Isaiah 11:1-2-There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots. 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 of the fear of the Lord. NKJV
Isaiah prophecies on different occasions of the coming Messiah. In Isaiah chapter 7, he tells of the Messiah who will be conceived of a virgin and that He will be called Immanuel. In Isaiah 9, the Messiah has additional names given to Him, Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. In the ninth chapter, Isaiah reveals that He will be of the seed of David, and His kingdom will not end.
As we look at chapter 11 of Isaiah, we are again reminded of the coming Messiah and his ancestry. In this chapter, however, we are told that He is from the stem of Jesse, David’s father. Not only is He of the lineage of David, but He is like David, coming from Jesse, a shoot. Or, as we say today, “A chip off the block.”
In Isaiah 6, we find an interesting reference to the Messiah:
But yet a tenth will be in it, and will return and be for consuming, as a terebinth tree or as an oak, whose stump remains when it is cut down. So the holy seed shall be its stump.”Isaiah 6:13 NKJV
Isaiah wrote in chapter 6 that the Davidic kingdom would come to an end, but there would be a remnant remaining. Of that remnant, a holy seed would come. We find in Isaiah 11 a similar reference to that stump or root out of Jesse.
There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots. 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 of the fear of the Lord.Isaiah 11:1-2 NKJV
As I searched through the commentaries to gain insight into what was happening, I found the statement that this Rod from the stem of Jesse was referred to as a Royal Hope! That resonated with my spirit, and I want to share why!
In chapters 9 and 10, Isaiah prophecies the judgment that will come upon Samaria and Assyria. The sin of the people and the darkness of their lives were indicative of their refusal to obey God, and so His hand is stretched out against them. But even still, God had promised David that his lineage would have a forever kingdom, so a remnant is left. Out of this remnant, the Messiah would come, a Royal Hope for the people of God!
In the days that Isaiah prophesied and for hundreds of years later, David’s kingdom dwindled until it was no longer recognizable. He had descendants, but they no longer ruled the kingdom. But approximately 600 years after this prophecy, the Messiah was born to the world. He was the Branch of Jesse and the Seed of David. He was Royalty twice over, from the royal lineage of David and God’s heavenly lineage. And He was not only the hope of Israel but the hope of the world!
For this reason therefore I have called for you, to see you and speak with you, because for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain.”Acts 28:20 NKJV
When he stood before King Agrippa, Paul stated that he had been arrested because of the hope of Israel! We know that Jesus was the reason he was in chains, and here we see Him referenced as that hope!
And again, Isaiah says: “There shall be a root of Jesse; and He who shall rise to reign over the Gentiles, in Him the Gentiles shall hope.”Romans 15:12 NKJV
This is the prophecy from Isaiah 11, showing that the world would have access to the same hope that the Jewish nation was waiting for, and His name is Jesus!
Isaiah saw the state of his countrymen, and that did not give him hope. He saw the future and the kingdoms that would place them in bondage and strip them of the glory they had tasted from the Lord. He knew the times ahead would be difficult at best, and he told them there was hope and He was coming! Over two thousand years ago, Hope was born in a manger in Bethlehem, and they called Him Jesus.
It doesn’t matter what our environment looks like. It is not important what our past entails. Today is not a whole lot different from what it was in Isaiah’s day. People are still arrogantly throwing their weight around. People are still refusing to bow their knees to Jesus. People are still bent on living life the way that they see fit. And amidst all of this is darkness, chaos, and confusion.
Mental health issues are on the rise, and people seem to be lost and uncertain about tomorrow, with a sense of hopelessness at the root of it all. But that’s okay because the same Royal Hope that stepped out of eternity into Mary’s womb, then died on the rugged cross, rose that we might have hope today!
The same Spirit of the Lord that Isaiah said would rest upon Him is still available to all. He still oozes with the Spirit of wisdom, understanding, counsel, and might. His knowledge is limitless, and He is God! He is everything we can ever need and all we can hope for!
Don’t think of Jesus as the Babe in the manger this holiday season. He was a Babe in a manger; now He holds all power in His hand! He is King over all kings of the land. He is Lord over every lord in the world. And He has made Himself available to us. I once heard a preacher say, “You don’t have any trouble; all you need is faith in God!” I believe that despite your trouble, the best decision you can ever make is to place your faith in God! Reach out to Him and receive the most precious gift this season you can ever have, the gift of Jesus, our Royal Hope! Wonderful Jesus!