The royal line of David is like a tree that has been cut down; but just as new branches sprout from a stump, so a new king will arise from among David’s descendants. The spirit of the Lord will give him wisdom and the knowledge and skill to rule his people. He will know the Lord’s will and honour him, and find pleasure in obeying him. (verses 1-3a)
Read Isaiah 11:1-9
There is a tree that I pass on one of my walking routes. It stands by itself in a paddock, dry and dead looking apart from one branch. For this branch is alive. In spring it is covered with pink blossom and in summer with green leaves. Perhaps you have seen a tree like it, for they are often found around the ruins of old houses.
Isaiah paints a picture similar to this. God had promised David, Jesse’s son, that his descendants would live forever, but they had failed to obey God’s commandments and had all but been destroyed. They were like the stump of a once great tree.
But from this stump, says Isaiah, will come a shoot, and from this shoot will grow a branch that will bear fruit.
I think I should walk past that tree more often, for it is a reminder of a God who didn’t want to leave his people of the Old Testament without a promise. It also reminds me that you and I have seen that promise fulfilled in the life and death of Jesus.
Dear God, when I doubt and become dried up in my faith, remind me that you are a God who has kept your promise of a Saviour – Jesus Christ. Amen.
by Anne Maczkowiack in ‘Renewed Hope for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 2000)
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