Thursday, December 6, 2012

Advent Devotion - Dec. 6

Isaiah 11:1-9 ;
11 A shoot will grow up from the stump of Jesse;
    a branch will sprout from his roots.
2 The Lord’s spirit will rest upon him,
    a spirit of wisdom and understanding,
    a spirit of planning and strength,
    a spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord.
3 He will delight in fearing the Lord.
He won’t judge by appearances,
    nor decide by hearsay.
4 He will judge the needy with righteousness,
    and decide with equity for those who suffer in the land.
He will strike the violent with the rod of his mouth;
    by the breath of his lips he will kill the wicked.
5 Righteousness will be the belt around his hips,
    and faithfulness the belt around his waist.
6 The wolf will live with the lamb,
    and the leopard will lie down with the young goat;
    the calf and the young lion will feed together,
    and a little child will lead them.
7 The cow and the bear will graze.
    Their young will lie down together,
    and a lion will eat straw like an ox.
8 A nursing child will play over the snake’s hole;
    toddlers will reach right over the serpent’s den.
9 They won’t harm or destroy anywhere on my holy mountain.
    The earth will surely be filled with the knowledge of the Lord,
    just as the water covers the sea.
This text is Jesus Christ’ job description.  It is predicted hundreds of years before his arrival on earth.  Even reading it now there is no way I would want to come close to attempting this job.  Churches have been known to have this as the job description for their pastor but let’s face, the job has already been taken by the Son of God.  This is good news to the meek and the poor of the world but it is scary for the rich and powerful.  Judgment is really only scary for the guilty.

Out of all the scary parts of this text and the joyous images of peace, the first verse stands out for me.  “A shoot will grow up from the stump of Jesse; a branch will sprout from his roots.”  It is promised that out of the line of David will come the Savior of the world.  In Matthew and Luke’s genealogy texts we can see how the line between David.  Built on the back of the great King David comes savior who will bring peace upon the earth, something we all desperately desire. 

The images of this text are interesting and lose some of their flare in our modern reading.  I mean I don’t even know if I could identify a “snake’s hole” if I came upon one.  But the idea of a world at peace, a world where there was no longer any fighting or need to fear, is one we can all relate to.  Thank you God for making that day possible through the one who could live into this promise and bring it into reality.

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