Reading through the Bible together
Verse 1 begins with a reference to the “stem of Jesse” and a branch growing “out of his roots.” Jesus identifies Himself as “the root and the offspring of David” (Rev.22:16). It’s a description of Christ one day reigning as a righteous King, fulfilling the promise to David to establish his throne forever (II Sam.7:13).
Isaiah says the “root of Jesse” “shall stand for an ensign” (v.10). We picture the cross of Jesus as God’s standard, or banner, against the enemy of our souls. “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him” (Isa.59:19).
Isaiah continues, “to it shall the Gentiles seek” (v.10). Look at this in light of the first angel’s message to take this gospel “to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people” (Rev.14:6). “The groups of missionaries in heathen lands have been likened…to ensigns set up for the guidance of those who are looking for the light of truth” (PK p.375). Praise God for missionaries! The Gospel is for all of us – Jew and Gentile! But it doesn’t stop. The verse finishes “and His rest shall be glorious.” In a world full of trials and difficulties, the Christian’s rest “is found only in Christ. If we possess His meekness of spirit, we shall find peace and joy in Him.” (Signs of the Times, 12/17/1885, par. 2).
God planned that when the remnant returned from Babylonian captivity (v.11), they would put their trust in Him and prepare the whole world for the coming of the Messiah. If they did this, God promised to give them peace (vs.12-16). They failed. Let’s learn from them and put our trust in God as we, spiritual Israel, prepare the world for His Second Coming.
Today we look for a “place” prepared for us (John 14:2-3) where the wolf and lamb dwell peaceably, the leopard rests by a young goat, and a child plays unharmed with a calf and a lion (v.6). Imagine the heavenly lion eating grass just like an ox (v.7). It’s a place where there is no fear of any kind of “hurt” (v.9). That includes safety from all kinds of abuse and evil. It will be an eternal and “glorious” safe place to rest and live (v.11).
Prayer: “Lord, help us to be Your ensigns, Your banners, Your ambassadors. Thank You for this glimpse of heaven. Keep us faithful as we wait for that glorious day. Amen.”
Lloyd and Sheila Schomburg