Thursday 2 December, 2021

Isaiah 11:1-5, 10

11 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. 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.

Today we are reading one of many passages in the Old Testament that prophesies clues about the promised Messiah. In this particular prophesy, we are told that the coming Messiah would come forth from the ‘roots of Jesse’, meaning that He will be a descendant of Jesse, the father of King David. 

Jesus, was indeed, a descendant of Jesse and David, and also fulfilled many other Old Testament prophesies about the Messiah, including that he would be born of a virgin woman in the town of Bethlehem.

What follows in this passage is a beautiful description of the Messiah, our Saviour Jesus – full of the Spirit of wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, righteousness and faithfulness. These are all qualities that make for a wonderful Saviour, and one could easily fill up multiple blogs unpacking each one of these qualities.

But what really struck me today is the phrase, “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”.

As humans, what we see with our eyes and hear with our ears is the main way that we judge life, judge others, and judge the world around us. With this limited understanding, just reading our daily news feed can lead to feelings of hopelessness and despair about the world.

As we approach this Christmas season, I have been reflecting on a line from my favourite Christmas carol, O Holy Night – “The thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn…”.  

When Jesus came to earth as our Messiah, He ushered in this new era of hope. Although we may feel weary, and our human eyes and ears may tell us that our world looks hopeless, God does not see things this way. The Saviour of the world is still looking after the earth and will bring his righteous justice to all. 

Rejoicing in the hope that Jesus is at work, both in the weary world and also in our own particular life story, is a choice that we can make each and every day.

No matter what life looks like to our human eyes, we remember that “yonder breaks a new a glorious morn”. So today, once again, with gratitude we fall on our knees and worship Jesus, the promised Messiah and Saviour of the world.

Written by Shelley Witt

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