Verse of the Day Devotion Isaiah 11:1
“Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit.” – Isaiah 11:1
Up to Christmas day, I will be looking at the different prophesies which foresee the coming of the promised Messiah, Jesus the Christ. He came here in order to offer the means of salvation for all. An important idea to remember is that God knows everything and forgets nothing. “Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors, remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,” Isaiah 46:9-10.
Chapter 11 speaks of the emergence of a ruler from the line of David endowed by God with authority to bring about a righteous reign to His people. It is the Messianic hope first expressed earlier in chapter 7. “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14. Our focus verse speaks of a towering forest that was laid to waste by the mighty Assyrian army. However, out of this destruction comes a contrasting picture of the renewal of the house of David and of his kingdom. For from this destruction, a root that is regarded as dead, a sprout will come from it. And this unimpressive green shoot that will sprout from the stump of Jesse is a person from the Davidic royal line of Jesse, apparently the same Davidic son mentioned in chapter 9. “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.” Isaiah 9:6-7.
This sprout, which is from the Davidic line, will be abundantly blessed in His life by the Father. “As the Spirit of God rested on his servant David in the past, so the divine Spirit will dwell or rest on this new Davidic Branch, enabling God to use him in a special way.” Isaiah 11:2. In 2 Samuel we read some of the last words of King David, which includes the following, “The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, And His word was on my tongue.” 2 Samuel 23:2. Therefore, what is said is the same Spirit that was on David would also be on this new ruler.
Now, we read in Matthew the following. “But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a dream, he departed for the regions of Galilee, and came and resided in a city called Nazareth, that what was spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, He shall be called a Nazarene.” Matthew 2:22-23. When Herod died, an Angel of the Lord spoke to Joseph while they were in Egypt to tell them to go back to Israel. But then later, as we see above, Herod’s son took over and therefore the Angel came again and this time for them to go to Galilee. So they went and resided in Nazareth in Galilee. Nazareth was a small town, probably with a population of around 400, where most were farmers. This was a humble work, and thus He was seen as no one of notoriety.
In fact, when Nathanael learned that Jesus came from Nazareth, he said, “And Nathanael said to him, can any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip said to him, come and see.” John 1:46. And this humility is expressed by Paul when he said, “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 4:5-8. This is shown in our focus verse where He paints a similar picture regarding who is the subject of this chapter; by the image of a slender twig or shoot, sprouting up from the root of a decayed and fallen tree. This points to what Paul said, that He came in the form of a bondservant and remained humble in the service He came to fulfil.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.