Christmas

His Peace Foretold

This devotional is written by Caroline Main.

Isaiah 11:1-10

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 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.

Reflection

I'm a big fan of prophecy and words of knowledge because its surefire proof that God is real and at work!

How mind-blowing that a guy who looked around him at all the destruction and corruption, believed wholeheartedly that not only was God going to fulfil his promises already made in the Old Testament to redeem the situation, but that he would send a new King called IMMANUEL: 'God with us'. Hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus. SO COOL.

In verses 2-5 he describes the character of Jesus with incredible detail: a revolutionary character so far from the hypocrisy of the religious leaders of the day; who operates truly by the wisdom and righteousness of God's spirit. The rest of the passage tells of a world totally changed: Immanuel will set God's people free from violent oppression and empires. He would establish God's kingdom, so God's blessing and salvation would flow out to all of the nations bringing transformation and ultimately, peace.

It was Isaiah's HOPE that compelled him to speak out against the corruption and idolatry of Israel in his day. At the end of the previous chapter Isaiah describes Israel as a rotten tree that would be chopped down to a burnt stump, but that a new seed will grow to be even greater than the original tree. THIS IS HOW GOD WORKS. He asks us to let go of the broken glass we are clinging on to in our lives – to trust him with the shattered pieces of ourselves, our relationships and the world around us, and gives us HOPE through his promises that he will put the pieces back together to make something far, far better.
 
Response

Hand over the broken situations in your life and ask God to help you trust him with them. He is the master of restoration – he will return what's been broken to you, better than what you had in the first place.

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