Wednesday Devotion, December 23
1 Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot—yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root. 2 And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. 3 He will delight in obeying the Lord. He will not judge by appearance nor make a decision based on hearsay. 4 He will give justice to the poor and make fair decisions for the exploited. The earth will shake at the force of his word, and one breath from his mouth will destroy the wicked. 5 He will wear righteousness like a belt and truth like an undergarment. 6 In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together; the leopard will lie down with the baby goat. The calf and the yearling will be safe with the lion, and a little child will lead them all. 7 The cow will graze near the bear. The cub and the calf will lie down together. The lion will eat hay like a cow. 8 The baby will play safely near the hole of a cobra. Yes, a little child will put its hand in a nest of deadly snakes without harm. 9 Nothing will hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain, for as the waters fill the sea, so the earth will be filled with people who know the Lord. 10 In that day the heir to David’s throne will be a banner of salvation to all the world. The nations will rally to him, and the land where he lives will be a glorious place. 11 In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to bring back the remnant of his people--those who remain in Assyria and northern Egypt; in southern Egypt, Ethiopia, and Elam;in Babylonia, Hamath, and all the distant coastlands. 12 He will raise a flag among the nations and assemble the exiles of Israel. He will gather the scattered people of Judah from the ends of the earth. 13 Then at last the jealousy between Israel and Judah will end. They will not be rivals anymore. 14 They will join forces to swoop down on Philistia to the west. Together they will attack and plunder the nations to the east. They will occupy the lands of Edom and Moab, and Ammon will obey them. 15 The Lord will make a dry path through the gulf of the Red Sea. He will wave his hand over the Euphrates River, sending a mighty wind to divide it into seven streams so it can easily be crossed on foot. 16 He will make a highway for the remnant of his people, the remnant coming from Assyria, just as he did for Israel long ago when they returned from Egypt.
One of my all-time favorite passages above. Easily in the top 10. Justice will come to all of creation, not just humanity. Can you imagine a world of harmony? A peaceable kingdom? We have the opportunity right now to act in ways that can bring God's grace into others lives. This is our hope, that salvation is all in all. Does this excite you?
Oh God, my hope in you is great. May my life be lived as if this is true. Amen.