Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Branch

“Then a shoot will grow from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him – a Spirit of wisdom and understanding, a Spirit of counsel and strength, a Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.” (Isaiah 11:1-2 CSB)

We can only wonder: Did any of this go through Mary’s mind as she held her new infant in her arms? Did she realize the extent that the Spirit of the Lord would be upon Him and where this would lead? Wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, knowledge, and worship – all would be exemplified in this One.

Isaiah speaks of the fruit of the life of the One who could come through the line of Jesse and his son, David. This fruit would include wisdom and knowledge and all the other attributes listed above. He would further lead His people to justice and righteousness and would install a kingdom of peace where there would be no violence of any kind.

A kingdom like this with a Leader like this is an impossibility on this earth. It has never happened and will not, and for that reason the only conclusion we can reach about what Isaiah prophesies here is that he is not talking about an earthly, physical kingdom but a heavenly, spiritual one. He is talking about the salvation life that was to be offered, and that was achieved on the cross of Calvary and sealed by the resurrection of Jesus. The word “Spirit” is to key that leads us to this interpretation of Isaiah’s prophecy. All of this is of the Spirit of the Living God. That is the only way it can be eternal and effective.

What remains, then, is for us to submit our lives to that same Spirit of the Living God, so that we may be shaped more into the image of Christ, so that the fruit we see in His life may also be produced in ours.

Lord, We humble ourselves before You and ask that You fill us with Your Spirit so that the lives we live will bring the honor and glory that is due to You. Amen.

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