Wednesday Word 12.7.2016

Isaiah 11:1-10 New International Version (NIV)

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. 6 The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. 7 The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. 8 The infant will play near the cobra’s den, and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest. 9 They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. 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.

What a beautiful vision of the reign of Christ we find on this familiar passage.  For the first time, I was struck by the opening where the Messiah is described, rather than the moving description of the world when evil is vanquished forever.  Isaiah says the Messiah will not judge by what he sees with his eyes or hears with his ears, but with righteousness and justice he will judge and give decisions because the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him.  What does that mean for us?

I cannot help but think of the rancorous discourse in the world of late.  It hurts my heart.  This week, a young man armed himself and drove hundreds of miles to put a stop to a terrible instance of human trafficking that he had heard about and read about.  There was no human trafficking as he had been led to believe.  It was simply a pizza parlor.  We think, “Oh, what a nut case.”  Well, that may very well be. You or I might not load up and travel to another state to attempt to rescue victims of crime.  That isn’t the point.  This is an extreme example of people seeming to be so quick to believe whatever they hear or read on the Internet or around the water cooler.  I confess that I have been known to jump to conclusions myself on occasion.

There is a lot of falderal out there in these times.   Isaiah foretold that the Spirit of the Lord would rest on our Savior so that justice and righteousness would prevail.  What about you and me right now?  What if we called on God for the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding?  Instead of reacting with the impressions of our eyes and ears that are filled with insecurities and fear, what if we call on the Spirit of the Lord for discernment and mercy?….something to pray about.

Your sister in Christ,