Lectionary Text: Isaiah 11:1-10; Literary Unit: Isaiah 11; Sub Literary Units: vs. 1-10, 11-16
Central Message: The Righteous Reign of the Branch
The Believer’s Bible Commentary states that this portion of text is one of the greatest passages on the Millennium in either the Old Testament of the New Testament. In one of the quick transitions, so frequent in the prophets, we are now carried forward to the Second Coming of Christ. These verses also describe the paradise of the Messiah’s triumph. This theme is capped off in verse 10 with its reference to Jesse, echoing v.1. The reference of Jesse’s family indicates that this continues the theme of 7:10-14 and 9:1-7 about the coming heir of David (the Messiah). The Messiah’s anointing with the spirit of the Lord is expressed in three pairs of spiritual attributes. The first, “the spirit of wisdom and understanding”, relates to powers of mind: wisdom discerns the nature of things, understanding discerns their difference. The second, “the spirit of counsel and might”, relates to practical activity: counsel is the ability to adopt right conclusions, might is the power exercised in carrying them out. The third pair, “the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord”, relates to fellowship with Jehovah; knowledge is here knowledge of Jehovah (both details of this pair go with “of Jehovah”).
Verses 3-5, transitions in contrast to the way all other human beings live in rebellion against God, the coming Messiah will be the ideal in his human faithfulness, finding deep joy in living before God in reverence, and in promoting reverence among those he rules. Unlike human leaders, the Messiah is not deceived by appearance. Next the absolute equity of Christ’s rule is describe in majestic poetry; then His punishment of the wicked, His personal righteousness, and His reign of peace and safety.
Verses 6-10, even wild animals will submit to the Messiah’s rule, making it possible for a nursing child to play by the cobra’s hole. Isaiah uses imagery of his time to make one point: the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord. The One whom Israel rejected as unhelpful renews the world (see 35:9; 65:17-25; Ezek. 34:25-31).
– MacDonald, William, Believer’s Bible Commentary, Edited by Art Farstad, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Dallas, 1995, pp. 948-949.
Hymns: “ O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” “ O Come, All Ye Faithful”
An Advent Litany
Leader- Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God.
Congregation- Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to them that they have served their term,
Leader- that their penalty is paid,
Congregation- that they have received from the Lord’s hand double for all their sins.
Leader- A voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Congregation- Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low;
Leader- the uneven ground shall be come level, and the rough places a plain.
Congregation- Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
Leader- Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings;
Congregation- lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, do not fear; say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God!”