Isaiah brings us the promise of a shoot springing forth again from the “stump of Jesse”, meaning the Messiah is from the line of David. But He is also the “root of Jesse.”
Jesse is the father of King David and God told David that his kingdom would last forever. But we know that didn’t happen in the natural world. Isaiah was already telling the people that the kingdom was headed for a fall. I wonder how many blew him off because they were holding God to His promise through THEIR eyes. Did even the kings hold the assumption that David’s line would rule forever on earth?
News flash: God doesn’t always do things like WE think He should!
This prophecy of Isaiah should have told the people two important things. 1) The “tree” that was from Jesse would fall. 2) Another would rise up from that same line and rule in perfect peace. But this prophecy also tells us a third thing. 3) That “Shoot” that would spring from the stump was also the “Root” that the line sprang from in the first place.
This is a VERY familiar prophecy that is often revisited around Christmas, when we celebrate the birth of Jesus. I even did an advent observance with my children that used this prophecy. The book I used was called “The Jesse Tree” and it focused on the promise of Jesus from creation to His birth. But this is the first time I have noticed where Jesus is called the “Root of Jesse” (verse 10a).
The first five verses of this prophecy have a dual application. They speak of the time of Jesus’ life on earth and also of His millennial rule. He was from the line of David/Jesse as both of his earthly parents were from that same line; He was the “shoot.” He exhibited GREAT wisdom and understanding in ALL He said and did. This was a marvel to the people He grew up with. At His baptism, the Spirit of the Lord came down bodily in the form of a dove and rested on Him while His Father spoke of His pride in His Son. His entire ministry was marked by miracles done through the Spirit. His delight was ALWAYS in doing His Father’s work, up to and including the moment of His death. He judged rightly the people He encountered. He saw their hearts. He did not hold back on speaking the truth, even when it hurt! And there was NO SIN found in Him of ANY kind!!!
Even if Jesus had fulfilled His disciples’ expectation of an earthly kingdom while He lived here, it would NOT have been one of peace. It would have been one of war. The Romans were NOT going to roll over and hand Him the nation of Israel back. And even if they did, that would NOT have changed the very nature of even the animal kingdom! The lion and the lamb laying together? Or the cow and bear eating with one another? Not in any kingdom man has ever known! So, verses six through ten are reserved for when Jesus returns and rules. With Satan bound up, there will be no hate or need for bloodshed. The animals will be as God originally created them.
Or is this reserved for the “New earth”? Is this after the FINAL battle with Satan? The reason I’m asking is because of some earlier prophecies where we are told that Jesus will resolve disputes. And we are also told that there will be another battle with Satan, which infers that there will be people who line up on his side. This prophecy even speaks warfare. “But they shall swoop down on the shoulder of the Philistines in the west, and together they shall plunder the people of the east. They shall put out their hand against Edom and Moab, and the Ammonites shall obey them. And the Lord will utterly destroy the tongue of the Sea of Egypt” (verses 14-15a). The battles listed could also be the Battle of Armageddon spoken of in Revelation. However, the earth, at the time of Jesus’ return will not be renewed. It will continue in its current physical state until God replaces it. Man gave Satan the dominion God gave to him over the earth. Is Jesus’ millennial reign an ‘occupying’ reign? The holding of another’s kingdom because of victory in battle? Where as the new heaven and new earth will be made specifically for Jesus. It will NEVER have tasted sin so any animals of that world will never have tasted violence. This is NOT to say that God CANNOT make the animals lie with one another in peace. If He couldn’t there wouldn’t have been anything left when Noah landed after the flood. This is just something that occurred to me as I was reading and writing. Take from it what you will.
Last time we were together I was talking about the remnant Isaiah was prophesying about being actually two prophecies. If I would have read ahead, I would have seen where God says that very thing. When Jesus reigns, God will recover a second remnant. This is the 144,000 we looked at previously. And another amazing thing about this remnant is that GOD knows who they are, even though their tribes have been counted as ‘lost’ since the fall of Israel. The ten northern tribes were dispersed into their conqueror’s lands. Judah was the nation that was allowed to return and it was made up of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin.
I want to jump back to the point I noticed early on; Jesus being the “shoot” and the “root” of Jesse. It’s time we looked at His second part; the “Root” that founded the line of Jesse to begin with. In case ANYONE wonders, Jesus was there in the beginning; before time began. Jesus is NOT a creation of God as the angels, man, the animals, the earth, and even time itself was. He is God Himself. He was the very spoken Word that brought life. “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word WAS God” (John 1:1, emphasis added). He existed LONG before Jesse and God’s plan of salvation through His Son existed before creation itself. God KNEW the cost to Himself. He KNEW a part of Him would be required to fulfill the payment for the sin that hadn’t even happened yet. God is the Creator of man and also the Father of man; of his spirit. God breathed His Spirit into man when He created him. That made man truly alive and truly God’s child. So, our Messiah was our “Roots” and our “Shoot” from the broken line of Jesse. And He will be our King here on earth when the Father tells Him it’s time!
Father God, You are alpha AND omega. The beginning and the end. You are from before time began and will be after it ends. There is NONE like You! And You have exhibited Your nature of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit from the beginning. God the Speaker, God the Word, and God the Breath or Spirit.
THANK YOU for sending Your Son; a part of You to be my salvation. I cannot imagine what that cost You. And what it gained You! THANK YOU for loving me THAT MUCH!!! I’m looking forward to seeing how Jesus’ millennial reign looks. How much of this prophecy is for that day and how much is for an even later day? I guess I’ll have to wait and see.