December 8 –  For All Nations

Isaiah 11: 1-10:

There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
    and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.

 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.

 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,
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.
Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist,
    and faithfulness the belt of his loins.

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.
The cow and the bear shall graze;
    their young shall lie down together;
    and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra,
    and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den.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.

 In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples—of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious.

 

Isaiah prophecies on this descendant of Jesse, presumably from the line of king David. In this prophecy, he begins by describing the character of the one to come. He talks about the spirit of the Lord resting upon him, and the spirit provides wisdom, counsel, and fosters respect of God. These qualities allow for sound judgement to be made. They provide a level-headedness and work to prevent reckless behaviors. The good kings of Israel had these qualities. Just coming off other prophecies of this wise king, who would bring peace, whose reign would last forever, this prophecy notes that the Spirit of the Lord will be upon him.

This king wouldn’t be like other kings. He wouldn’t rely on himself, but rather rely on God. He will follow God and act as God would proclaiming judgment upon the earth. This judgment sounds really good when you are on the right side. As Isaiah prophecies, not only is it a prophecy that Israel can put their hope in, they also can recognize this as a prophecy of warning. They hear that the everlasting King will judge the people of the earth, imbued with the Spirit of the Lord, proclaiming judgments in righteousness. These only work in the favor of those who are righteous before God. This is a cautionary tale to remain righteous before God.  He talks in relatable metaphors to recognize that even the animal kingdom will be at peace because of this King’s reign. His dominion includes that of the animal and their relation with humanity.

This power attributed to the forever king is something to fawn over, but also something to be feared. Isaiah boldly puts this king above everyone in the world. He sees that God has put every power imaginable under his control. With that power, he levels the playing field; removing evil and raising up the less fortunate.

It’s a moment of relief, and a moment of hope for those who follow God and a moment of fear and trepidation for those who don’t.

 

Prayer:

Dear God,

You alone are worthy of praise. You also hold us to a standard of living to which we ultimately cannot reach on our own. we are thankful for your grace. We long to see you reign over the world in full power, in full peace on earth. We wait fervently as your kingdom comes in its fullness.

In Jesus Name,

Amen

 

Carol of the day:

Silent Night

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ofb5FtKpy2g

 

Family Activity:

Paper Angel Ornament

Paper Strip Angel Template

Attached is a neat craft (from BuggyandBuddy.com) that makes an angel. I’d recommend making an additional one to share. Think of someone you know that may not have as many families and give the additional angel to. Use this to sit down and talk with them, encourage them and remind them that you care about them. Call it an early Christmas present.

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