “You are partners with Christ Jesus…Jesus has become our wisdom sent from God.”
No matter the season or situation, we are to call Him our Wonderful (great, amazing, awesome, marvelous, magnificent, glorious, lovely) Counselor (advisor, guide, teacher, coach, instructor). We are to call Him – turn to Him, refer to Him, consult Him… and it’s not that we have to – we GET to. We get to be counseled by the Son of God, the One Who knows what it’s like to walk these roads and live in flesh. We get to be counseled by the One Who knows the details of the past and every part of each tomorrow. He is the Son of Man – He identifies with us (so He’s a good Person to ask), yet He is the Son of God – He is perfect (so He’s a good Person to trust) and His counsel has been proven right and trustworthy for generations past.
Isn’t it wonderful? Isn’t He wonderful??
Prayer: Lord, today, I call You my Wonderful Counselor. While I am so grateful for the wise people and the resources You have placed around me, to help me and walk with me, nothing can ever replace the direct access to You that You have so graciously given me. Your counsel is beyond the realm of human explanation – You see everything, You know everything and You’re speaking to me from that omniscient perspective – what a gift! Thank You for coming to walk in flesh, so You could truly understand what I’m facing. Help me to trust You more. Help me not be so quick to turn to others before I turn to You. May I treasure Your wonderful counsel. Amen.