Happy New year to you and your loved ones! I pray that 2018 is a year full of the richness of God’s blessings for you and your loved ones. I encourage you to go often to Him in prayer, and to be grateful and joyous in the life He has made for us.
On this new year’s day, we resume our study of Isaiah. Chapter 11 is a truly beautiful and positive chapter. It’s subject is the coming Savior Jesus and the verses of this chapter tout the many blessings and positive turns His coming will bring. Since this book was written before Jesus was born, these are all prophetic statements. I encourage you to read the 16 verses of this chapter before engaging in the study below.
Here is a breakdown of the many wonderful blessings that God gives us through Jesus:
– Attributes of Christ are described in verses 1-5. He is approved of by God and He has wisdom, counsel, understanding and might. Jesus is strong and He understands man because He will live as one. This qualifies Him to advocate on our behalf to God. He delights in fearing and recognizing God for God’s great power and He judges the Earth with righteousness. This means Jesus is fair in accordance with God’s commands and is not biased nor does He show favoritism. The righteous and obedient will be rewarded, while the wicked and disobedient will be punished.
– The descriptions of animals peacefully living together that would otherwise eat each other seems strange. Also unsettling is the description of very young children playing near the dens of dangerous snakes. But the meaning behind verses 6-10 is one of absolute peace. When Christ came into the world, died and rose again, He redeemed mankind to God. Before Jesus, our sins separated us from God but with Jesus’s death, God’s anger at our disobedience is quelled and peace reigns on the Earth. The descriptions of the animals and children among snakes are meant to illustrate this peace.
– The final section of the chapter describes the total reach of the peace that Christ brings. To all nations and all people, Christ brings redemption through His sacrifice, love and intercession. Verses 11-16 describe how the remnant will be saved by God, and that unity will exist between those who believe. The wicked nations will be subject to the good and God will create a highway for His people to return to safety. The safety described can be interpreted as the physical safety of a people devoted to God or the spiritual safety received through salvation.
The main thing to take away from this chapter is to understand the meaning of Christ. Without Him, we have no hope. Without Christ, we have no way to be saved. Without Him, we do not know God.
But through Jesus, we have the rich knowledge of God’s love for us. Through Jesus we have the perfect example of strength and fortitude in the face of evil. Through Christ, we have a true Savior and a true friend. What an amazing blessing He is; our greatest blessing.
“Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:9-21