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When we hear “Eternal Father”, we would be excused if we wondered if this means God the Father instead of God the Son – Jesus. But in this text, Isaiah is not attempting to explain the trinity, but rather the nature of the Messiah. And we are given two primary attributes: (1) Eternal and (2) Father.
This “child” is eternal or everlasting. The unending nature of this Son so far in Scripture has only been identified with the LORD God. Isaiah 9:7 (English Standard Version Bible) says: “Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom…” This child will be eternal like God and yet be of the genealogy of David.
This “child” is also called “Father.” In the historical context of Isaiah, Father is used to describe a good, kind protector (see Isaiah 22:20-21). This benevolent ruler is God’s ideal for a king. Furthermore, “Father” is also used of God Himself (Isaiah 63:16.) Once again, this child has a description given of both God and David. Like God, He will compassionately protect Israel and, like David, He will be her king.
In just two words, “Eternal Father,” we see both the divine and human in one everlasting King of Kings—Jesus Christ.
Heavenly Father, we thank You for Your kindness and provision of our perfect Savior. As the author of Hebrews says, Jesus remains forever and will save us completely since He always lives to intercede for us (Hebrews 7:24-25). We have all gone our own way into despair and anxiety, but you provide a “Father” to us who comforts us in our affliction and will deliver us fully in the age to come. This Christmas, we thank you for our “Eternal Father” in Christ Jesus. Amen!
*To access the PDF format of the devotional, please click here.