One of the most well-known passages indicating the marvelous truth of the Incarnation is found in Isaiah 9:6–7:
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.
In this passage, Isaiah uses four different names for the coming Messiah, two of which indicate that this future son of David would be God in the flesh. The son predicted earlier in Isaiah 7:14 would be “God with us” (Immanuel) as well as the “Mighty God” and “Everlasting Father.” The other two Hebrew terms in 9:6–7 indicate that He will be royalty since He will be both a “Wonderful Counselor” (a wise King) and the “Prince of Peace,” promoting peace throughout the regions of His reign.
This Messianic King who suffered and died will one day reign on the throne of His forefather David and rule over the promised earthly kingdom. This is confirmed in verse 7 when the Messiah will sit on the throne of David His forefather forever! In that day, injustice, unrighteousness, and all the marks of sinful earthly kingdoms will be removed and transformed by the Son of David who will bring in a new and holy order of earthly government. It will be a kingdom no longer tainted by sin.
A second passage that also speaks of the divine character of Messiah was penned by a contemporary of Isaiah, the prophet Micah. In Micah 5:2, the prophet describes the coming Messiah, the ruler in Israel, as follows: “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.”
The ruler in Israel would be born in Bethlehem, which is further defined by the word Ephrathah as referring to the Bethlehem located a few miles from Jerusalem. This was the ancestral home of David and the birthplace of Jesus the Messiah. This ruler is described again as being eternal in nature. We understand the passage in this way because the two Hebrew phrases translated “from long ago” and “from the days of eternity” when used elsewhere in the Old Testament most often refer to God.
All of these passages indicate that the promised Messiah, who would reign on David’s throne forever, would be God in the flesh. Jesus literally had to be “God with us” in order to be the Savior of the world. We are surrounded during this season of the year by hints of the truth well expressed by C.S. Lewis: “The Son of God became a man to enable men to become the sons of God.”