Righteous Reign of the Branch
At the end of Chapter 10 (33-34), we were left with the picture of the Lord chopping down the proud as if they were trees. Now upon the remaining stumps, the Lord is looking and causes a branch to grow out of one of them. The branch is Jesse, the father of David. From the seed of Jesse and his son David the Messiah, Jesus, would come. For 600 years after the royal authority of the house of David Jesus would come as the King, the Messiah. When Jesus came he was a new green branch which apparently came from a dead stump.
The Lord was giving the people of Judah hope through the judgment of the Assyrians and others, God would still use them and bring forth new life from them. Even as they appeared dead God would bring life from them.
Calling the Messiah a stem from the root of Jesse is God emphasizing the humble nature of the Messiah. Jesse was much less famous than his son King David. Therefore it is much more humble to say from Jesse than from King David.
The branch that comes from the apparent dead stump is barely alive but full of life and full of the Spirit of the Lord. There are seven aspects of the Spirit of the Lord that the Messiah will have. Seven represents the number of completeness. The Messiah will have the Spirit of the Lord which is a Spirit of truth and has no deception and is not the spirit of a man. His Spirit is the Spirit of the Lord God Almighty which rest upon the Messiah. Jesus once rebuked His disciples saying, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of.” (Luke 9:55) The Spirit of Jesus was the Spirit of the Lord.
The Messiah would have the Spirit of Wisdom. Jesus was wise in all things. During His earthly ministry, Jesus showed His perfect wisdom. Paul wrote to the Corinthians that Jesus became the wisdom of God towards us. (1 Corinthians 1:30) It is not that Jesus had wisdom, as Solomon, but that He is wisdom.
The Messiah would have the Spirit of understanding. Jesus understands all things and He understands us. Jesus, because He suffered everything that we suffer understands our trials and is able to be sympathetic towards us as our High Priest in Heaven. (Hebrews 4:15-16)
The Messiah has the Spirit of counsel. His counsel is perfect for us at all times. Jesus has the wisdom and understanding to give us perfect counsel.
The Messiah has the Spirit of might. Jesus has the power to do that He desires to do. There are many that would help us if they could but Jesus has the power to help us in all things according to the will of the Father. Others may have the power to help us but they do not have the love or desire to help. Jesus has both the love and the might to help us.
The Messiah has the Spirit of knowledge. Jesus is all knowing, Jesus knows our hearts, and He knows all the facts. There are times that we make decisions that to others seem strange or wrong but they do not have the knowledge that we have. Jesus has the knowledge that we do not have so it will seem strange to us the decisions we are led to make.
The Messiah has the Spirit of the fear of the Lord. At all times Jesus was submissive to the will of the Father. At all times Jesus had reverent fear and showed honor towards God His Father.
These seven Spirits of God are not the only characteristics of the Holy Spirit but they are grouped together in “seven” to show the fullness of perfection of the Holy Spirit. This passage from Isaiah is behind the term of the sevenfold Spirit of God in the book of Revelation. (Revelation 1:4; 3:1; 4:5; 5:6) There are not seven separate Spirits of the Lord but these are characteristics of the Spirit of the Lord.
Jesus ministered as a man filled with the Spirit of God. He was filled with the wisdom, counsel, might, knowledge, and the fear of the Lord. These characteristics all flowed not from His own deity but from His reliance upon the Spirit of the Lord. Jesus always had these attributes from eternity but emptied them at His incarnation. Jesus was submissive and allowed the Holy Spirit to lead Him as a man. Thus giving us an eternal example and is able to sympathize with us. Jesus was able to display the fruits of the Spirit to its fullest, as He was a perfect vessel and received the Spirit without measure. (John 3:34) His example is that He fought all the battles that men fight and overcame with the power of the Holy Spirit.
The seven characteristics of the nature of the Spirit of the Lord also describe the nature of Jesus. There is no difference between the nature of Jesus and the nature of the Holy Spirit. When we see Jesus we see the Father. (John 14:9) When we see the ministry of the Spirit of the Lord it should be as the ministry and nature of Jesus.
Nothing pleased Jesus more than doing the will of His Father. “Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.” (John 4:34)
The Judgments of Jesus will be in righteousness. He will not judge based on appearances, neither by the words of what someone has spoken. If Jesus will not cheat the poor of justice and if they are given justice, then all will receive justice also.
The words of Jesus is the Word of God and will have the power to judge the wicked. By His word, He will announce judgment and it will be done. “Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming.” (2 Thessalonians 2:8) Jesus is righteousness and justice as these attributes are belts around His waist. All that Jesus does is from His righteousness and justice.
In the reign of the Messiah, all of nature will be transformed. There no longer will be predators among the animals. The animals will seemingly be herbivores and not eat the meat of other animals. “For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.” (Romans 8:19-22)
The animals will not only have a change in the way they relate to each other but also towards the way they relate to humans. Even a child will be safe and able to lead the wolf and leopard, and also the lion and the bear. Snakes will no longer strike fear into the hearts of people. The fear that men have of animals and the fear of the animals of men will be reversed during the reign of the Messiah. (Genesis 9:2-3) All the earth will have a relational knowledge of the Lord and not just intellectually. During the Millennial reign of the Messiah, men will see His glory.
The theme of the Remnant is integral to Isaiah’s vision. The desolation of all things would bring an end to one era, while the salvation of the remnant opens up the new world.
When He judged the Old Testament people, the Lord saved a small community to be the core of a new beginning. Because the population had been decimated, it was a very small beginning. This new beginning was depicted as a branch, a stump, a community of the poor and needy, or handpicked grain. The Lord promised that this small community would swell into a huge multitude that comes out of both Israel and the Gentile nations.
In Isaiah, the exiles represent the whole remnant community from the prophet’s day until the coming of the Lord Jesus. The prophecy calls upon the remnant to leave their world of separation from God and His blessings to walk in the light of the new order – with life, peace, joy, and reconciliation – and return home to Zion, the city of God. These faithful people hear and believe the good news that God is coming to reward them. They have repented of their rebelliousness and have put their trust in the Lord.
The reign of the Messiah will not only be for the Jew but will also include the Gentiles. The Lord shall stand as a banner for all the people, lifted high to draw all people to Him. We have seen the banner used before to call the nations to judgment against Israel. (Isaiah 5:26) Here the banner calls the nations to the blessings of the Messiah. During the reign of the Messiah, there will be a second Exodus of the Jewish people. They will come not only from Egypt but from all the nations where they have been dispersed.
During the reign of the Messiah, nations shall not war against each other no more. The conflicts of the nations shall be quickly and justly settled by the Messiah and His government. Those nations that remain in disobedience here called Philistines, Edom, Moab, and Ammon, the traditional enemies of Israel will be punished. There will be no obstacle for the gathering of God’s people as no government can oppose the reign of the Messiah.