Isaiah 11:1-9 is a well-loved passage about the time of Messiah. Here are my reflections for Advent on this verse. For all you lectio divina fans, I was drawn to the image of the shoot growing out of a cut off stump, and the rest flowed from there.
11:1 ¶ There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
We are all like a shoot from the stump of Jesse, David’s father. We are cut down but not destroyed. We weep, and sorrow in this broken world. We grieve that the world as a Peaceable Kingdom has not yet arrived on planet Earth.
Yet we will, with the power inspired by Messiah’s first coming and the promise of the Second coming, await that great Day, even as Mary and Joseph awaited Jesus’ birth and we now await Christmas—our symbol of light arising from longest darkness.
When Messiah came and when he comes again…
11:2 the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.
3 And his delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear.
4 but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked.
How hidden are the machinations of governments and ungodly souls—even our own souls sometimes! How we need One who can see behind the masks and lies and get to the very heart of matters! No more political theater or hidden motives! No more spin doctoring! Won’t that be a switch!
When Jesus was here, he saw deep into our hearts and the hearts of those who loved the hierarchy. In fact, they killed him for it. It’s dangerous to see life deeply, looking into our souls and into the deviousness of hierarchical systems. Do we have that courage today?
As we wait for the fully manifested Peaceable Kingdom on Earth, Lord, let at least our hearts, be like Isaiah described. An bring peace to the world in these dangerous times.
5 Righteousness shall be the girdle of his waist, and faithfulness the girdle of his loins.
6 The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.
7 The cow and the bear shall feed; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8 The sucking child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den.
9 They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea