I’m standing on tiptoe as this year unfolds, knowing it’s going to be wonderful. Why? Because God is wonderful.
It’s not simply what He is. It’s who He is. It’s His name.
His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 (KJV)
See that comma after wonderful? We often treat wonderful as an adjective paired with counselor, no comma between them. But many of the oldest English translations, including Wycliffe’s Bible (1382), Geneva Bible (1560), King James Version (1611), Young’s Literal Translation (1898), and the American Standard (1901) set the word wonderful apart.
Rightly so, since in Hebrew it’s a noun, peleh. It means “a wonder, a miracle, a marvelous thing.” It’s a name unto itself. “These will be his royal titles” (TLB), and one of them is Wonderful.
Some of the newest translations also use that notable comma, including New Life Version (2003) and 21st Century King James (1994). The Jubilee Bible (2000) says, “His name shall be called The Wonderful One,” and the Expanded Bible (2011) emphatically calls Him “Wonderful!”
Do I love the exclamation point? Yes!
The Orthodox Jewish Bible (2011) spells it out for us: “Peleh (Wonderful), Yoetz (Counsellor), El Gibbor (Mighty G-d), Avi Ad (Possessor of Eternity), Sar Shalom (Prince of Peace).” Yes, He is.
My main man in commentary land, Matthew Henry, wrote, “Justly is he called wonderful, for he is both God and man. His love is the wonder of angels and glorified saints; in his birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension, he was wonderful.”
He was and is and always will be Wonderful.
For years I began my prayers, “Dear Lord” or “Dear Jesus.” For 2019 and beyond, I’m going with “Dear Wonderful.” It’s a splendid name, and so in keeping with His character.
If you see my little red car zipping down the road, I’ll no doubt be singing the praise song, “His Name Is Wonderful.” Sing along with an instrumental piano solo. Listen to a slow and soulful rendition from the Straight Gate Mass Choir. Or you might enjoy the story behind the song, appropriately born one Christmas.
The Lord also invites us to call Him “Teacher” (NLV), “Advisor” (CEV) or “Counselor” (CSB). To address Him as “Powerful God” (ERV) or “The Mighty One” (JUB). To use the name “Eternal Father” (CEB) or “Father Who Lives Forever” (ICB). To call Him “Prince of Wholeness” (MSG) or “Prince Who Brings Peace.” (NIrV).
He is worthy of all those marvelous names and more. At the moment, I’m going with Wycliffe’s take, written six centuries before I embraced the grace of God: “His name schal be clepid Wondurful.”
2019 will indeed be a Wonderful year, especially if you join me every Wednesday!
On the first Wednesday of each month, we’ll spend about 15 minutes together on Facebook LIVE, as I share what I’m learning about a dozen wonderful women in the New Testament. Jesus Girls, every one! All new stuff, all from the book I’m working on now. Yay! You can watch my January teaching on Tabitha from Acts 9 right here, anytime.
On the second Wednesday of each month, watch for a new blog post on my website and in your inbox, exploring just one wonderful verse in my usual, word-by-word fashion. Of course, they’ll all feature the word wonderful because why not?
On the third Wednesday of each month, look for my Wonderful Wednesday Giveaway on Facebook. (Y’all loved this when I did it last summer.) Three new books by wonderful writers you’ve been wanting to read.
On the fourth Wednesday of each month, I’ll appear in your email inbox with a quick News Note with the latest on all things Lizzie and a wonderful contest as well.
When there’s a fifth Wednesday – January, May, July, October – I’ll give away three of my audiobooks from ChristianAudio. Every word from the books, read by the…um, author.
So looking forward to spending a wonder-filled 2019 with you!
Oh, my friend, this year I’m SO grateful for both the challenges (i.e. learning opportunities) and blessings that came my way, especially the latest “No Evidence of Disease” report from my oncologist, and the ongoing treatments that will keep me going in 2019. Your prayers are making all the difference!
I’m also deeply thankful for the 700 children of prisoners sponsored through our Prison Fellowship International events because of generous sisters like you.
Most of all, I’m celebrating the One whose name is Wonderful, now and forever. Thanks for joining me, beloved!
P.S. If you’re curious about the photos, our church has a beautiful Chrismon Tree, covered with ornaments made of white and gold, the liturgical colors of the season. Chrismon Trees only go back to 1957, but the many ancient symbols for Christ and His ministry are centuries old. Wonderful.