10 December 2016Isaiah 11:1-10
“A shoot shall come up from the stump of Jesse.” (v. 1)
Psalm: Psalm 69:30-36
Isaiah offers more evidence of the faithfulness of the Lord. The 'House of David' failed to trust the Lord through the person of King Ahaz, and the consequences of that failure have been exacted through the Assyrian attacks on the nations. But even that failure will not have the final say; even that disaster will not cause the people of God to be destroyed or the faithfulness of the Lord to falter. From what is left over (the remnant or "stump") the Lord will bring a worthy descendent of Jesse to rule over the people with righteousness and fairness (verse 4). And from this tiny beginning the healing of a fractured world will begin.
To a people haunted by terror and cruelty at the hands of Assyria (and to those who will experience such torment from others across the generations), the Lord offers a vision of peaceful unity in creation: "They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain" (v. 9).
This passage has become one most cherished in the season of Advent as we prepare to mark the coming of the Messiah in Jesus. And for many Christians the much anticipated "shoot" is supremely recognised in Jesus through whom the renewed and renewing kingdom of God is established and will one day be accomplished. Whether the wolf will literally one day lie down with the lamb or the leopard cuddle up with the goat is perhaps conjecture. But our conviction is that where the kingdom comes and the love of Jesus is seen, the world does change; relationships are healed; and hope is renewed.
The kingdom is here; the kingdom is coming; and we rejoice to be part of it.
- We read that "the spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord" (vv. 2-3). What does it mean to you to 'delight' in the fear of the Lord? What might that look like in everyday living?
- If 'our conviction is that where the kingdom comes and the love of Jesus is seen, the world does change; relationships are healed; and hope is renewed', how have you seen this in your encounters and experiences today and/or this week?