Isaiah 11:1-3b NIV
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of might,
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD—
and he will delight in the fear of the LORD.
As we continue our focus on the true meaning of Christmas, Jesus Christ, let’s look at the next few lines in our Christmas Carol, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”:
O come thou rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny
From depths of hell thy people save
And give them vict’ry o’er the grave
When I was growing up there was a HUGE pecan tree that sat in the front yard of my Grandmother’s house. My grandmother loved outdoors so we would often find ourselves sitting on the swing enjoying the shade of the pecan tree. As time passed on the tree grew so large and risked falling on her house that it had to be cut down. That was a sad day in history for our family tradition. A tree that was once full of life, produced fruit in that of pecans, and created family moments was now reduced to a stump in the ground. In some cases a tree stump will not grow back and in other cases you may find branches growing from the tree stump.
O Come thou rod of Jesse….
In Isaiah 11 we are first introduced to the stump of Jesse. We can’t talk about the stump without first addressing the tree that previously existed in Isaiah 10: 33-34, “See, the Lord, the LORD Almighty, will lop off the boughs with great power. The lofty trees will be felled; the tall ones will be brought low. He will cut down the forest thickets with an ax; Lebanon will fall before the Mighty One.” The Lord chopped down the proud as if they were mighty trees and now out of this tree stump a branch will grow out of it that will bare much fruit. The stump of Jesse is the lineage that will lead to the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This branch indicates life from a dead situation.
Free Thine own from Satan’s tyranny, from depths of hell thy people save….
Last week we talked about how like the Israelites we are a corrupt people. We are a people in bondage to our past, our present circumstances, and our sins. God, Immanuel, was placed on this earth to save us from our sins and from anything that we are in bondage to which prevents us from living our lives to our fullest Christian potential. Christ came to be an example for how we should live our lives and He died to save us from our sins. “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28) Jesus saved us all at the cross from Satan’s tyranny. “The prince of this world now stands condemned.” (John 11b)
Give victory over the grave…
Jesus not only came to save and redeem us, but He brought victory over the grave. During Advent we celebrate the coming of Jesus. In a few months we will enter the lent season in which we celebrate the resurrection of our Savior. Through his resurrection power we have establish victory over the grave. Dead things have come alive. Jesus may have left the earth, but he didn’t leave us alone. We have the Holy Spirit with us. Isaiah 11:2-3 prophesied that a spirit would rest upon us who will possess wisdom, knowledge, understanding, and counsel. That spirit is the Holy Spirit. The Holy spirit serves as an advocate, our guide, our teacher. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Knowledge, Wisdom, and Understanding.
“When he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.” (John 16:13-15)
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” (John 14:16-17)
“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (John 14:26)
This Advent season as you sing “O come, O come Emmanuel, And ransom captive Israel”, I encourage you to remember Immanuel, the God that is with us. As you reflect on your gifts this season let me remind Christians that through salvation you also have the gift of the Holy Spirit that lives within you. “You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.” (Romans 8:9) Last week I asked the question “What do you want to experience this Christmas in the supernatural?” What do you want to be free from? I hope by now you have made that list and sought God in prayer.
Allow the Holy Spirit to do what He was sent to do in your life to release truth and reveal to you areas in your life that you need to allow to die so that God can accomplish His perfect will in your life. “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16-17) Do not wait until the New Year to initiate new beginnings and change. The time is now and in this Advent season for a fresh new start and a new journey in life. When you die to self and sin and when you break free from bondage be prepared for a new, refreshing, rewarding, abundant life that will spring forth out of a dead situation. Be blessed and be encouraged! Happy Advent!
Heavenly Father, we thank you for this Advent season as we reflect on all that was done by you through your son Jesus Christ. We thank you for sending him to be an example for how we should live our lives. We thank you for his sacrificial death on the cross for our redemption from sins and bondage. We thank you for his resurrection and the gift of the Holy Spirit that we receive through salvation. Father, I lift up every reader of this Feevotional on today that they not only are readers and hearers of the word, but I pray they are also doers of your word. I lift up every person who stands in need of a fresh new start and new beginnings. Lord, I pray the spirit of truth over their lives that you would send each person a fresh new revelation of your will for their life. Lord remove the blinders so that we can all see what you what you desire for us. Open the ears of our heart that we may hear all that you are saying to us. Give us the desire and the strength to be sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit that we may all walk in obedience in your perfect will for our lives. This Christmas we all have tangible items we desire, however, I pray that you meet the desires of the intangible needs in our lives that only you can give. Lord, I pray you remove every dead stump and dead roots in our life, so that out of our life you can accomplish your perfect Holy Will. Guide us to bear fruit in your kingdom. Lord, we know that nothing is too hard or impossible with you. We thank you for accomplishing what only you can in our life. I pray for every reader to have a refreshing, rewarding, abundant life. In Jesus name. Amen.
~Written by Felicia McKnight~
O Come, O Come Emmanuel – Part 1
O Come, O come Emmanuel by The Franz Family – (click here)