Saturday 10 December 2016

Bible Book:

“A shoot shall come up from the stump of Jesse.” (v. 1)

Isaiah 11:1-10 Saturday 10 December 2016

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 ofKing Ahaz, and the consequences of that failure have been exactedthrough the Assyrian attacks on the nations. But even that failurewill not have the final say; even that disaster will not cause thepeople of God to be destroyed or the faithfulness of the Lord tofalter. From what is left over (the remnant or "stump") the Lordwill bring a worthy descendent of Jesse to rule over the peoplewith righteousness and fairness (verse 4). And from this tinybeginning the healing of a fractured world will begin.

To a people haunted by terror and cruelty at the hands ofAssyria (and to those who will experience such torment from othersacross the generations), the Lord offers a vision of peaceful unityin creation: "They will not hurt or destroy on all my holymountain" (v. 9).

This passage has become one most cherished in the season ofAdvent as we prepare to mark the coming of the Messiah in Jesus.And for many Christians the much anticipated "shoot" is supremelyrecognised in Jesus through whom the renewed and renewing kingdomof God is established and will one day be accomplished. Whether thewolf will literally one day lie down with the lamb or the leopardcuddle up with the goat is perhaps conjecture. But our convictionis that where the kingdom comes and the love of Jesus is seen, theworld does change; relationships are healed; and hope isrenewed.

The kingdom is here; the kingdom is coming; and we rejoice to bepart of it.

To Ponder

  • We read that "the spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, thespirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel andmight, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. Hisdelight shall be in the fear of the Lord" (vv. 2-3). What does itmean to you to 'delight' in the fear of the Lord? What might thatlook like in everyday living?
  • If 'our conviction is that where the kingdom comes and the loveof Jesus is seen, the world does change; relationships are healed;and hope is renewed', how have you seen this in your encounters andexperiences today and/or this week?
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