The pre-Christmas buzz

    14-Dec-2022
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Lunminthang Haokip
A SHOOT FROM THE STUMP OF JESSE: Isaiah 11:1. “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots, a Branch will bear fruit.” We all have our roots in our ancestry. Lord Jesus also had His physical roots in the lineage of Jesse. Jesse was the father of king David. Of the genealogy of Jesse, Ruth 4:22 records, “And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.” David stood central in the lineage of Jesse. But in the above verse in Isaiah 11:1, ‘The Shoot was linked to Jesse, and not to David.’ It was so to prove a point that the Messiah would be a lowly and humble Lord, born and placed on the manger of an animal shed who would, however, have the divine power to deliver any human, high or low, from the clutch of sin men inherit from the first parents. Philippians 2:7 gels well His ordinary birth and upbringing, “But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” His ancestry was compared to the stump of a tree because, in the past 600 years before His birth, no historically prominent personality emerged from Jesse’s lineage. Jesus was the ‘Shoot’ that stemmed out of a mundane ‘stump.’ The words He shot out in critical turns of His life on earth ‘stumped’ the wisest players in the scene.
 THE FAITH OF RUTH WAS A GAME-CHANGER: Psalm 34:15 says, “The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and His ears are open unto their cry.” Ruth had no impressive ancestry. She was not from the chosen tribe of Israel. She was a Moabitess. The Moabites were West Semitic people who lived in the highlands east of the Dead Sea (now in west-central Jordan). The unfaith of the famine-scared Bethlehem-resident-Elimelech family led to their temporay shifting of base to Moab. Ruth happened to marry Mahlon, the elder son of Elimelech and Naomi. She was ill-fated to have become a widow at a young age. When ‘bitter’ Naomi was itching to return to her original place, she told her hubby-less daughters-in-law to return to their parental homes. Orpah, the younger widow grabbed the ‘freedom’ permission. But Ruth, having tasted the truth of Jehovah God in her in-laws’ home, would not settle for anything less. Her faith-enriched answer to Naomi’s opportunistic approach left her mom-in-law dumb-founded, “Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.” The righteousness Ruth exhibited catapulted her status to creating a niche for herself in the ‘royal’ hierarchy of Christ’s family tree (Matthew 1:5).
GOD POURED OUT HIS LOVE TO MAKE US HIS OWN: When a tree is cut down, the better part of the stem is gone. The stump that is left finds it hard to survive. We all have a family tree. If our forefathers knew no God and lived according to the dictats of the flesh, we their descendants inherit a dead stump. Nothing good appears to come out of such a stump. Within 600 years before the birth of the messiah, Jesse’s lineage could not produce any outstanding ‘branch.’ But Jehovah’s efforts to salvage mankind from the trickery of the devil’s ploy to destroy souls through sin, never ceased. God’s heart throbbed with love for men He had created in His own image (Genesis 1:26). His desire was to reclaim souls-gone-berserk and make them His own children again. 1 John 3:1 says, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him.” Jehovah gave us His Word so that we may know Him for what He is worth. Once faith in the LORD through meditation of His Word activates our spiritual sanity, ‘We come to our sense, and to ourselves, like the prodigal son did (Luke 15:17).’ There begins our journey back to our Craeator’s favour. We become a shoot that stems out of our ancestral ‘deadness’ of spirit. The Spirit enlivens our spirit to wake up to divine prompting. The the be-all and end-all of Christ’s birth and crucifixion on the cross was to facilitate our ‘sonship’ in the family of God.
 TREASURES OF WISDOM HIDDEN IN CHRIST: Isaiah 11:2, The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him - the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding ....” Jesus is the wisdom of God. Many worldly figures thought they were the ultimate in wisdom. They had to cut a sorry figure. Without accepting Jesus as one’s personal Lord and Saviour, what man regarded as ‘wisdom’ will result in the contrary culmination. Human wisdom is no patch on the wisdom from above.
(To be contd)