And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: 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 of the fear of the LORD; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

Isaiah 11:1-9

The Old Testament Scriptures identify the Messiah as to His humanity, His nationality and His family. He would be a Jewish man, born of the family of Jesse who was the father of King David. The careful specifics of the Old Testament prophecies identify the Redeemer and authenticate Jesus to be the Son of God. Isaiah simply calls him the rod that springs from the stem of Jesse.

This one born in David’s family, would in time correct every wrong that exists in the world. David was a King, the greatest of all the Jewish monarchs. Notable reigns are characterised by justice and honour. Therefore the reign of Christ will roll back every injustice that exists in the world, bringing peace where trouble reigns supreme.

People are fleeing their homelands, risking everything, putting themselves in the hands of ruthless people smugglers because of a lack of justice. Murderers escape the clutches of the courts while their victims continue to suffer the life sentence of grief and pain. Babies are aborted, deprived of the gift of life while their parents continue to live, careless and indifferent to the crimes they have been permitted by an immoral Government to perpetrate. These are just a few examples illustrating that injustice that permeates the air we breathe, bringing pain and misery. How we need peace for our world!

Isaiah sees a King who would reign with equity; absolute fairness and righteousness. The lion lying beside the lamb depicts a world without predators, without danger, where the innocent are safe and free. The child putting his hand safely into the lair of the poisonous snake is an emblem of a world free from harm and suffering.

It is in the final verse of the reading, however, we learn the meaning of these beautiful word pictures:

for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

Injustice exists because of a lack of Christ and His gospel. Where Jesus reigns, the gospel comes and with this good news order is restored to a disordered and chaotic world.

To all with lives that are disordered, broken, bitter and angry – I bring this message of hope and of peace, this message of Christ – the Prince of Peace.

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