Daily Prayer Guide: Monday Dec 7

Bible Reading

Isaiah 11:1-10

1A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. 2 The spirit of the LORD shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. 3 His delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear; 4 but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; 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 around his waist, and faithfulness the belt around his loins. 6 The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. 7 The cow and the bear shall graze, their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. 8 The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.

9 They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. 10 On that day the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples; the nations shall inquire of him, and his dwelling shall be glorious.

Meditation

News reports in Isaiah’s day must have seemed hopeless as Assyria conquered the northern tribes of Israel and invaded the towns of Judah. Isaiah foresaw a time when Jerusalem itself would fall, and the royal line of David would be cut down like a “stump” (v. 1). Despite all this, Isaiah saw above and beyond the current disaster to a time when God’s promises would be fulfilled and a new king would rule, a king fully guided and empowered by the Spirit of the Lord to renew Israel, the nations, and all the earth!

Verse 3 tells us that this king “will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears” (NIV). In contrast, our lives are influenced by a cacophony of voices and images telling us what to think. When Christ appears, all these other competing voices of our culture will fade away. We will hear directly from the Lord, and when that happens, everything will change. (See 1 John 3:2.)

Isaiah’s imagery of children living beside lions and vipers (vv. 6-8) tells us what the world will be like when Christ appears and reigns. “They will neither harm nor destroy,” and God’s glory will be revealed over all the earth (vv. 9-10).

As Cornelius Plantinga writes: “This webbing together of God, humans, and all creation in justice, fulfillment, and delight is what the Hebrew prophets called shalom. We call it ‘peace,’ but it means far more than just peace of mind or cease-fire between enemies…. In the Bible, shalom means universal flourishing, wholeness, and delight – a rich state of affairs in which natural needs are satisfied and natural gifts fruitfully employed, all under the arch of God’s love.” [Engaging God’s World: A Christian Vision of Faith, Learning, and Living, 14-15]

Reflection and Prayer

Spend some time in silence, considering what a world of justice, a world set right will be like when Jesus returns and reigns.

Ask God for discernment from the Holy Spirit to see today’s world as he sees it: not as a disaster to be abandoned, but as a ‘stump’ that can bring forth new life and growth.

How can our lives better reflect the hope we have in God’s ultimate restoration of the world? Pray for wisdom to invest our lives in things that will live on into the new creation.

Written by Sean Fahy

Click here to download Week 2 Prayer Guide: Sun Dec 6-Sat Dec 12

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Love All

Act Local: Share gifts of time and resources with those in our community. At the Impact Tree in the Atrium, find opportunities available for individuals, families and life groups. All the information you need will be on the cards by the Tree. Take a card – put an ornament on the tree.

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