Come Lord Jesus, Come.
To be honest, as I sit to write a few thoughts on this passage, I am so humbled. This past season has been one where my heart and its desires are quickly being exposed for what truly resides. There have been many life transitions and changes in my life this past season, and it’s brought out the beautiful and messy!
Specifically, I have realized how much I desire comfort and how easily I have gone to the “tangible” and “immediate” fixes to satisfy that desire for comfort. Oh you know, things like coffee, sleep, social media, relationships, “significant” work, ease in life; things, that in it of themselves are not bad, but unfulfilling apart from Christ. The reality is, I have been looking to those things apart from Christ and it has left me despairing. What I so easily forget is that the cry of my soul is actually for Christ to come and fill me in my weakness and longing. I forget that He actually WILL meet me and satisfy! He is what He says He is and does what He says He does. I was created to be dependent on Him, not on created things. In essence I am forgetting who He is and what He has done for me.
AW Tozer said, “What I believe about God is the most important thing about me.” When I consider this past season, my sin and brokenness of looking to created things instead of my creator comes from what I ultimately believe about who God is and what He does. All of my behaviors and living flows from this place of what I am believing, or not believing, about who God is and what He says.
This passage, Isaiah 11:1-10, has been so refreshing and life-giving to study because it is all about our Messiah King and has brought my gaze back to Him. Isaiah puts on display our Messiah’s character and reign. The advent season is meant to bring us to a place of beholding our Messiah. So let us behold together!
At the time of the birth of Christ, the status of things for God’s people was despairing. The royal line and authority of David had been dormant for nearly 600 years and cut down to a stump. Isaiah brings us to realize this in describing it as the “stump of Jesse.”
"We see a bare, withered tree stump, robbed of its trunk and top, and it looks as though the stump will never bear any fruit any more. But, a small shoot sprouts from the root of this dry stump which is the Davidic dynasty. Because of its unsightliness and misery, it is not named after David but after his father. When Christ was born, there was nothing royal about that dynasty. But a new shoot sprang from this old stem." (Bultema)
From this seemingly dead place, a branch, a shoot of would sprout and bear new life. And His kingdom would not be of this world! This sprout, this shoot, is Jesus our Messiah King. He enters the scene in humility; “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness” (Philippians 2:6-7).
Our Messiah King is different than any earthly king and this is hope. He is the King we all long for.
The stage is set. What is He like, this Messiah King? What is it like to be under His rule? Verses 2-5 describe to us the character of our Messiah King, while verses 6-10 paint us a picture of what it’s like to be under His reign.
THE CHARACTER OF MESSIAH KING
The Spirit of the Lord rests upon Him, and the fullness of the Holy Spirit is with Him in all His power and graces;
The Spirit of wisdom and understanding: Jesus not only has perfect wisdom and discernment of all things as we see in His life and ministry, but He became for us the wisdom of God. Not only does He have wisdom, He is wisdom. He also has perfect understanding of all things, including us and is able to sympathize with us in our weakness as our High Priest.
The Spirit of counsel and might: who we turn to for counsel we give power in our lives. Jesus IS the counsel and IS the power that we need in our lives to live as we were designed. All creation is subject to Him.
The Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD: Jesus is all-knowing and intimately acquainted with all of our ways; our motives, fears, insecurities, you name it! Consider how he lived out His ministry here with this power of knowing all and how He responded to people. He perfectly kept Himself in a place of submitting, glorifying and obeying God the Father and did it with delight!
Isn’t He truly beautiful? The Messiah King is perfect in His character and no fault is found in Him. He is everything we long for and seek. He rules in righteousness and justice, in power and faithfulness.
THE REIGN OF MESSIAH KING
Isaiah paints an amazing picture in verses 6-10 of what the reign of our Messiah King entails. There will be peace, tranquility, harmony, and unity amongst His creatures, “for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord” (vs 9b). The more we come to know the Lord, believe and receive who He says He is, the more we will be transformed into His image and become like Him and reflect this to those around us.
“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” (vs 10).
Jesus, our Messiah King, is lifted up as a banner of salvation. He is truly good. He is the one our hearts desire. He is perfect in wisdom and understanding, humble and just. He is the way, the truth and the life and His resting place is glorious! This is our Messiah King and this is His reign.
This advent season, let’s turn from our affections for lesser things that leave us empty and turn to the truest longing of our hearts: Jesus. He knows that we are weak and needy, even more so, He can sympathize with us in our weakness because He’s experienced it as well. So let’s set our gaze like flint on who HE is and rest in who we are in Him. “Our hearts will be restless until they find their rest in Him,” said St. Augustine. May the cry of our hearts be, come Lord Jesus, come! Come and reign in me!
What are your current behaviors indicating about your belief or unbelief in who God is and what He’s said about you?
What are the implications of this passage on your life today?