“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.” —Isaiah 11:1
THINK ABOUT IT
Read the context in Isaiah 11:1-12:6.
Jeremiah 23:5, 6 further develops the beautiful picture of the coming of Christ given to us in Isaiah:
“The days are coming, “ declares the Lord,
“when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch,
a King who will rule wisely
and do what is just and right in the land.
In his days Judah will be saved
and Israel will live in safety.
This is the name by which he will be called:
The Lord Our Righteousness”.
Commentators remark that the phrase in Isaiah 11: “a shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse”, is a reference to the decimation of Israel during the many years that she was punished by God for her sins. The “stump” presents to us the same picture as “remnant’” — there simply wasn’t much left of Israel after those dark years in captivity.
But the Branch referred to in Isaiah was not just any old common tree limb. From the lineage of Jesse, the father of David, would come the Messiah that the Jews were waiting for. From the stump of desolation, would come the Branch of blessing.
In the Hebrew the word BRANCH, used here in Isaiah, refers to the vibrant green of new and healthy growth and then figuratively, to a descendent. While it’s meaning includes a sense of new life, of growth, the primary word from which it comes carries with it the idea of protection and care. This is picture we can relate to. In the natural world, a branch offers us shade and shelter as it grows and extends itself.
The coming of this Divine Branch would bring life to the dead and restoration to the fallen. He protects, restores, keeps, preserves. Isaiah also mentions that He sees and hears.
Read Isaiah 11:3b-5. What is the difference between how the Lord sees and hears things to how others do? Man sees through his own very subjective filters. He hears what he chooses and ignores the rest. But this Branch sees, hears and acts justly and righteously.
Paul revisits Isaiah 11:6-16 in Romans 8:18-23. When the Branch comes, nature and God’s chosen ones, now groaning in pain and frustration because of sin, will be restored. We will be turned right side up once more.
From the stump, diminished and dead, will come the Branch, having life and giving it. And the expectation of all these blessings can only result in something like the song of praise recorded for us in Isaiah 12:1-6.
In what does the writer rejoice most of all (vs. 2, 3)?
In just two verses, Isaiah mentions “salvation” three times. Above all else, the salvation of the Lord is number one on the praise charts.
What will be the response of the believer to the salvation that God has brought to him? (vs. 4-6).
There is no such animal as a secret believer. Somehow, in some way, somewhere, the believer has to express the joy that he feels because of God’s salvation, and has to testify to what the Lord has done in his life.
PRAY ABOUT IT
From death came life. From the stump came the Branch and I am richer for it. Thank you Lord Jesus for bringing new life, for turning away your anger because of my sin, and for comforting me with the salvation that you paid for on Calvary. I trust, and I am not afraid, because you are my strength, my song and my salvation. Amen.
ACT ON IT
When Christ is referred to as a Branch coming out of a stump, the image is one of life coming out of what was once dead. This is the life that Christ gives to us. He brings His life to we who were dead in sin. If you have the life, you can’t be quiet about it. That would be like trying to hold back Niagara Falls with a sieve. If you have become complacent about this life that Christ has given to you, or lost your spiritual edge, ask the Lord to restore to you the joy of that salvation, and to give you boldness to speak of it to others.
If you never had that joy, perhaps you have never allowed Christ to give you that new life, to forgive those sins and remove them, so that you could do as Isaiah expressed: “draw water from the wells of salvation”. Ask God for that forgiveness and experience the joy!