Reading the Word
Isaiah 11:1–9 (ESV)
1 There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
2 And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.
3 And his delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear,
4 but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
5 Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his loins.
6 The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them.
7 The cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8 The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den.
9 They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.
Understanding and Applying the Word
There are many prophecies in the Old Testament that speak of Christ’s coming into the world. There are passages like Isaiah 9:6 that speak of the Messiah’s birth. There are also passages like Isaiah 53 that tell us that the Messiah would suffer. These things obviously took place during the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. The thing that many failed to realize is that the prophecies did not describe one coming, but two. Many of the things described by the prophets were not fulfilled in Jesus’ first coming. An example of this is the passage we have for today. We read of peace and harmony on earth where there is no more harm and where Jesus reigns over all. This did not happen during Jesus’ first coming. It is still future.
Scripture tells us that Jesus ascended into heaven shortly after his resurrection. There is also the promise that Jesus will come again (Acts 1:9-11). When he does, he will fulfill the remaining prophecies concerning the Messiah. He will reign over all the earth and it will be a time of righteousness and justice and peace for all. At this time of the year, we look back to remember that Jesus Christ came into this world as a baby and to save us from our sins. We also look to the future with hope because we know that Jesus is coming again. What a day that will be!
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