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A shoot from the stump of Jesse

“There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit” (Isaiah 11:1 ESV)

Isaiah 10 talks about God’s judgment on Israel where the nation would be reduced to a state of near nothingness. But in chapter 11 we find words of hope. Isaiah is referring to new life coming to the nation of Israel. Jesse was the father of King David, whose reign was remembered as Israel’s golden age. By the time of Isaiah’s prophesy all that was left of the nation was the little kingdom of Judah, and that would soon fall to a foreign power. The agonies of the exile were ahead. But Isaiah prophesies about a branch that will grow from the stump and bear fruit, and coming day of peace where natural enemies will live in harmony. In Revelation 22:16 the Lord Jesus identified himself as that branch from the house of David. “I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

Throughout the Scriptures, we see God bringing new life from dead places. Isaac is born to an aged Sarah, whose womb was considered as good as dead; the Holy Spirit brings dry bones to life in Ezekiel 37; Lazarus walks out of his tomb at the command of the Lord Jesus. Best of all, the Lord Jesus rises in triumph from the grave. Death doesn’t stand a chance against Him.

This Christmas let’s remember that our God is able to bring life out of death; hope out of despair. He is the God of new beginnings.

“O come, green shoot of Jesse, free
Your people from despair and apathy;
Forge justice for the poor and the meek,
Grant safety for the young ones and the weak.
Rejoice, rejoice! Take heart and do not fear,
God’s chosen one, Immanuel, draws near”

Pastor Benjamin Devadason

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