“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)
Isaiah 1:1-2 reveals the character of the Messiah who was promised to come in the flesh. What about His behavior? What will He do when He comes? Will His behavior be in unity with His character? Isaiah 11:3-5 provides the student of the Scripture with the answers to these questions.
To begin with, Isaiah says, regarding the Messiah, “And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.” The Hebrew word for “delight” refers to the sensation of smelling a wonderful aroma. It might be a perfume or the scent of a freshly cut lawn. One of my favorite aromas is walking into my home when homemade spaghetti sauce is being cooked. Wonderful! This takes me back to childhood.
Much like a pleasing aroma, the Messiah’s pleasure, and our pleasure in Him, will be in the reverence and worship of Yahweh. Within the context, Yahweh refers to God the Father. The Messiah’s fear and reverence of the Father is evidenced by His perfect obedience to God’s commandments.
Secondly, “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.” (Isaiah 11:3b-4). The Messiah’s rule and reign on earth will not be centered strictly by His senses. He will govern with a righteousness that will be complete harmony and obedience to God’s Word. This will be a delight to the poor and the meek and a terror to the wicked.
Dr. John MacArthur writes, “The Messiah will reverse Israel’s earlier dealings with the underprivileged (3:14–15; 10:2). The Branch’s rule over the nations will be forceful. The NT uses equivalent terminology to describe the Warrior-King at his triumphant return to earth (Rev. 19:15; cf. Isa. 49:2; Ps. 2:9).”
“Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his loins” (Isaiah 11:5). The Messiah will always do what is right, honest and proper. Faithfulness, the character and behavior of trustworthiness, dependability and honor, will be His. These attributes will be like the integral parts of clothing for the people of the ancient world.
As disciples of Jesus Christ, are you prepared to be following, and displaying, the Lord’s character and behavior as outlined in Isaiah 11:1-5? This is an example of Christlikeness.
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Soli deo Gloria!