Thursday, December 2, 2010


Have you ever been in a situation where you knew you were going somewhere or doing something that would place you in harm and hoped that there would be a "get out of jail card."  You know those times I'm talking about.  I've been in too many to even discuss.  We probably see it or actually acknowledge it more in our "rebellious" children.  But we are all just as rebellious against God's teachings as they are and probably more than we want to acknowledge.

Israel suffered from this as well.  On numerous occasions they turned from God, however, God always saved them.  However, during one period He allowed their enemies to triumph over them.  He warned His people through His prophets, but they continued to ignore Him.  If only they had turned from their ways and confessed their sins, what might have happened?  Instead their enemies came and brought their swords against them  and they became salves again as in Egypt (2 Chr 36: 16-20).

However, God had given them a way out:

1 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;  from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—   the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
   the Spirit of counsel and of might,  the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD—
3 and he will delight in the fear of the LORD.  He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
   or decide by what he hears with his ears;
4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;  with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
5 Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.
 6 The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling[a] together; and a little child will lead them.
7 The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together,
   and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
8 The infant will play near the cobra’s den, the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
9 They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.
 10 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. 11 In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the surviving remnant of his people from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush,[b] from Elam, from Babylonia,[c] from Hamath and from the islands of the Mediterranean.
 12 He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth.
13 Ephraim’s jealousy will vanish, and Judah’s enemies[d] will be destroyed; Ephraim will not be jealous of Judah, nor Judah hostile toward Ephraim.
14 They will swoop down on the slopes of Philistia to the west; together they will plunder the people to the east. They will subdue Edom and Moab, and the Ammonites will be subject to them.
15 The LORD will dry up the gulf of the Egyptian sea; with a scorching wind he will sweep his hand over the Euphrates River. He will break it up into seven streams so that anyone can cross over in sandals.
16 There will be a highway for the remnant of his people that is left from Assyria,
as there was for Israel when they came up from Egypt.  (Isaiah 11 NIV)

Notice how the verse starts.  The Line of Judah had become faithless and turned from God.  But here God is promising hope from a dead tree.  Imagine the White Tree of Gondor in Return of the King.  There is no possibility of life.  You can see this sometimes in the world that we live in.  The turning away from God in our society.  The Godlessness that seems to prevail.   Jesse's line had become dead spiritually, but from this line would come a great hope.  One filled with righteousness and faithfulness. 

When the Hope comes peace will prevail so much that old enemies "will lay with each other (v. 6).  Old vendetta's, hurts, pains, transgressions would not only be forgotten, but would be wiped clean.  This is a time that I personally look forward to because with that same peace God promises a "glorious rest."  A rest that only He can give.  Have you ever experienced a rest like this?  I know at times I've had  a glimmer of it.  When I've have no stress; no pressure; nothing tugging at my soul or tugging at me physically.  Could you imagine a time like this for eternity?

God also promises when the Hope comes to reclaim His people from captivity.  No matter where we are or where we've been He'll make a path for us to come home.  He wants to save His people.  We are His.  Like a true father He'll watch us go our own ways, then He "reins" us back in.  

He offers us freedom.  Freedom from our enemies; freedom from our sins; freedom from ourselves.  This is a freedom I can embrace.  A freedom I long for.  A freedom that was hoped for and given to us one Christmas night in the birth of a child from Jesse's line.  A Hope that I can embrace and look forward to.  Can you?


Jen said...

I long for the world to recognize God as a God of freedom. So often I think they see Him as a God of rules and demands. A restrictor from all things fun. How they don't know what freedom He truly offers us.

~Rain``` said...

Wow. Well written. You were my moment with God today. Just a moment, because baby is up way to soon from his afternoon nap. Thank you for writing.

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I'm a 39 year old (oh yeah I'm telling you my age) Stay at Home mom. A former Bad Girl now reformed sinner, I'm married to my Y2K guy and raising 3 great children from God. Proudly Canadian, however, missing the West Coast, I currently live in the prairies watching the farmers fields produce as I learn how God produces the fruits in me.

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