“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 11:1-5,9
“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’” Jeremiah 23:5-6
What a promise! To this rebel land doomed to judgment by a wicked nation, Isaiah brought a hope-filled message: there would come a righteous Judge who would make all things right. When all seemed impossible to know and understand, there would be One full of the knowledge of the Lord. (Isaiah 10:5-12)
And the powerful breath of His lips that would execute judgment could also breathe into them life, living hope, wisdom, grace, and joy. The hope for their future had a present reality. Their sense of depression and despair could become delight if placed in the promised Spirit. (Genesis 2:7; Isaiah 11:12-16)
Do I get caught in a daily tangle of who deserves what, and can you believes, and never take sober stock of my own deserts? Do I wrangle over seeming injustice and bad timing in the gnarl of current circumstances and never take a high view of matters? What if I cast these cares on the Lord? What if in it all I endeavored to be more like Jesus and introduced light into the destitution that shrouds daily news? What if into every consternation and roil of turmoil I brought a spirit of wisdom, understanding, and righteous discernment? (1 Samuel 16:7; Psalm 55:22; John 13:15; James 3:17)
The Spirit of God in us can bring forth fruitfulness the world cannot comprehend or procure, and His heavenly fruit makes a difference in conversations and in our communities. We may be rejected or misunderstood, but we can honor the Lord and offer hope not found elsewhere. Where and when will we begin? (Matthew 10:22; Galatians 5:22-23)
Lord, as my strength, song, and salvation, bring forth from me a bounty of grace and truth, light and wisdom and joy, to a needy world. (Isaiah 12:2-5)