By Nick Batzig
I have something of a social media fantasy. I wake up, get online, and start scrolling. I don’t see a single comment on politics—no sub-comments or accompanying emoticons. However painful the reality may be, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’ll never have that experience. After all, I’d have to unfollow and unfriend everyone to get that, including myself!
We live in world in which God has instituted governments, rulers, and leaders. God has ordained politics to be a necessary and integral part of His world. It’s not innately wrong to be interested in and have formed opinions about political policy, procedure, and officials. However, the difficult work for us is to learn not to put our hope in men and in the governments of this world.
That was a lesson God was constantly teaching His people in the Old Testament. The Lord repeatedly taught Israel not to put their trust in princes. When God’s people rebelled against His righteous rule, turned to idols, and put their trust in men, He disciplined them in ways that matched their sin.
Isaiah was commissioned by God to pronounce prophetic judgments against the Old Covenant Church (i.e. Israel), as well as against the nations. Early in Isaiah’s prophetic message, the Lord told Israel that He was going to “give children to be their princes and babes shall rule over them” (Isaiah 3:4). Since Israel would not have the Lord rule over them, He purposed to give them inadequate and weak leaders. In a polarized atmosphere like our own political climate, we can at least all agree on the fact that children make bad kings. God promised to take away the wise and aged leaders in order to teach His people to turn back to Him.
In an ironic twist, Isaiah foretold God’s people that the spiritual restoration they so desperately needed would come from a “child” and a “son,” whose name would be “Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (9:6). In Christ, God would reestablish His righteous rule in the hearts and lives of His people. The Lord would come into the world as a babe to establish His everlasting Kingdom and rule.
If there is one recurrent theme in Isaiah it is this: the most powerful rulers of this world are no match for Immanuel (7:14). God has triumphed over this fallen world with its principalities and powers. His Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom established on the redeeming work of His Son. The crucified and risen Christ has triumphed and now reigns forever.
Written by Nick Batzig