COMING, COMING, COME!
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.
‘I have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples: a light to reveal Your will to the Gentiles and bring glory to Your people Israel.’1
I think Isaiah must be jumping for joy when he writes chapters 11 and 12. He knows from the beginning that he is called to deliver a very difficult message to Israel, that most of the people would not listen, and that major destruction with permanent effects for some is on the way. He has been able to drop in reassurances to the faithful as he gives brief glimpses of a different possible future. Here, however, he is permitted to see and proclaim God’s great purposes for the whole of humanity. It really is a wow moment – and also something of a relief and release for those of us who have been wading through his many words of judgment! I am convinced that Simeon, when he saw the Baby Jesus and rejoiced, must have been reflecting on this passage; and that Paul had also done so as he became convinced that God was calling him to go to the Gentiles. I think all Christians believe that we have here a picture of the coming of Jesus. Whether Isaiah himself or his original readers understand or know if this refers to the Messiah’s first or second coming, and whether we can fully identify that, is not really important. What matters is Who is coming, what He will do, and what will be the result!
He will come from the ‘stump of Jesse’ (1) – there is obviously not much sign of life among David’s descendants in Isaiah’s time – but this new shoot will be completely filled with the Spirit of the Lord. He will judge with righteousness, justice, a primary concern for the poor and faithfullness. These features fill His whole being and are seen in all His actions. Peoples from all over the world will come to Him and live in His peace!
Could you have foreseen Messiah in these passages?
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).
1 Luke 2:30–32, GNB
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