His name shall be called Wonderful (Is. 9:6). In general, a wonder is anything that is extraordinary in our experience or that defies our ability to imagine, perform, or explain it. It refers to special vows (Num. 6:2), difficult cases to judge (Deut. 17:8), unusual diseases (Deut. 28:59), the unique love of David and Jonathan (II Sam. 1:26), and the greatness of Solomon’s temple (II Chron. 2:9). But, more particularly, wonders are glorious revelations of God so astonishing, impossible (humanly), incomprehensible, and unimaginable, that worship is demanded and unbelief is inexcusable.
Wonders, also often called marvels, declare the awesome glory of God. Wonders reveal the glories of His faithfulness, righteousness, truth, and wisdom (Ps. 88:12; 89:5; 96:3; Is. 25:1; 2:29). And especially, wonders declare His incommunicable glories. God is incomparable as God who alone does wondrous things (Ps. 72:18; Exod. 34:10). God is omnipotent, for nothing is too hard (wonderful) for the Lord (Gen. 18:14). Wonders reveal His transcendence and immanence (Ps. 75:1). And wonder is simply a synonym for incomprehensible. To explain the wonder is to deny it. For even when believed by faith, wonders, like God who does them, remain to us unsearchable, inscrutable, and past finding out (Job 5:9; 9:10; 37:5).
Truly, all works of God are wonders. His wonders are of old and without number (Ps. 40:5; 77:11). His creation is a wonder that leaves unbelief without excuse (Ps. 89:5; Rom. 1:20). His providence is not ‘ordinary’ but a wonder surpassing our understanding (Belgic Confession, Art. 13). We are fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps. 139:14). The farmer’s sowing and reaping is a wonder (Is. 28:29). And even for the wisest man, the way of the eagle in the air, the serpent on a rock, the ship in the sea, and a man with a maid, are wonders (Prov. 30:19).
God does wonders for the purpose of us glorifying Him in our hearts, homes, schools, churches, and lands. Although incomprehensible, wonders are to be known, considered, and believed, are to be remembered, retold, and recounted, especially to the generations following (Job 37:14; Ps. 88:12; 89:5; 78:4). God expects His wonders to be spoken, sung, shown, and published with the voice of thanksgiving, even among the heathen (Ps. 96:3; 71:17; 9:1; 26:7).
It ought not be surprising, therefore, that the greatest wonders are those of grace, wherein God delivers us far above all we can do, ask, or think; can imagine or explain; can expect or deserve. There are the wonders of His covenant, the conception of Isaac, in Egypt, the Red Sea, wilderness, and Jordan, and even severe judgments on Israel for idolatry, and recovery of a remnant (Gen. 18:14; Exod. 3:20; 34:10; Is. 29:14; Zech. 8:6). Many more are recounted and sung in Psalm 107 between its repeated chorus, “Oh that men would praise the Lord for His wonderful works!”—for His redemption from the enemy, gathering from all lands, satisfying the longing soul, leading us out of the darkness of death, and breaking the chains of sin (please read, then sing this Psalm).
Jesus is the wonder of God, the one alone called Wonderful, by whom and through whom God works all wonders. His birth was a wonder told by shepherds (Rev. 12:2; Luke 2:18). When He spoke, those who heard wondered at the gracious words from His mouth (Luke 4:22). When He worked, witnesses wondered saying, “What manner of man is this, that even the wind and seas obey him” (Matt. 8:27). Seeing the dumb speak, the maimed whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing, many wondered and glorified God (Matt. 15:31). But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things He did, they were sore displeased and crucified Him (Matt. 21:15). Then, when He arose, again His disciples wondered at that which came to pass (Luke 24:12). When His Spirit was poured out, fulfilled was the prophesy, “I will show wonders in heaven above and earth beneath,” all heard His disciples speak in their own language the wonderful works of God, and watched them perform more wonders by the name of this holy child Jesus (Acts 2:11, 19; 4:3ff.). Behold the Wonder. Believe, bow, and worship. Wonderful.