Isaiah 11:1

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.

Isaiah 11:10

Verse of the Day Devotion:  Isaiah 11:10

“Then in that day the nations will resort to the root of Jesse, Who will stand as a signal for the peoples; and His resting place will be glorious.” – Isaiah 11:10

The Jews in their day believed that the Messiah would be the Savior of the Jews, and that the kingdom He would set up would be in Jerusalem as a Jewish nation. However, there are several verses in the prophet Isaiah which states that He would reach out to the nations of the world.  As our focus verse states, He will be a signal to the nations as well.  We also read further in Isaiah, “And now says the LORD, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, To bring Jacob back to Him, so that Israel might be gathered to Him (For I am honored in the sight of the LORD, And My God is My strength), He says, It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nation’s So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth. Thus says the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel and its Holy One, To the despised One, To the One abhorred by the nation, To the Servant of rulers, “Kings will see and arise, Princes will also bow down, Because of the LORD who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel who has chosen You.” Isaiah 49:5-7.   

 However, He came for all the nations and all the people.  His birth in Bethlehem was not only for the Jewish nation, but for all the people in the world.  Note what was said in the above verse.  “He says, It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nation’s So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” Isaiah 49:6.  John said it like this.  “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.”  1 John 2:1-2.  The salvation provided through the death of Jesus was not just for the Jews, but the gentiles as well. 

I know this is fairly well known, but it is important that we can understand this so that we can present this truth to all who question this idea.  Jesus said the following early in His ministry.  “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” John 3:16-17.  And He also said, “I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me,  even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.” John 10:14-16.  We are His sheep as well, and therefore He watches over us, protects us, and ultimately died for us so we may live eternally with Him.

So this Christmas, let us rejoice and celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Christ, who lived a perfect life so He could pay the penalty for everyone’s sins by dying on the cross.  Yes, He came from the line of King David.  Yes, He was born in a staunchly Jewish environment, and yes, His coming was prophesied throughout Jewish history.  However, we are all His people.  We are the children of God who has accepted His work of salvation for the remittance of the penalty we earned and deserved.  In history, there were many non-Jews who accepted the ways of Judaism and thus became proselytes.  We became one of God’s children when we accepted the work Christ did on the cross.  We were not automatically one. We need to accept what Jesus did for us.  As Christians, we are all God’s people.  He may have come through the line of David, but He came for us all.  Remember this and be thankful, and help others to understand this and be thankful as well.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.