“There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. 2 And 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. 3 And 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, 4 but 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. 5 Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his loins.” (Isaiah 11:1-5)
The judgment which the LORD brought upon Israel in the 8th century B.C., and then upon Judah in the 7th century B.C., illustrates the everlasting judgment He will bring upon all unrepentant sinners. However, as God preserved a believing remnant then, He will do so today. The believing remnant are those who are in Christ Jesus and who have received His imputed righteousness (Romans 3:21-26; 4:1-25; Philippians 3:1-9) by grace alone through faith alone.
The persona and work of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, is again prophesied in Isaiah 11. We have thus far seen in Isaiah that the Messiah will be virgin born (Isaiah 7:14) and that He will be a Son (Isaiah 9:6). He will also possess several compound names which reflect His holy character. He will be known as Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 11:1-5 continued the LORD’s cumulative revelation regarding the Messiah. He revealed through the prophet that, “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit” (Isaiah 11:1).
Have you ever seen a tree which has been cut down and only a stump or trunk is left remaining? I have. It is interesting that often from this remaining stump a new shoot will begin to grow and appear. This is the image and illustration Isaiah declared to God’s people.
The text says that there shall proceed from the root or stock belonging to Jesse, the father of King David, a shoot. A shoot is new growth sprouting from a root-stock stump. This is a figurative expression of the Messiah originating from the family of Jesse implying a renewal or resumption of a David’s kingly rule and reign (Matthew 1:1-7; Luke 1:26-38). David ruled a great kingdom but the greater David (Ezekiel 34:23-25; Zechariah 12:1-10), now only a tender plant in this Old Testament context (Isaiah 53:1-2), will eventually and eternally rule a greater kingdom.
Dr. R. C. Sproul comments that, “All that will be left of the Davidic dynasty after God’s judgment is a stump. The privileged sons of David, no less than Assyria, will be like trees that have been chopped down (10:33-34; Jeremiah 22:30). But in spite of this judgment on Judah, the Lord will raise up new leadership from David’s dynasty (Jeremiah 23:1-6; Matthew 1:1). The remaining stump will be living, and it will send forth a shoot, a branch that will bear fruit,”
Praise the Lord that He has not deserted sinners when He could righteously do so. He has chosen a believing remnant to be His people. These are they who are joined and in union with the shoot from the stump of Jesse: Jesus Christ.
Soli deo Gloria!