“Shall the axe boast over him who hews with it,
or the saw magnify itself against him who wields it?
As if a rod should wield him who lifts it,
or as if a staff should lift him who is not wood!
“Behold, the Lord God of hosts
will lop the boughs with terrifying power;
the great in height will be hewn down,
and the lofty will be brought low…
“There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
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.
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,
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.
Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist,
and faithfulness the belt of his loins…
“They shall not hurt or destroy
in all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.” Isaiah 10:15,33; 11:1-5,9-10
Many today reign in their specific territories of government, health, journalism, industry, education, and their expertise and influence exert certain power over public opinion, policy, and individuals. Some have authority to effect results with specific actions or movements, and still others dictate behavior through terror or unrighteous force. But for all, their power is restricted, wielded only within the confines of the limits endowed by their Creator. As sharp as an axe may be, it has no effect unless used by one stronger.
A beautiful truth about our Lord Jesus is that He came as one of us, and never rose to human heights. He was born weak, helpless, a shoot from the stump of humanity so He could know how we breathe and decide and suffer and love. As our Savior, He gave up the right to earthly power and offered Himself, sinless, to take on our sin and its death penalty on our behalf. He understands every pressure, every passion, every anguish. (2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 2:5-8)
But one day, this Branch will reign. The Spirit of the Lord has anointed and promised our Perfect Ruler, the righteous Judge, wholly wise, all-knowing, almighty, merciful, and faithful. Claiming His kingship in our hearts now, and living assured of His one day, guides how we see current events and what we choose to do with our days and lives.
Will we lead and plan, but as those who know the One who determines success? Do we grieve, but not as those without hope? We sweat and toil, we weep and love, we raise children and bury loved ones, and in all we can know that to live is Christ and to die is gain when all is done as unto Him. Will we serve the Lord of hosts? (Proverbs 16:9; Philippians 1:21; Colossians 3:23; 1 Thessalonians 4:13)
Lord, help me live wholeheartedly this day, for that day!