A SHOOT WILL COME UP
Mighty One, You are the God of my hoping, the Author of my waiting. I anticipate a fresh gift of Your grace today.
Read Isaiah 11
The Branch From Jesse
11 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
2 The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of might,
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—
3 and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
or decide by what he hears with his ears;
4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
5 Righteousness will be his belt
and faithfulness the sash around his waist.
6 The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling[a] together;
and a little child will lead them.
7 The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
8 The infant will play near the cobra’s den,
and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
9 They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
10 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious. 11 In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the surviving remnant of his people from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush,[b] from Elam, from Babylonia,[c] from Hamath and from the islands of the Mediterranean.
12 He will raise a banner for the nations
and gather the exiles of Israel;
he will assemble the scattered people of Judah
from the four quarters of the earth.
13 Ephraim’s jealousy will vanish,
and Judah’s enemies[d] will be destroyed;
Ephraim will not be jealous of Judah,
nor Judah hostile toward Ephraim.
14 They will swoop down on the slopes of Philistia to the west;
together they will plunder the people to the east.
They will subdue Edom and Moab,
and the Ammonites will be subject to them.
15 The Lord will dry up
the gulf of the Egyptian sea;
with a scorching wind he will sweep his hand
over the Euphrates River.
He will break it up into seven streams
so that anyone can cross over in sandals.
16 There will be a highway for the remnant of his people
that is left from Assyria,
as there was for Israel
when they came up from Egypt.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHave you ever seen grass push its way through cement? Life is a powerful force. It bursts through even where it seems impossible.
Do you remember, way back before Christmas, when we read about the stump that God promised to leave in Israel even after everything else was destroyed (Isaiah 6:13)? Well, here it is again. That blackened stump, left for dead, produces a shoot. The shoot grows into a branch, and the branch bears fruit (1).
The first fruit of the branch was, of course, Jesus. The Spirit of the Lord rested on Him while He walked on this earth bringing righteousness and justice (2–5).
Although the fullness of the prophecies has not yet come to fruition, Jesus is the guarantee that the rest will also be fulfilled when the time is right (Matthew 25:31). Justice, righteousness, peace, safety, rest, and rescue will come. The Christmas season is an annual reminder that our hope is not in vain. And each turning year marks one year closer to the joy that awaits us (12:5,6).
In the depths of winter we may feel that spring will never come again. But God’s promise is sure and certain. Thank Him that no matter how impossible it seems, His life will one day break through.
Father, may the Spirit of the Lord rest upon me. May the Spirit give me wisdom and understanding, counsel and power, knowledge and the fear of the Lord (v2).
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