Dec 19, 2014

Isaiah 11:1-9 And Christmas


Christmas is less than a week away! It's so exciting. There is so much to do and to take in and to enjoy. But for what are we waiting?

Christmas may be a wonderful day of activities for you. Yet, there are years--I remember a few--when plans change. Medical emergencies, weather, or travel problems can upend everything. I can remember feeling huge disappointment as Christmas plans have crashed. Does Christmas come anyway, even if things turn our different than planned?

As in Isaiah 11, we know that, a shoot will grow; a branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will arrive! We celebrate this truth in Christmas. 

Yet all will not be perfect when Christmas arrives. Even if everything goes according to your plan, there's a lot in the world that is just messed up. But the Lord will judge not according to what he sees or hears but according to what is right. Goodness and faithfulness arrive with Him.

Christmas promises a different day for many. The poor are still needy but more can be done for them this week. Wars are still fought, but ceasefires can be arranged this week. The wicked are still out there, but they may have a turn of heart this week. Is that it? Is it all for a "sweet moment" and then back to business as usual?

The Kingdom of God is amazing. Heaven and earth under His control were perfect in the beginning. Then there was the fall as God's laws were not followed. We seek to follow many laws other than His today. I especially like to follow my laws. I often seek to replace His Kingdom with my kingdom.

But the coming of Jesus set in motion a restoration. God has found a way for his laws to be whole through the sacrifice and  atonement of Jesus. A baby leads us into a restoration beyond our imaginations. The wolf and lamb live side by side without harm. The poor are satisfied. Wars cease. The wicked are brought to justice or simply cease their evil. No one does harm in the Kingdom of God. The knowledge of who Jesus is fills the earth. Everyday is like a perfect Christmas day!



Pray:
Lord, I know your new Kingdom is not yet here, but it is coming! 
We celebrate that as we remember the coming of baby Jesus. 
Show me moments of your Kingdom as I move toward Christmas. 
Help me to feel the joy of earth, heaven and nature being restored.


Isaiah 11:1-9 

11  And there shall come forth a shoot out of the stock of Jesse, and a branch out of his roots shall bear fruit. 
And the Spirit of Jehovah 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 Jehovah. 
And his delight shall be in the fear of Jehovah; and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither decide after the hearing of his ears; 
but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and decide 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 waist, and faithfulness the girdle of his loins.
And the wolf 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 adder's den.
They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of Jehovah, as the waters cover the sea.

American Standard Version (ASV)

 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+11%3A1-9&version=ASV