The Wonder of His NameMighty God
Leslie Basham: Do you ever watch the news and get worried about the future? Nancy Leigh DeMoss says to remember that Jesus is in charge of everything.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss: There’s no need to be fearful. There’s no need to doubt that God is there or think He’s all of a sudden wimped out and doesn’t have any more power. Those enemies are no match for Him. Jesus is El Gibbor. He is the Mighty God!
Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Friday, March 14.
Nancy’s continuing in the series, “The Wonder of His Name: 32 Life-Changing Names of Jesus.” To see the video version of this teaching, visit ReviveOurHearts.com.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss: We’ve been looking this week at a number of names for Jesus, the Messiah, that are found in the book of Isaiah. If you have your Bible with you and you’re able to stop and take a look with us, you’ll always get more out of these sessions if you’ll look with us in your own Bible, so you’re studying God’s Word and not letting me spoon feed you.
Let me invite you to turn to the book of Isaiah chapter 9. As you’re turning there, at the end of Isaiah 8, right before the passage we’re looking at, the prophet sees the people of God in great distress. They are soon going to be invaded by the Assyrian army and these are days of darkness and anguish and gloom. If you were to go back and read the end of chapter 8 you’d say, “This is depressing. This is hard. These are dark days in Israel.”
But then you get to chapter 9, and there is a dramatic transformation. Look at verse 1. It says:
There will be no gloom for her who was in anguish . . . The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined (vv. 1–2).
And then verse 3 talks about joy and gladness and rejoicing. And verse 4 says “the yoke of his burden, and . . . the rod of his oppressor, you have broken.” Verse 5 talks about how all the soldiers dirty boots and their bloody uniforms will be burned because they’re not going to need them anymore. There’s going to be no more war. So we see in these few verses here that darkness is transformed to light; anguish and gloom are replaced by great joy; oppression and defeat give way to victory. And you say, “What happened? How is this change taking place?”
Well, verse 6 of Isaiah 9 gives us the answer:
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given;
These are Old Testament references to the coming Messiah—the promise that God would send a rescuer, a deliverer. This rescuer, this deliverer would not come as a mighty king initially. This Messiah would come as a child, as a son, given from heaven.
. . . and the government shall be upon his shoulder [King], and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, [we looked at that one yesterday, and then the] Mighty God, Everlasting Father, [and] Prince of Peace” (Isa 9:6).
I sometimes say that whatever it is that I’m teaching at the moment is my favorite passage, and in this case my favorite name in the series. And thus far, this name “Mighty God” is certainly one of my favorites. I want us to take a look at that today.
But we see in this passage that the birth of a child would change everything. This child was the promised Messiah—Jesus Christ. He would be the Light of the world who would dispel the darkness of this world. He would be the rescuer, the redeemer who would set His people free from captivity. And we see in here this wonderful four-fold title of the Messiah—Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.
Now let’s look at that title “Mighty God.” In the Hebrew, it’s El Gibbor. G-i-b-b-o-r. El the masculine noun for God—El Shaddai, El Gibbor, El God—that name for God emphasizes His strength, His power, His might. And it’s amazing that this child who would be born would be God—El Gibbor—Jesus is God.
Now we keep coming back to that in these names because so many of them stress that. Emmanuel—God with us. We looked at that one. Jesus is God. So many of the world religions today deny that Jesus is God. You will never be saved from your sin if you do not believe that Jesus is God—the Son of God and God the Son—El Gibbor.
And then that word gibbor is a word that means "a powerful warrior, champion, a chief, a mighty or strong or valiant man." Often in the Old Testament you read about a “mighty man of valor.” That’s a mighty man. El Gibbor. Jesus is the God who conquers, the God who prevails.
Now in the previous chapter, Isaiah chapter 8, it’s the powers of darkness that are prevailing. It’s the Assyrian army that’s prevailing. But in chapter 9 a Mighty God is going to come and intervene. This Mighty God—El Gibbor—confronts the adversary, and He wins. El Gibbor, the champion, the Mighty God who wins. The Son of righteousness comes and dispels the darkness. He takes over.
So, as the Mighty Counselor, and we looked at Jesus as the Mighty Counselor yesterday, the Messiah has the wisdom to rule, to guide our lives, to steer this world. But as El Gibbor, the Mighty God, He has the power to carry out all His wise plans. He is omnipotent. The “Wonderful Counselor” said that He was omniscient. He knows everything.
But El Gibbor tells us that He is omnipotent. He has all power. He is able to accomplish these amazing feats that we read about in the first paragraph of Isaiah 9 to bring joy and gladness and transform gloom and anguish into joy and rejoicing to overcome the oppressor. He is able to free His people from all their oppressors, no matter how powerful they might be.
There is no earthly kingdom or king that is able to challenge the reign and the rule of El Gibbor, Jesus, the Messiah. There is no power can overcome Him. He is the irresistible Champion, El Gibbor, the Mighty God. He has all the strength that is needed to intervene, to redeem, to deliver, to save.
Now El Gibbor is not just the one who is strong but He is also the one who is heroic. That’s communicated in this word gibbor. It’s a courageous hero.
I had over the past few months a family living in my home. They were missionaries who were home on furlough for a few months. They have just gone back to the field—but a mom and a dad and four children ages nine and down. This dad and the boys, the two sons in that family are really into superheroes. I didn’t grow up with superheroes. I didn’t even know half of what they were talking about. I wouldn’t have known these superheroes if they’d walked into the room. But I’ve learned a lot about superheroes with this family living with me. These kids are walking around in P.J.'s that have Superman and Batman and all these superheroes.
When you think of superheroes you think of brave men who perform heroic deeds. They overcome great odds. Think of William Wallace—Braveheart. And some of your husbands in particular are really into these superheroes.
I want to just tell you Jesus, the Messiah is the Superhero of superheroes. He is greater than all. El Gibbor—the Mighty God—the Superhero arrives on the scene and, against all odds, overwhelmingly defeats all those who have oppressed His people.
Now, we don’t see that all that happening yet. He hasn’t shown all His power yet that He will. But He is the Superhero. The end of the story has been written, but it’s not been seen yet. It’s unfolding in history.
Now there’s a New Testament passage that I think sheds some light on how Jesus does this. In Luke chapter 11 and you can turn there or you may just want to listen. Jesus is accused of being a sorcerer—exorcising demons by the power of Satan. Those who critiqued Him, criticized Him, that’s what they accused Him of.
Jesus said in Luke chapter 11, verse 21:
When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe; but when one stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoil.
Matthew’s account says it this way. “He first binds the strong man . . . Then indeed he may plunder his house” (Matt. 12:29).
Now you say, “What’s that all about?” Well, there’s a “strong man” in this passage and the “strong man” is Satan. And he thinks he’s got this world locked up tight. He got Eve first and then Adam and then Cain and Abel and every generation. Now he thinks he’s got all of us, the whole human race. He lied to us; he deceived us; he comes to steal, to kill, to destroy. He is the “strong man” who has set himself against God. He thinks, I’ve got this human race in sin, and they will all die because they have believed my lies and listened to me. He guards his own palace. He thinks his goods are safe.
But there is one stronger than he that attacks him and overcomes him and takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoil. He binds the “strong man” and plunders his house. Who is that stronger one? It’s El Gibbor—Jesus—the Mighty God. Jesus is our mighty Warrior, our Deliverer.
He has waged war against all the forces of Hell. He has fought the battle. He has won the war. He has bound the strong man. He has overcome and disarmed him on the cross. By His righteousness—Jesus’ righteousness—he has overcome all wickedness. He is the Superhero of superheroes—the strongest One who binds that “strong man” Satan.
Now what is so astonishing is that this Mighty God, El Gibbor, the Superhero, became a baby, a child. He humbled Himself. The one who created the universe and holds it all together, took on our humanity, our frailty. He came to this earth as a helpless little baby. Jesus is the Mighty God, and He took on flesh and dwelt among us.
He was the Mighty God through all of eternity past. He created all things out of nothing. Now He manages all the affairs of the universe. Hebrews 1 says that He upholds all things by the word of His power (see Heb. 1:3). He is the Mighty God—El Gibbor.
While Jesus was here on this earth, there were times when He demonstrated, as it were, He pulled back the curtain to show His might. When He was with disciples on that boat and the storm arose, Matthew tells us that the “boat was being swamped by the waves” and the disciples cried out to Him, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And then Matthew 8 beginning in verse 26 says:
Then he arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, "What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?" (Matt. 8:26–27).
Well what’s the answer? What sort of man is He? He is El Gibbor. He is the Mighty God.
And then you remember the men who brought their paralytic friend to Jesus, who couldn’t get in because of the crowds. So they let him down through the roof and Jesus forgave this man’s sins and healed him from his paralysis. And Luke 5 says: “And amazement seized them all, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, ‘We have seen extraordinary things today’” (Luke 5:26). Why? Because He is El Gibbor—the Mighty God.
As you read through the gospels you see how Jesus performed miracles and mighty deeds. He healed diseases with a mere word or touch, or just someone touching the hem of his robe and power went out from Him and healed that woman. He cast out demons; He turned water to wine; He fed thousands with a boy’s lunch; He raised the dead. How did Jesus do all those things? He is El Gibbor. He is the Mighty God.
Then through His death, according to Hebrews chapter 2, Jesus destroyed “the one who has the power of death, that is the devil, and [delivered] all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery” (Heb. 2:14–15). On the cross, Jesus the Mighty One—El Gibbor—conquered sin and Satan and Hell and accomplished the mighty work of redemption. He is the Mighty God.
Then Jesus the Messiah threw off the shackles of death. He got up. He walked out of the tomb where He was buried. How did He do that? He is El Gibbor. He is the Mighty God.
That same Mighty God bears our burdens and supports us in our hardships and afflictions and enables us to resist the power of temptation. How does He do that? He is El Gibbor—the Mighty God.
That same Jesus delivered us from the penalty of sin and the wrath of God that we deserved for our sin. He is present tense delivering us from the power of sin. And one day He will deliver us from the very presence of sin. How does He do that? He is El Gibbor—the Mighty God.
Isaiah 9 tells us the government of the world is on His shoulders. How big are those shoulders? How strong is our Mighty God? El Gibbor. He protects us from the evil one by the power of His Name. “The name of the Lord is a strong tower [Proverbs 18 tells us] the righteous run in to it and are safe.” How are we safe because of His name? Because His name is El Gibbor—the Mighty God!
And that same Jesus, His Holy Spirit living in us, gives us strength to serve Him when we are weak and weary. He gives us the desire and the power to obey Him and to do His will when we are being pulled by the world. How does He do that? He is the Mighty God—El Gibbor.
That same Jesus is able to keep us from falling and to present us faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy in that great day. How does He do that? We are weak; we are small; we are frail; we are failing. How does He preserve us? And as I read yesterday in 1 Thessalonians chapter 5, He keeps us body, soul, and spirit to present us blameless in that day. How does He do that? He is El Gibbor—the Mighty God.
And one day that same Jesus will bind Satan, the “strong man,” and banish him to the bottomless pit. How does He do that? He is the strongest One—El Gibbor—the Mighty God. And then that same Jesus will return to judge the world in righteousness because He is the Mighty God.
He will destroy all of God’s enemies, and send the wicked and all devils to eternal destruction. He is the Mighty God—El Gibbor. And that same Jesus will reign with the Father over a new heaven and a new earth forever and ever. How does He do that? He is El Gibbor—the Mighty God. Amen? (applause)
As we’re asking with each of these names, what does that mean for you? What does that mean for me today where we live? What’s the take-away? What should we leave with—not just having more notes about Hebrew words, El Gibbor, in our notebooks so we can impress other people. What difference does it make for us?
Well, I’ll tell you one difference. It’s just a great reminder that nothing is too hard for Him! Nothing. He is the Mighty God.
My dad used to say . . . My dad prayed; he had such faith to believe God to save people. He would pray for people. He had a long list of unsaved people that he prayed for day after day after day for decades. Some of them didn’t come to know Jesus until after my dad went to heaven. But my dad used to say, “There are no tough nuts for God to crack.” Nobody He can’t save. Nothing too hard for God. God can save your husband. God can save your prodigal. God can save that boss, that friend, that loved one, that person that you’re so burdened for. There’s nothing too hard for God. God can change you. Nothing too hard for Him. He is the Mighty God.
I love that passage in Psalm 24 that says:
Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle! (Ps. 24:7–8)
You see, He doesn’t want you fighting your own battles. He wants you letting Him fight your battles. Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. How weary do we get as women trying to fight all the battles of the world? Listen, I can’t even solve my own problems, but here I am trying to solve everybody else’s problems—trying to control the world like I am god almighty. I’m not, and you’re not. We are weak, but He is strong. There’s nothing too difficult for Him.
So where do you turn and where do you look for strength, for help? Are you trying to carry burdens that you’re not strong enough to carry? Are you wearing yourself out? That’s why Jesus said, “Come to me all ye who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” Let Him be the Mighty God in your life. Do you rely on your own strength as King Ahaz tried to do in turning to the Assyrians and trying to fix things himself, or do you find strength in El Gibbor—the Mighty God?
He is mighty for every circumstance that you are facing in your life. Now that doesn’t mean that He will fix or change every circumstance right now. That’s why the Jews got confused because when Jesus came as the Messiah they expected Him to be the Mighty God, which He is, but He does things in His time and in His way. And His way is perfect.
So when He came as a humble servant and they expected Him to come throw off the Roman government, they said, “This can’t be the Messiah. He doesn’t look like a Mighty God to us? What’s a Mighty God doing hanging on a cross?” He’s hanging on the cross because He is the Mighty God who’s overcoming sin and Satan and Hell. (applause)
So you have enemies and adversaries in your life. There are adversaries in our world, and they’re breathing down the necks of believers, and they may be breathing down your neck. But I want to tell you in the midst of this battle . . . I keep hearing people say, “Can you believe that this happened, and so-and-so did this, and President so-and-so did that, and Governor so-and-so did this, and somebody gave this pronouncement, and this Hollywood person did that?Can you believe?”
Yes, I can believe because the New Testament says things are going to get worse and worse. Sin will abound. But I want to tell you there’s no need to be fearful. There’s no need to doubt that God is there or think He’s all of a sudden wimped out and doesn’t have any more power. Those enemies are no match for Him. Jesus is El Gibbor! He is the Mighty God! (applause)
“Some trust in chariots and some in horses . . .” And some trust in their mate or their children or their bank account or their job or their health. “. . . but we will trust in the name of the Lord our God” (Ps. 20:7). “Be strong in the Lord” Ephesians 6 says, “and in the strength of his might” (Eph. 6:10).
It's the power of Christ that breaks sin’s chains in our lives. The power of El Gibbor, the Mighty God, that will enable me and you to say “no” to sin and “yes” to Jesus. That food addiction—I struggle with it. Lots of you women do. It’s the Mighty God who will help me to say, “no” in the power of the Holy Spirit and to say “yes” to that which pleases the Lord. “Yes” to God, “yes” to righteousness.
It's the power of God that will set you free from the shame and the guilt and the bondage of past sin that has been confessed and repented of. That abortion that you had twenty years ago or two months ago—that doesn’t need to haunt you the rest of your life. That adulterous affair, that immorality—“He breaks the power of canceled sin, He sets the prison’r free. His blood can make the foulest clean. His blood availed for me.” (Charles Wesley)
He is “mighty to save” Isaiah 63, verse 1 says. He is mighty to deliver His people. He is El Gibbor—the Mighty God—no one else has the power to deliver you. No one else has the power to set you free. He is mighty to overcome; He is mighty to keep us from falling. Jesus is mighty to preserve us from sin and Satan and self. And as we said a moment ago, Jesus—El Gibbor—is mighty to present us faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. He is El Gibbor—the Mighty God.
And could I just say, aren’t you thankful that not only is He mighty, but that this El Gibbor—this Mighty God—is also merciful?
Leslie: Nancy Leigh DeMoss Nancy will be right back to pray. She’s been showing us the importance of the name of Jesus—Mighty God. That teaching is part of a series called “The Wonder of His Name: 32 Life-Changing Names of Jesus.”
Did you realize how much meaning is in that name, “Mighty God”? This teaching series is helping us understand a lot of these names of Jesus much better. More importantly, this teaching is driving us to Jesus Himself. To get to know Him, love Him, and trust Him more.
You’ll get a lot more out of this teaching series when you read along with Nancy’s new book, The Wonder of His Name. You’ll read a meaningful devotional for each of the thirty-two names of Jesus we’re studying. It will help you understand and know Jesus in a fresh way.
We’d like to send you the book, The Wonder of His Name, when you make a donation of any size to help keep Revive Our Hearts coming to you each weekday.
Ask for The Wonder of His Name when you call with your donation. The number is 1–800–569–5959, or visit