Indeed, the adjective “mighty” refers to such power, or to the ways the king will execute it on behalf of God and the people, meaning that if the king were acting only for himself, or only thinking about protecting or promoting his own self-interests, he would face God’s wrath or God’s judgement. Such a leader is not a leader in the biblical sense.
Rather, when we think of leadership with respect to the Bible, or to the kind of “power and might” Jesus will demonstrate during his ministry, we face a “power and might” that goes the very heart of God – or to the very identity of the kind of Messiah Jesus will be. More often than not, such “power and might” will run counter to what the “Romes” or “Assyrias” of the world consider as powerful and mighty.
Jesus’ “might” is not a “might” that comes out of manipulation or violence. No, the power Jesus will display is a power over sin and death itself, as he engages these powers, not on their terms but on his terms – which means out of the power of love and grace. Jesus will subvert the powers of this world by imploding them from within, revealing that they are nothing. In Jesus’ kingdom, there is a reversal of power, where the weak are strong, and strong serve others. The first are last, and the last are first. The proud go away hungry, while the hungry eat. The naked receive clothing, and those in prison released. Forgiveness comes to us from a cross, while life comes out of a grave. It all seems so backwards!
How might we receive such power and might today? What does it mean for us to worship and serve such a "mighty God"? Let us pray that during Advent we will learn what this means?
Pastor Andy Kinsey