"The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together, and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze. Their young shall lie down together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of Yahweh as the waters cover the sea." - Isaiah 11:6-9
Isaiah prophesies that when the Shoot from the stump of Jesse comes, he will not only rule humanity in righteousness and peace, but he will also radically transform the animal kingdom. Carnivores will become herbivores, and the hatred between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent (Genesis 3:15) will be ended. There will be no more pain, tears, or death. The earth will be full of the knowledge of Yahweh. Humanity's rebellion against God will be stopped, and a new Messianic age will begin. This has been the great hope of Christians for centuries, and it is our hope today.
Father, I am filled with joy when I picture in my imagination the Messianic age to come. Thank you that you did not leave us in our rebellion, slaves to sin and death. Thank you that all creation will be restored to its original shalom. I recognise that this is possible only because of Jesus. If he wouldn't have come, we would have been lost forever. Only through the cross is the Messianic age possible. I worship Jesus this morning because he is God our Saviour. May he return quickly and put a stop to all the rebellion and injustice we see in our world. Thank you for raising up the Branch from Jesse's roots. In Jesus' name, amen.
- Jeff Coleman