In this passage, quoted from the King James Version of the bible, we read Isaiah’s prophesy of the Messiah’s coming.
“And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: 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 of the fear of the Lord;………….”
It speaks in poetic language of the restoration of the historic lineage of the house of Jesse, King David’s father. It describes a different kind of leader who will be raised up. A person of deep wisdom and judgement. Someone who sees beyond the surface of things and stands for the meek and the oppressed. The passage goes on to describe the Messiah as a human child, rather than a political figure or a mighty warrior. Clearly, we see that God’s kingdom will be different than expected and will constitute a new way of being.
This passage goes on to describe the “Peaceful Kingdom”. The lines conjure up childhood depictions of the wolf lying down with the lamb, and the lion with the calf. We read of a world where natural enemies can coexist and follow the lead of a little child. We see that, just as this Messiah cares for all humanity, he also watches over domestic and wild animals and the natural environment, like mountains and seas. In other words, he cares for all creation.
In these weeks of Advent, I hold onto the vision of a peaceful world. I am reminded to follow the example set out in these verses – to care for the oppressed and safeguard the world that God has given us.