Moreover the Lord said unto me, Take thee a great roll, and write in it with a man’s pen concerning Mahershalalhashbaz. And I took unto me faithful witnesses to record, Uriah the priest, and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah. And I went unto the prophetess; and she conceived, and bare a son. Then said the Lord to me, Call his name Mahershalalhashbaz(vv.1-3).
Mahar-Shalal-Hash-Baz in Hebrew means ‘Quick to plunder’ and intended here as a sign. It is in the same sense as we have already seen in the previous chapter about Immanuel being a sign: the name means God with us. God set Isaiah as a prophet to predict desolation and also give hope He shall bring to Judah and Jerusalem. Accordingly we read of his two sons bearing names that had direct bearing on the history of the nation. So when Isaiah writes,”Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts,…(v.18)” God is in control. For this reason when the narrative mode of the Spirit sets the prophet as a forerunner of Jesus Christ we need go beyond its literal meaning. We should therefore see signs and wonders as intended in godhead.
In the scripture we see signs signifying different things. We shall stick to one aspect. A natural phenomenon can serve as a sign. God setting a bow in firmament was one such. It signified God’s judgment as well as his mercy. Coming as it did after the great flood Noah would have understood it as such and being God’s sign it has its permanence either as a memorial in heaven and for man. When the throne of God is mentioned the rainbow is inserted as a shorthand as it were, by which we deduce the aspect of the Lord God manifest there. It is thus we see the throne of God in the Book of Revelation (4:3)-‘ a rainbow round about the throne’ For Apostle John it conveyed its significance. Again we see it in terms of a mighty angel who came down from heaven(Re.10:1). We read that ‘a rainbow was upon his head,’From the context we understand that he was sent from God and it was meant as a sign a symbol of Authority. Here also the sign is conferred by God and the basic significance,- judgement and mercy remain the same. In this context let us examine the verse 18 where the prophet states he and his two sons are signs and wonders before Israel. The same verse is quoted by the writer to the Hebrews whereby we shall see the nature of signs endured since God willed it. All redeemed of the earth are signs and wonders because their position in eternity does not owe to themselves but to mercy of God. In the epistle of the Hebrews it is associated directly with Christ Jesus (He.2:10-13). Here we have children of light as a collective name for every soul as foreordained before the foundation of the world, unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ unto himself (Ep.1:3-4) God as the Father of lights and Jesus Christ as the light unto salvation (Jn.8:12)
“For before the child shall have knowledge to cry, My father, and my mother, the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria shall be taken away before the king of Assyria(v.4)”.
Prophet Isaiah as usual with the narrative mode of the Spirit is living example of ‘signs and wonders’ as well as pointing to every child of God who shall be counted as adopted by Jesus Christ unto himself. Jesus Christ is the firstborn of all creation as well as firstborn from the dead. In stream of consciousness of God’s Time we are collectively in eternity signs and wonders. In the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus we find Abraham’s Bosom as a sign. So shall we be signs of wonders for nations that walk under the glory of the City of God.