God’s identity with his people, at the core of our relationship with him, is that of Saviour. God has planned and brought about forgiveness and eternal life for us in Jesus. We see God’s anger turn away. We see the salvation of God and we do not need to fear…
1 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
2 The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of might,
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—
3 and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
or decide by what he hears with his ears;
4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
5 Righteousness will be his belt
and faithfulness the sash around his waist.
10 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious.
1 In that day you will say:
“I will praise you, Lord.
Although you were angry with me,
your anger has turned away
and you have comforted me.
2 Surely God is my salvation;
I will trust and not be afraid.
The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense;
he has become my salvation.”
3 With joy you will draw water
from the wells of salvation.
4 In that day you will say:
“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done,
and proclaim that his name is exalted.
5 Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things;
let this be known to all the world.
6 Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion,
for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.”
Isaiah 11:1-5, 10, 12:1-6
While God is speaking through Isaiah about the remnant of Israel which he will preserve through their punishment and exile, the Lord gives his people hope for the future. A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse. This is Messiah. God’s identity with his people, at the core of our relationship with him, is that of Saviour. All the way back to Egypt and God’s miracle rescue of Israel, he has been saving people.
Now, in these verses, we see God’s promise through the line of David. King David was Jesse’s youngest son. When the prophet Samuel came to anoint David, he had to be called in from the fields because no one expected that God’s anointed would be the youngest. David had no position before he was anointed to be king. God’s promise was that the throne of David would be established and continue forever through his offspring (2Samuel 7:13). Most directly, this was referring to Solomon. Eternally, this promise refers to Jesus.
Jesus ancestry traces back to the Davidic line. Jesus is the Branch from which we bear fruit (11:1, John 15). And as we see the picture of Jesus painted before us, we see God’s Spirit resting upon him. We see that he will judge in righteousness. He will teach and command and control the earth with his voice. Even his answer to the soldiers in the Garden of Gethsemane (John 18) caused the soldiers to fall down, slaying the wicked (11:4) with the breath of his lips.
In the time of Jesus, we see God’s anger turn away. We see the salvation of God and we do not need to fear. God himself becomes our strength and takes up our defense in Jesus. We can draw water – living water – from the wells of salvation in Jesus (12:1-3).
We see in 12:4-6 what our response should be: as people who have been walking in darkness, burdened by our world, some exiled from God, weary from our journeys, we can see the great light of salvation in Jesus.
Give praise. Shout aloud. Sing for joy. Great is the Holy One of Israel among us! Indeed. This is cause for worship. This is cause for reflection. God planned our salvation before we were born. God contemplated eternity before he made the stars. Jesus is our Branch. Jesus is Messiah. Praise his name!