Second Sunday of Advent — Isaiah 11:1-10
“There Is Still Hope in a Tree Stump”
“Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot – yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root… In that day the heir to David’s throne will be a banner of salvation to all the world.” (Isaiah 11:1,10, NLT)
The town I grew up in had a small Christian College. One night a lady brought a girl college student to the mid-week service at our church. She was introduced to us as a princess; the daughter of King Haile Selassie of Ethiopia. The last of the dynasty from the union of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. She wasn’t dressed like a princess or acted like one. She was in fact trying to keep a low profile since her father’s throne had been deposed by the communists. She had no hope or desire to go back home; for it could mean her death or imprisonment.
God had promised David and everlasting linage. But the people had disobeyed God too often without repenting. They and their King’s families would be hauled away to Babylon. Palace, temple, Jerusalem, destroyed. The once great tree cut off. Nothing left but a stump. But, God through Isaiah gives them hope. All though the dynasty has to stay underground for a while; a shoot will rise up from the roots.
When Joseph had to take his wife, Mary with him to Bethlehem to be registered for the tax because he was of the linage of King David; he was keeping a low profile as a carpenter. King Herod the Great would have killed him and all his family if he had known a rightful heir to David’s throne still existed. Thanks to the wise men coming through two years later; looking for “He that is born king of the Jews;” Herod did try to kill the child, Jesus. In the process, he would slaughter all boys two years and under in Bethlehem. Thanks to an Angel of the Lord; Joseph, Mary and the boy Jesus, the rightful heir to David’s throne; would escape into Egypt until Herod the Great’s death.
God kept his promise. Though the once great tree had been cut down and everything seemed lost and hopeless. A shoot would come up from the roots of that stump. The impact from His Life is still changing the world.
Lord, help us remember that in time when things seem hopeless we can still rely on God’s promises in the Bible. Because He is still in the process of keeping His promises.
– Pastor Stephen C. Floyd, First Church of the Nazarene, Falls CIty