GOD’S KINGDOM COME

Opening Prayer

Holy Spirit, open my eyes to the presence of Jesus, to his love and power at work around me. Help me to share that love and power with others.

Read ISAIAH 11

The Branch From Jesse

11 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
    from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
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
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;
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.
Righteousness will be his belt
    and faithfulness the sash around his waist.

The wolf will live with the lamb,
    the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling[a] 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 cobra’s den,
    and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
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. 11 In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the surviving remnant of his people from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush,[b] from Elam, from Babylonia,[c] from Hamath and from the islands of the Mediterranean.

12 He will raise a banner for the nations
    and gather the exiles of Israel;
he will assemble the scattered people of Judah
    from the four quarters of the earth.
13 Ephraim’s jealousy will vanish,
    and Judah’s enemies[d] will be destroyed;
Ephraim will not be jealous of Judah,
    nor Judah hostile toward Ephraim.
14 They will swoop down on the slopes of Philistia to the west;
    together they will plunder the people to the east.
They will subdue Edom and Moab,
    and the Ammonites will be subject to them.
15 The Lord will dry up
    the gulf of the Egyptian sea;
with a scorching wind he will sweep his hand
    over the Euphrates River.
He will break it up into seven streams
    so that anyone can cross over in sandals.
16 There will be a highway for the remnant of his people
    that is left from Assyria,
as there was for Israel
    when they came up from Egypt.

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 11:6 Hebrew; Septuagint lion will feed
  2. Isaiah 11:11 That is, the upper Nile region
  3. Isaiah 11:11 Hebrew Shinar
  4. Isaiah 11:13 Or hostility

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Meditate

May God’s kingdom come – and start with us here and now.

Think Further

Political and business leaders cast visions of how things might be – a transformed and ideal future. They aim to lift the heart and eyes to a new era, away from the flawed present. The present for Judah is the great kingdom of David, now reduced to a stump. Human leaders’ plans get derailed by peoples’ weaknesses and unpredictability.

The Spirit of God takes this dried-up stump and creates something so fruitful that our hearts leap in anticipation. The same Spirit produces a wise decision-maker. Decisions that derive from the fear of the Lord mean that power does not oppress but blesses the needy and the poor (v. 4). How we treat people whose needs are easily ignored is always a marker of the Spirit’s ministry in us. It is a sign of the healing of relationships that he brings (vv. 6–9), with both internal and external hostility overcome (v. 13).

In politics, a focus on the future is often ultimately disappointing. Isaiah’s vision is built on the unbreakable promises of God. His vision is enhanced for us in the signs of their fulfillment in the Lord Jesus. He uses weak things to shame the strong. He smashes barriers between peoples, creating peace through his cross and uniting them in his love. He brings people home from every nation, protecting them to the end. We pray ‘your kingdom come’ and, as we feed the poor, work against discrimination, forgive, and strive for unity, we express the desire to see that future kingdom displayed in our present communities.

Apply

What’s your vision for the future? Has your church prayerfully considered how that vision impacts your engagement with the community today?

Closing prayer

Lord Jesus, please give your vision to me and my community of faith. As we serve one another, convict us and teach us how to minister in Jesus’ name to those in need around us.

Last Updated on July 9, 2024 by kingstar

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