First United Presbyterian Church

Isaiah 11:1-10

Isaiah 11:1-10

A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. 2The spirit of the Lord shall 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. 3His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear; 4but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. 5Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist, and faithfulness the belt around his loins. 6The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. 7The cow and bear shall graze, their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. 8The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den. 9They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. 10On that day the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples; the nations shall inquire f him, and his dwellings shall be glorious. 

As we enter the Advent season, the scripture from Isaiah offers a rich tapestry of hope and divine promise. At a time when Israel felt cut down, Isaiah prophesied about a shoot—a new life, a fresh start emerging from what seemed dead and finished.

This “shoot” is not just any growth, but one divinely appointed and empowered. The spirit of the Lord rests on him, giving him wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, and a deep reverence for God. As we reflect on this, our minds naturally shift to Jesus, the promised Messiah, born in a humble setting, a shoot from the lineage of Jesse.

In our own lives, when all seems lost, barren, and cut down, Advent promises that God can bring forth new life from our stumps. Our Savior’s coming is a testament to God’s renewing power, making a way where there seemed to be none.

Isaiah also paints a scene of perfect peace—a world where natural enemies coexist, innocence leads the wild, and danger is absent. This picture shows God’s kingdom on earth, a realm marked by peace, equity, and righteousness. In these most troubling times in the Middle East, and as we await the second coming of Christ, we look forward to this complete restoration, where creation itself will be in harmonious balance.

This Advent, may we remember the baby in a manger and the mighty Prince of Peace Jesus grew to be. Let us be inspired to live in the light of His justice, righteousness, and love. As the earth waits in eager expectation, so should our hearts for the full realization of God’s promise:  a world filled with peace.

Contributed by Mary Mann

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