Saturday, December 19, 2015

LSB 357 Branch of Jesse’s tree

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LSB 357 O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

O come, Thou Branch of Jesse’s tree,
Free them from Satan’s tyranny
That trust Thy mighty pow’r to save,
And give them vict’ry o’er the grave.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to you, O Israel.

Public domain

Branch of Jesse
Victory over Satan and the Grave
Now-Not Yet

Isaiah 11:1–11

1There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
2And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
3And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide disputes by what his ears hear,
4but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
5Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist,
and faithfulness the belt of his loins.
6The 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.
7The cow and the bear shall graze;
their young shall lie down together;
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra,
and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den.
9They shall not hurt or destroy
in all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
10In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples—of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious.

Matthew 1:21, 23
"She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel”
(which means, God with us).

Prophet Isaiah is a cut above the rest. Preaching and Prophesying in Jerusalem, it appears he had some access to the King's Palace at various times during his ministry. He delivers the Word of the Lord directly into the laps of Good Kings and Evil Kings with equal portions of power and poetry. What a guy! Here's a man's man, a prophet's prophet.

Isaiah's depictions of God's plans include a Ruler and a Servant. In the first 12 chapters, Isaiah goes back and forth, almost chapter by chapter, between Israel's rebellious heart and the Ruler/Savior who is coming to set things right again. In his last chapters, 40-66, He works similar messages between Israel and the Suffering Servant.

What fascinates me about Isaiah's prophecies about God's Spirit Filled Righteous King – the one who is going to finally get all this Reign of God stuff right – is that Isaiah is speaking these prophecies in the Palace courts. Here we have God's Truth-Teller comforting the residents of Jerusalem with the message, “Don't worry, God has much bigger plans for us than King Ahaz. Hold on everyone, someday God is going to send us a real King instead of the king we have now.  The Reign of God will come when the descendant of David frees us from Satan's tyranny or slavery of the grave. We won't be worrying about Moabites, Edomites, Ammonites, Midianites, or any other “-ites.” God's Ruler would not rule by the standard of every other earthly ruler. God's Ruler will minister through the Spirit of the Lord taking the upside-down every day world and turning it right side up again."

Jesse's Branch rising out of the stump of David's line fulfills the promise to David of an eternal Kingdom, sure – and to Abraham of being a Blessing to All Nations – But even more so, Reigning over the New Creation that overhauls the Adam and Eve problem of Satan, Sin, and Death. Rejoice, God's Ruler is on the way.

359 Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming
Lo, how a rose e’er blooming
From tender stem hath sprung!
Of Jesse’s lineage coming
As prophets long have sung,
It came, a flow’ret bright,
Amid the cold of winter,
When half-spent was the night.

Isaiah ’twas foretold it,
The rose I have in mind;
With Mary we behold it,
The virgin mother kind.
To show God’s love aright,
She bore to us a Savior,
When half-spent was the night

This flow’r, whose fragrance tender
With sweetness fills the air,
Dispels with glorious splendor
The darkness ev’rywhere.
True man, yet very God,
From sin and death He saves us
And lightens ev’ry load.

O Savior, child of Mary,
Who felt our human woe;
O Savior, King of glory,
Who dost our weakness know:
Bring us at length we pray
To the bright courts of heaven,
And to the endless day.

Public domain