The Branch From Jesse
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.
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
or decide by what he hears with his ears;
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.
Righteousness will be his belt
and faithfulness the sash around his waist.
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.
The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
The infant will play near the cobra’s den,
and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
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.
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.
The people of Israel (the Jews) had turned their backs on God. Their punishment was war with their neighbours and eventual exile.
As is usually the case, there were exceptions to the rule. There were still some who loved God and tried to live as He wanted them to. They longed to see better days when God would be in charge, not some selfish rulers, when peace would reign and kindness be the norm.
God spoke to these people through Isaiah the Prophet. One day he would set up a ruler from the House of Jesse (King David’s father), who would bring such a Kingdom in.
Some of it came to pass the first time Jesus came. The rest will happen when He comes again. He gave us the picture of wild animals and farm animals eating together and lying down in rest together and a young child leading them. Things back to front and upside down as we know it, but the right way up as God intended.
In the meantime He asks to be allowed to setup this Kingdom in our hearts and lives. To let peace and kindness, justice and faithfulness invade our hearts as He comes to share our lives. Will you let Him? It would be the best present you could give Him this Christmas.