Eighteenth Day of Advent
Isaiah 11:1-10 (NIV 2011)
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 the 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, 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 over the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious. In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the surviving remnant of his people from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush, from Elam, from Babylonia, from Hamath and from the islands of the Mediterranean.
Financial problems, chronic pain, emotional hurt – these struggles seem to intensify as Christmas approaches. We wonder if God’s promises of peace and joy are out of our grasp. However, God has a plan bigger than we can imagine. These are days to look at our lives through the lens of our eternal tomorrows. Judah’s problems made God’s promise of a Messiah seem impossible. Life for God’s people in Judah held destruction, pain and hardship. Had God forsaken them? No, God had a plan bigger than they could imagine. The promise of a Messiah from the family line of David, son of Jesse was good because God is faithful to His word. As a tree stump grows shoots of new life after a fire so new life would come from God’s people. The Messiah, Jesus Christ would bless the people with the peace of God and transform their lives.
The Messiah’s peaceful rule will one day transform the earth. A day is coming when the wolf, leopard and lion will no longer hunt the lamb, goat and calf. A small child will be safe with wild animals and snakes. What God has promised, He will do. Looking to the future we have every reason not to fear, every reason to be peaceful, joyful people. He is able to transform your anguish into peace. This Christmas will you begin to look at your days through the lens of all your glorious eternal tomorrows?
Re: Verse reading – John 6:25-51