Isaiah sees that God is giving us the most precious gift of all. He is becoming one of us so that we can become one with Him.
He says, to us a son is given and he goes on to describe the gift of the ideal King. One commentator calls this a royal birth announcement, which is true. And in some sense, this prophecy may be partially connected to the later reign of King Hezekiah or King Joshiah; we can certainly see some parallels to these kings. But the titles ascribed to this future king go far beyond either of these two. No, this future King brings eternal peace — and only an eternal King can bring eternal peace.
Isaiah goes on to say of this eternal King that the government shall be upon His shoulder. What does that mean?
Well, this is yet another gift. It’s the gift of not being in charge. It means that you and I don’t have the burden of ultimate leadership, the burden of decision; that belongs to the King. We have a tendency to elevate ourselves, to think that everything depends upon us and revolves around us. But that’s simply not true. We don’t have to carry the weight of the world upon our shoulders because that’s not a load we could have ever carried in the first place.
There is a liberating sense of peace that comes from trusting in God’s wisdom and God’s commands. You just take what He says and you follow it. I know that sounds simplistic, and I suppose you could say more about that, but this is still truth. It’s the craziest thing, but obedience actually sets you free. I know some like to balk at that, especially those of us who like to be in control all the time, but it’s the Gospel truth. There is some real grace in recognizing that you don’t have the burden of leadership and the burden of decision.
There is only one Messiah…and it’s not me and it’s not you. The lead has already been cast; Jesus has already been given that role. His job is to be Jesus. My job is to simply follow His lead. Because true governance is upon His shoulder.