Isaiah 4:2 In that day the branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land shall be the pride and honor of the survivors of Israel.
Christ is frequently referred to as this 'tender shoot' or branch that comes up out the stump.
On that first Christmas day, it would appear that the Lord had abandoned the world. The last prophetic message was now over 400 years old… where was God? Israel had been divided, broken, and burned. The people of God were scattered through Persia and Egypt.
The covenant promise of God, however, had NOT been abandoned. There were some- the steady remnant- who would not give up on the Lord though all seemed lost.
The Jews were in a turbulent time at home. The influences of Rome and Greece had penetrated deep into the land. King Herod was holding a tinderbox together. He was obedient to the Romans but also oversaw much construction, including the Temple, which began in 20 BC and continued after his death and right up to its destruction again in 70 AD.
In the midst of all the unrest and oppressive rule, a tender shoot appeared, out of the stump of Jesse…… Salvation had come and would culminate in the greatest story in human history.
The Book of Isaiah is full of references and prophecy to this King.
Isaiah 11:1 There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
2 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 the fear of the Lord.
3 And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide disputes by what his ears hear,
4 but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
5 Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist,
and faithfulness the belt of his loins.
Does God seem silent to you? As you look around in this world of consumerism, practical atheism, and seemingly powerless and fragmented church… Can you hold on to the promises of God? Cling to Christ, He is there for you!
This Christmas look around for evidence of this ‘shoot’- the Vine of God. Let Him take root in the good soil of a soft heart, and nurture His advance in your life. If you do the fruit will be glorious and beautiful!
John 15: 15:1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”