Tuesday, June 4, 2013

a shoot from the stump

There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And 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. 

Isaiah 11:1-2

Using the image of renewal of life, Isaiah describes what the Messiah will do for His people. He will shoot out like an upstart new branch from the stump of a felled tree. And He will grow to a maturity that restores the fruitfulness of the once broken nation. He will do this because God's Spirit will empower all that He does like has never happened before.

There are then six descriptions of how the Holy Spirit will pour Himself into the ministry of the Messiah. These six words are joined in couplets of three phrases in verse two. The Spirit is wisdom.  And The Lord will deliver His people by His own wisdom and not their own. That sets the root of Jesse as superior to any ruler ever in Israeli history. The Spirit is understanding. There is a remarkable grasp of people and situations in the Messiah's rule, pointing to the Spirit's role of helping Him identify fully with His people.

The Spirit is counsel. This outflow from the wisdom God gives allows justice and truth to rule. The advice given by The Branch will be clear, true, and the very best words on the subject. The Spirit is might. There is the attendant power of God in His rule. Again, this is something clearly not of human ability.

The Spirit is knowledge. God knows all things. And that will be known through the Messiah. Most importantly, He will by His very person embody the knowledge of God. The Spirit of the fear of the LORD. Ultimately the Messiah instills worship in the people. There is a restoration of the true respect of the worship of God through His rule.

Jesus is seen in all these descriptors. He came to do all these things and He will return again to rule a kingdom where wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, and the fear of the LORD will fill the earth.

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