But look! The Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, will chop down the mighty tree of Assyria with great power! He will cut down the proud. That lofty tree will be brought down. He will cut down the forest trees with an ax. Lebanon will fall to the Mighty One. [Chapter 11] Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot— yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root. And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him— the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. He will delight in obeying the Lord. He will not judge by appearance nor make a decision based on hearsay. He will give justice to the poor and make fair decisions for the exploited. The earth will shake at the force of his word, and one breath from his mouth will destroy the wicked. He will wear righteousness like a belt and truth like an undergarment. In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together; the leopard will lie down with the baby goat. The calf and the yearling will be safe with the lion, and a little child will lead them all. The cow will graze near the bear. The cub and the calf will lie down together. The lion will eat hay like a cow. The baby will play safely near the hole of a cobra. Yes, a little child will put its hand in a nest of deadly snakes without harm. Nothing will hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain, for as the waters fill the sea, so the earth will be filled with people who know the Lord. In that day the heir to David’s throne will be a banner of salvation to all the world. The nations will rally to him, and the land where he lives will be a glorious place.
Dear God, the passage for today was the first 10 verses of chapter 11, but I thought the last couple of verses of chapter 10 were important because they reference how the stump in 11:1 came to be. You had cut down the tree of Assyria. Out of that destruction, after that time of suffering under Assyria, you brought Jesus. Of course, as it turned out, Jesus came while Rome was in charge. But he still brought an entirely new covenant. He brought healing. He brought forgiveness. He brought peace. I could go in depth on the metaphor. The new Branch. The old root.
The people who first heard and read this didn’t have any idea what it meant. They had no idea how this would all work out. They didn’t know where, when, or who. All they knew was that there was hope.
For me, I have seen some frustrating things unfold in my life. I’ve been discouraged at times. But you are teaching me that you are doing things I cannot see. You are giving me hope. I don’t have to know where, when, or who? I don’t have to know how. But you have spoken to my heart and assured me that there is hope. My job is to put my trust in you, worship you, love you, and love my neighbors.
Father, thank you. Thank you for hope. Thank you for peace. Thank you for justice. Thank you for encouraging humility. Thank you for opportunities to love others and serve you. Thank you for everything you’re doing that I can and cannot see. Thank you for what you have done and what you will do. Thank you that you care at all. You don’t have to.
In Jesus’s name I pray,