Isa. 11:1 — “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.”
Here is a family tree in which three persons are introduced. This verse does not say whom the rod represents; it does not say whom the Branch represents; but it does say that the stem is Jesse, the father of king David. The rod, of course, which came out of the stem, could be none other than the son of Jesse — David, the king of ancient Israel. The verses following this verse explain that the Branch is the Lord Himself. Clearly, then, this family tree represents Jesse, David, and Christ.
The remaining verses of the chapter are concerning Christ, His work, and His kingdom.
Isa. 11:2 — “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.”
Upon this one gift — the gift of the Spirit — all things hinge.
Isa. 11:3, 4 — “And shall make Him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and He shall not judge after the sight of His eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of His ears: but with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and He shall smite the earth: with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked.”
These verses, I am sure, need no comment save to mention that “the rod of His mouth” and “the breath of His lips” must mean God’s Word, His Truth. This very Truth to which we are listening this afternoon will, therefore, on the one hand slay those who reject It together with those who are disobedient to It, but on the other hand save those who give heed to It, and who comply with Its requirements. The one consequence is as natural as it the other. For example, did not the preaching of the gospel of Christ save the Apostles, but at the same time cause Judas to commit suicide? And did it not save the disciples but destroy all the unbelieving of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.?
In the Kingdom here predicted, not only are men to be at peace with men, but men with beast, and beast with beast as well. The reason given for such perfect peace is that the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord. Knowledge, then, is what we need, and shall we turn it down now when it is so freely brought to our doors?
Just as soon as God’s people obtain this knowledge of the Lord, just that soon shall the kingdom appear. So it is that while learning of God and of His wisdom, we are at the same time bringing peace on earth. Plainly, then, those who have not this knowledge of the Lord cannot become citizens of His kingdom. How essential, then, that we study for ourselves; how essential that we know what is Truth through our own personal experience, not through the experience of others!
From Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 31, page 3-5.
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