A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. … 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. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper’s nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious. ~ Isaiah 11:1, 6-10 (NIV)
Certain animals just don’t go well together. You won’t find zoos that put helpless lambs together with hungry wolves. You won’t find leopards spending time with goats or lions lying down with young calves. So when you hear about these things in Isaiah chapter 11, it gets your attention. If a predator is living peacefully with its prey, then a miracle of peace must have taken place.
Here’s another thing that doesn’t go well together—sinful people and a holy God. Sin separates sinners from God. In order for there to be peace between the two, a miracle of peace would have to take place. And it has!
Isaiah’s prophecy looked forward to the peace God would provide through the “shoot from the stump of Jesse.” Jesse was King David’s father. When David was king in Israel, Israel thrived. But not long after David’s death, the kingdom was divided into two. As the people turned from the Lord God, the northern kingdom was eventually devoured by the Assyrians and most of the southern kingdom taken into captivity by the Babylonians. It was as if someone took an ax to David’s lineage and David’s kingdom and cut it down to nothing but a stump.
But from that stump, a new king came. From the town of David, from the line of David came a “humble shoot” born in a lowly stable. King Jesus was born to bring peace where it was needed most. He was born to save us from our sin and to reconcile God and people. We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ!
Let that peace of Christ rule in your heart through his Word. Let that peace of Christ lift your eyes to the perfect peace that awaits in heaven.