Isaiah: The Character of the Messiah.

“There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. 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. 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, 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. Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his loins.” (Isaiah 11:1-5)

What are the characteristics the Prophet Isaiah gives in order to describe the one who will come forth from the family of Jesse, King David’s father, and who is also known as the Messiah?  Isaiah gives us seven.

First, the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him. The word Spirit (Heb. Ruah) can refer to breath, wind or even an intellectual frame of mind. Within the context of Isaiah 11, the word refers to the Holy Spirit. The translators indicate this understanding by capitalizing the noun Spirit in the English. The phrase also indicates the presence of Yahweh. The Spirit originates from and is the One, True God.

The Holy Spirit will rest upon this One who is the Messiah. To rest (Heb. Hahah) means to settle upon and to remain. This means that the Holy Spirit would empower the Messiah. This empowerment occurred at Jesus’ baptism (Matthew 3:16; Mark 1:10; Luke 3:22).

Second, the Spirit would give the Messiah wisdom. Wisdom is not only the capacity to not only understand God’s Word and will, but also to apply it in one’s life. Jesus Christ would do so perfectly.

Third, the Spirit would give the Messiah understanding. This refers to discernment and insight into God’s Word.

Fourth, the Spirit would give the Messiah advice, guidance and instruction.

Fifth, the Spirit would give the Messiah strength, might and power.

Sixth, the Spirit would give the Messiah knowledge in possessing moral qualities which would glorify God.

Seventh, the Spirit would give the Messiah a reverence for God the Father.

Dr. John Walvoord explains that, “The attributes of the Holy Spirit would characterize the Messiah. Because of His wisdom, understanding, counsel, and knowledge He is the Wonderful Counselor (Isa. 9:6). Isaiah referred to the Holy Spirit more than did any other Old Testament prophet (11:2 [four times]; 30:1; 32:15; 34:16; 40:13; 42:1; 44:3; 48:16; 59:21; 61:1; 63:10–11, 14).”

Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, is the Messiah who not only saves, but who also rules, now and forever, His kingdom justly and effectively.

Soli deo Gloria!


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