Out of the stump of Davidâ€™s family will grow a shootâ€”
yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root.
And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on himâ€”
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
He will delight in obeying the Lord.
He will not judge by appearance
nor make a decision based on hearsay.
He will give justice to the poor
and make fair decisions for the exploited.
The earth will shake at the force of his word,
and one breath from his mouth will destroy the wicked.
He will wear righteousness like a belt
and truth like an undergarment.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Isaiah 11:1-5 (NLT)
In August, the song, Jesu, Joy of Manâ€™s Desiring, inspired a devotion that was about Revelation 21. No surprise that I am humming this song again as I am reading prophecies about Jesusâ€™ birth. We are celebrating Advent in the Church year but we are also in Advent now as we anticipate the Messiahâ€™s return to earth yet again.
Isaiah is given words to encourage Godâ€™s children as they are oppressed and imprisoned. Today those words still speak to Godâ€™s children as we struggle. Some of us struggle in a world with a value system that has changed in our lifetime. As a child, the family was the center of my world. It was rare that we did not eat dinner together around a table. We watched Ed Sullivanâ€™s variety show and Gunsmoke on Sunday nights together. We went to school where doing drugs was the exception and while a lot of guys carried knives, they were the jackknives or Swiss army knives that their grandfatherâ€™s gave them for fishing.
But there are Christians in Ethiopia, China, Sudan, and many other countries that are tortured, hunted down, and harassed because of their faith in Jesus Christ. They truly are martyrs. These words from Isaiah may be the words that come into the hearts of those running through the back roads at night as they try to escape those who would kill them in the name of God.
Jesus is my joy and comfort when there is nothing that the world can offer me except platitudes and self-help books. Joy is happiness that has nothing to do with the circumstances of my life. It is Jesusâ€™ personal involvement in my life that brings His strength and peace that is beyond what I can understand but is so real.
Take time today to receive Jesus into your day. Listen to Jesu, Joy of Manâ€™s Desiring.