Read Isaiah 11:1-9
1 Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot-
yes,a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root.
2 And the Spirit of the LORD will rest on him-
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.
3 He will delight in obeying the LORD.
He will not judge by appearance
nor make a decision based on hearsay.
4 He will give justice to the poor
and make fair decisions for the exploited.
The earth will shake at the force of his word,
and one breath from his mouth will destroy the wicked.
5 He will wear righteousness like a belt
and truth like an undergarment.
6 In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together;
the leopard will lie down with the baby goat.
The calf and the yearling will be safe with the lion,
and a little child will lead them all.
7 The cow will graze near the bear.
The cub and the calf will lie down together.
The lion will eat hay like a cow.
8 The baby will play safely near the hole of a cobra.
Yes,a little child will put its hand in a nest of deadly snakes without harm.
9 Nothing will hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain,
for as the waters fill the sea,
so the earth will be filled with people who know the LORD. (NLT)
This is a foretelling of the coming of Jesus. The Old Testament kings after David were a pretty mixed lot. In the dark days of corrupt kingship,the prophet speaks of a king who will come to put everything right. A bit like the land of Narnia in The Lion,the Witch,and the Wardrobe. The wicked present rulers will be put in their place by the rightful ruler who will usher in justice,peace,and love. Out of the decay of human kingship,out of the stump of the felled tree of decadent rule,will come a true king. One not poisoned by power or twisted by ego.
Jesus certainly fills that bill. But even so,his coming at that first Christmas didn’t put everything right. The latter part of this passage is a poetic summary of heaven. A place of complete harmony within all creation,animal or human. Heaven is not some distant spiritual place,but quite possibly this earth with all that is God-defying removed and all that is God-affirming enhanced. Jesus has come to usher in this sort of life,giving us a sample of it. His first coming gives us a taste of this richer,deeper reality. His second coming immerses us in it forever. No wonder we say,”Come Lord Jesus,come!”