Friday, 19th March
Reading Isaiah 11: 1-10
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.Isaiah 11: 1
The prophet speaks of a coming whose ruler would be of David’s royal line. Where else could the king come from, for a promise had been made by the Lord through the prophet Nathan to David, that “Your throne will last forever.” (2Samuel 7: 16). There are of course periods in the life of Judah where there is no king (or queen – we must not forget Athaliah) but even when it looks as if the family tree of Jesse has come to an end, chopped down to the stump, the royal line always continues, and this is seen in the genealogies of Matthew 1 and Luke 3. Many of the throne sitters were merely keeping it warm, and their behaviour is look warm at best to the great sovereignty of God.
Even David who is upheld as the example that others are measured by, had deep failings, and the kingdom suffered as a result, which in turn means the other nations of earth are not witnessed to and blessed by the children of Israel. Isaiah says the new king is different, and the kingdom of his reign certainly is, the scene described has not been seen since the days of Eden. Can such perfection and peace be known? Yes, but not through human efforts, only by the hand of God.
When Christ returns, bringing his reign in fullness we will see this vision of a new earth in reality. Until that day, as his people, we have a responsibility to serve the Lord in ways that reflect the coming Kingdom, so we must seek Love, justice and peace.