Posted by: Brad Beaman | September 11, 2012

Hope Shines Through.

In what way would you describe the almighty power of God? One way would be to picture a forest. A giant comes along something like “Paul Banyan” who walks through swinging a two sided axe and chops down trees with each swing. It would be like swinging a cycle in a field of wheat.

The imagery is God’s power to cut down a whole people that rebel against Him. What are left are only stumps where there had been a mighty forest of beautiful trees. It is just a semblance of what was once there (Isaiah 10:33-34). But God demonstrates his power in yet another way. From the stump God is going to rise up a shoot. It will have branches and it will bear fruit. (Isaiah 11:1).

From a stump God will raise up a ruler and king. Not just any king but the greatest the world will ever know, the Messiah, King Jesus.

In chapters 1-10 Isaiah has had much to say about judgment. There are a few passages that let a little ray of hope in. But in chapter 11 the window is thrown open and the light of hope floods in. A great ruler, the Messiah was coming when doom looked like the only outcome for Israel and Judah.

Isaiah’s name means “God is my salvation”. Isaiah reveals God’s saving plan. Isaiah has the most complete list of characteristics of the Messiah in the Old Testament. We learn a lot about the nature of Jesus by reading the prophesies in Isaiah.

If you are a mighty Oak tree getting cut down is disastrous, the end. You see a stump and from that stump a shoot has come up. Out of the most desperate situations God is able to do a work of hope. The Messiah is a shoot from the stump of Jesse.

Times were at their worst for God’s people. Why was Isaiah giving a message of hope? Because as a prophet of God Isaiah understood God’s plan for His people. Isaiah knew that when things look their worst it is the time God does His greatest work. The situation in your own life may be desperate, but it is not without the hope of God.

Isaiah had brought a message of judgement and the people understood their plight, but hope shines through. The great dynasty of David may have by all appearances crumbled. But God is going to bring restoration. This great restoration will come in the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

King David’s father was Jesse. The branch of Jesse, the shoot from the stump is the restoring of David’s line. The New Testament identifies specifically that Jesus is this root of Jesse and branch of Jesse.

Revelation 5:5
Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”

Revelation 22:6
“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”

Verse 2 says, The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him. The coming ruler, the Messiah, Jesus would have presence of the Spirit of God. In the Old Testament the Spirit of God would come on someone and empower them for a task.

King Saul and Samson are examples of those whom the Spirit of God came on them for a task but left them in their disobedience to God. When God rejected Saul as King he David as king (1 Samuel 16:13)

The verb rest in verse 2 means to settle and remain settled. Verse 2 goes on to describe how the Spirit will work in his life. The baptism of Jesus describes the Spirit descending on Jesus, visible as a dove.

The description of verse 2 we described Spirit empowering the Messiah in three complementary pairs. This has been called the kaleidoscope effect where we see the Spirit of God and the gifts of the Spirit from different vantage points like when the patterns change when we turn the kaleidoscope.

The Spirit of wisdom and of understanding. There is an intellectual ability to bring it to pass.

The Spirit of counsel and of might. Like in chapter 9 where we have wonderful councilor Mighty God made familiar to us because of the Halleluiah Chorus.

The Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD. This depicts one who knows God through a relationship with Him.

God’s people are in captivity when they receive this message from Isaiah. While in captivity they have experienced the rule of a king who ruled through injustice and deception. The messiah will be a complete contrast. His reign will be of justice and righteousness.

This was a ruler who concerned themselves with the poor and the sick. Jesus was different from most other rulers. The expected Messiah would not rule by what he saw and heard, but he would know the heart of man. That ability to know the heart of a man is why Jesus could look at a Pharisee with all his outward appearance of righteousness and see a whitewashed tomb.

The reign of the messiah is a reign of power. The breath of his lips will slay the wicked. It is the same power as when God cut down nations like trees. Righteousness his belt and faithfulness his sash. These are what hold everything in place. Jesus reined in righteousness.

There is a poetic description of a time of perfect peace. The are six contrasts made with the dangerous and the harmless.

Wolf and lamb,

Leopard and kid goat,

Lion and calf;

Cow and bear,

Lion and ox.

Cobra and little child

The predators and pray are pictured together in peace. The reign of the messiah brings such a transformation that there will be a reversal in the predators. Sin has caused disharmony in the world. What will bring a reversal to this is Jesus the Messiah. Much like the vision of peace in Isaiah 2 It will be realized fully in the second coming of Christ.

This Branch of Jesse, ruler Messiah is not the hope of Judah or Israel alone. Jesus is the hope of all nations. This is a universal kingdom that includes nations and peoples (vs. 10). God’s love extends to all people. Christ is lifted up so all can come to Him until the knowledge of Jesus covers the earth as the waters cover the sea (Isaiah 11:9).

God is able to re-gather scattered people. God is sovereign over Israel and God is sovereign over the whole world. God will raise a banner for the nations. (vs. 12)

John 12:32 says, “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.”
We have a Messiah. We have the Branch from Jesse. Jesus has come to be a banner for the nations.

Isaiah 11:1-12 A Branch from the stump of Jesse
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. 11 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.

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