"A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. 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—and he will delight in the fear of the Lord." (Isaiah 11:1-3)
One of the things that has changed the way I read the bible is this simple thought: the Bible wasn’t written TO me, it was written FOR me. If, as a new Christian I were to have started reading in the book of Leviticus it would have only taken a few chapters before I said a big NO THANKS. But God, in His incredible wisdom knew we humans love a good story. We want to know all the grit. Where did we come from and how did we get here? More importantly, where are we headed?
The old testament is full of prophecies with many of them being found in Isaiah. In Isaiah 11 verses 1-10 we have laid out for us a description of the coming Christ. It tells of his earthly lineage and his character, of his power and righteousness. I’m sure when the Jewish leaders read this in the synagogue the people were elated at the idea of someone coming who would have all “wisdom and understanding” and would be covered by the Holy Spirit, armed with the power and judgement that comes with it. What they were really counting on was a powerful political leader who would remove the power from the Romans and restore it to where they wanted it, within themselves. It would have meant everything to have someone from their tribe, their family to take over and return their land, their taxes and their dignity. They were on the hunt for peace.
On this side of history we all know there isn’t any politician (no matter how strongly you support or believe in them) that can do all that. Jesus was coming from the line of David and after describing the wisdom, knowledge and power he would have, Isaiah says in verse 3 “….He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears….” He doesn’t decide the fate of a soul based on first impressions or rumors. And then comes my favorite part, when the voice of Jesus proclaims his gospel over the whole earth, the earth responds by living in peace. Polar opposites belly up to the bar together to chat about their day. Racism isn’t remembered. Violence disappears. The hunted stop running.
Peace. His gospel is peace. In the old testament we were promised the King of peace and He came. He brought peace to our hearts. Our hearts that were broken and messy and in huge need of a Saviour. He is coming again and this time He will be bringing that same promised peace to the whole earth. Not for a moment or a day but for eternity.
No other King could accomplish such a feat.
Prayer: Dear Lord, Help us as we go to remember that the same Spirit that was within You that allowed you to move and work in peace lives in us. Give us wisdom and patience as we eagerly await your return. Thank you for the peace you provide in our hearts even when our surroundings are the opposite.
Suggested Reading: Isaiah 11:1-10