Advent 2017: Joy to the World: Day 5

The Stem of Jesse

by

Today's Text: 1 Samuel 16:6-13, Isaiah 11:1-6, Isaiah 53:2-3, Matthew 12:22-23, Matthew 22:41-46, Revelation 22:16

Scripture Reading: 1 Samuel 16:6-13, Isaiah 11:1-6, Isaiah 53:2-3, Matthew 12:22-23, Matthew 22:41-46, Revelation 22:16

A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices.
For yonder breaks, a new and glorious morn!

I love this line from the Christmas carol “O Holy Night.” The world was weary, tired, and broken. Yet, when Christ was born, hope came alive!

Since the fall of mankind, God had given promises that He would one day send a Redeemer to save His people from their sins. In Jesus, this promise came to fruition—what the world had been longing for finally came true! But the night of their waiting had been long. At times it must have seemed endless.

Long before the nation of Israel had entered the Promised Land, Balaam proclaimed that a star would come from Jacob (Numbers 24:17). A star was a symbol of a powerful kingdom that was to come that would subdue its enemies. The Messiah would be the true star that came from Jacob, one who would subdue His enemies and bring everything subject under His rule. The “Morning Star” became a natural reminder of this promise when it appeared in the sky every morning. The planet Venus, also called the “Morning Star,” is the brightest star in the sky and appears in the east, serving as an indication that the night is coming to an end. It was a reminder that night—whether physical or metaphorical—does not last forever.

Isaiah prophesied about the destruction that was to come to the kingdom of Judah. Indeed, in 586 BC, Judah was cut off—destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon—and viewed as a “stump.” But, Isaiah also prophesied that “a shoot will grow from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit” (Isaiah 11:1). Jesse was the father of King David, the one from whom Israel knew the Messiah would come. With this prophecy from Isaiah, God reaffirmed the promise He made to David that his line would endure forever (2 Samuel 7:16). This new line signified a new beginning, one free from the corruption of the later kings of Judah.

Like the Morning Star, tree stumps provided hope for God’s people. When the stump of a healthy tree is left in the ground, it can produce new trees. Though the tree has been cut down, sprouts can appear around the stump and can grow into viable trees themselves. In the same way, the Israelites believed God would restore them through the Messiah. Even though they had been cut off, God could sprout lasting hope from a stump.

Jesus is the fulfillment of all God had promised to His people. In Revelation 22:16, Christ says, “I am the root and descendant of David, the bright morning star.” He is the One they’d waited for, the One they’d hoped for.

However dark or long our night of waiting, we must remember the faithfulness of the Lord. All His promises are fulfilled in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 1:20). We can get caught up in the thrill of hope, the excitement, the joy, because we are confident and secure in Him. When we hope and trust in Christ, we will not be disappointed (Romans 5:5).

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  • Kelsey Bender

    Hope. ❤️

  • Throughout the Old Testament passages today, the theme of God looking not to the outside but the inside kept appearing. David was the runt of the litter and Jesus wasn’t the great warrior the Jews were expecting, but God used them for great things. We may not look special on the outside, but God can work through us to accomplish His purpose!

    • Angelica Ging

      I love how God uses the ordinary to do the extraordinary. He doesn’t need us to do his work but he still uses us

  • Danielle

    This was a really great reminder that the night doesn’t last and that God will follow through. I really needed it today, thank you!

  • Deone Emineth

    The world needs to know this about the coming of Christ. Let us let the whole world know this Christmas!

  • Kasey Summers

    The night doesn’t last. Needed this reminder this morning.

  • Stephanie D

    This is my favorite day so far.
    It’s a wonderful story God has written to us. I love seeing how the promise of Jesus is so intricately woven throughout Scripture from beginning to end. I loved Isaiah 11 where it is pointing to Jesus and talks of the the man to come.
    The spirit of the Lord will rest on Him, spirit of wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, and fear of the Lord.
    He will delight in obeying the Lord, give justice, make fair decisions, the earth will shake at the force of His word, and He will wear righteousness and truth.
    What a God we serve ladies.
    He is like no other. May this put a little pep in your step today!!

  • Vanessa

    I kid you not…. “Oh Holy Night” played on my playlist just after I read the lyrics and saw the song title. Coincidence?

  • Amy Geer

    Any other Moravians out there reminded of the “Morning Star” hymn traditionally sung at a lovefeast service on Christmas Eve? I was one of the children’s soloists of this hymn for several years at my home church. Reading this today brought back many memories!

  • Kelly R Smith

    “We can get caught up in the thrill of hope, the excitement, the joy, because we are confident and secure in Him.” Because Jesus is a “Man of Sorrows,” I sometimes need this permission to be excited about His birth. I feel the heaviness of my sin when I consider the sacrifice He made–leaving heaven to redeem us. His salvation *should* bring hope, excitement, and joy! I will let my heart rejoice in the hope of Jesus!

  • Crystal WIlliams

    I cried. I cried as I ran up to my husband, shouting “look… look at this!” I flipped through and read every scripture out loud from this devotional to him with tears accumulating in my eyes. From Numbers to Revelation my heart raced as I read each of the prophecies foretold and the promises made by God of our “Morning Star” or “Root”. Oh, how sweet it is to know Jesus. I love learning more and more about him. I will never see a stump or sprout the same. Thank you! <3

    • Lauren

      Thank you for this! Your response to the word encouraged me to go back and pay closer attention to each of the scriptures and how they all work together. Amazing!

      • Crystal Williams

        You’re very welcome, Lauren. Scripture is ALIVE and beautiful and ever moving our hearts. <3

  • “Night – whether physical or metaphorical – doesn’t last forever.” So thankful for new mercies every morning. Loving this study so far!! ♥️

  • This is such a beautiful reminder! I love the season of advent. This has been an incredibly hard year for so many of my friends. His plan and promises provide hope on even the darkest nights

  • Ashley Rowell

    What a great reminder considering all that is going on in the world right now. As someone who lives abroad in politically tumultuous times, I find comfort in the promises God fulfilled even centuries after they were promised.
    I recently had a friend paint “the weary world rejoices” on wood to put in my bathroom as decoration to remind me of these truths!

  • Even in our waiting period, there is always hope.

  • ❤️

  • Kathy Martella

    With every Stump, Proust new life. Amazing

  • Kathy Martella

    This is an amazing devotional.

  • Kristi Veis

    I am weary and I am glad I have someone to rejoice in. Thank you Father for sending Jesus to us! I need that morning star reminder on a daily basis that my day is new again, fresh and can hold many bright happenings. Be blessed my friends!

    • Melissa

      Praying you continue to rejoice in Him! Feel refreshed to hear how in even when weary you rejoice. Blessings to you too!

  • I am a college student heading into finals week and this is just what I needed to hear today. It’s okay to get caught up in the thrill of hope!! The weary world rejoices because in the birth of Christ this Christmas is a new and glorious morn!

    • MeliJ

      I just finished my semester & I totally agree with this! It’s so easy to get discouraged and ignore the hope that we have & have found in Christ. Good luck during your finals! Praying for peace, clarity, and that you’re able to focus on the tasks in front of you!!

  • Christmas… it happens to come at the end of the year when we’re all feeling the weight of this weary, broken world. I hear so many people talking about 2018 wanting to just leave this one behind and stating how next year “is going to be a better year!” But year after year, we feel that same weariness to some extent.

    This is why I love advent. It speaks directly to the brokenness I feel and reminds me of enduring, lasting only ever-increasing hope- Jesus Christ.

    Oh Lord, I’m waiting for you again this advent. Fill me with your peace and hope that my energy and joy this Christmas would be noticed and bring glory to you.

  • @clairebear & @condog So blessed to be doing life with you! Thankful for this Advent season. What a beautiful reminder of thousands of years of preparation for His coming. I’m convicted today by the verse, “..for humans see what is visible, but the Lord sees the heart.”

  • Lindsey Abercrombie

    I love the line “night—whether physical or metaphorical—will end.” Lately I have been having a lot of Night in my life, and I am so grateful to have God in my life. Thank you all for making such a lovely community:)

  • This reminded me of the parable of the good soil. It’s our job to make sure that we’re good soil, firmly planted in Christ. That gives me hope that no matter what happens in life, how short I feel cut down, God will always allow something more beautiful to grow in place of what was.

  • ❤️

  • Rachel Samuelson

    What an awesome God we have! “Even though they’d been cut off, God could sprout lasting hope from a stump.” I love that! Thinking about things in my life and the lives of those I love that seem to be dead that God can surely bring new life to. ❤️ Hope is powerful.

  • Heather64

    Praying. I know the feeling very well. I was laid off from a retail company that I had been with a long time. It has only strengthened my trust in God and made me look forward to what great things He has planned for me.

  • Crystal Mendez

    I’ve heard hope defined as the confident expectation that good is coming. In every situation and circumstance, may our lives be overshadowed by hope and not by despair. Since Jesus, the greatest good, came to earth and is coming again, may we confidently expect that He will fulfill every promise God has made!

  • Diane Huntsman

    ‘All is calm all is bright’ although our world is anything but calm and bright these days, I love that Jesus is the calm.. Jesus is the bright.. no matter how tumultuous life may get around us, the safety net, the calm in the storm is always Jesus.. the anchor to our lives that are often tossed about on the sea of uncertainty.. no matter how dark it gets, terrorists attacks, natural disasters, sickness.. Jesus brings the light in the promise of the hope to come! This place we cling to is not our true home.. pilgrims passing through.. a pit stop if you will.. Jesus was born to die that we might live with Him for all eternity.. any amazing thing here on earth pales in comparison to that reality.. I love Christmastime because the promised messiah came.. the prophesies about Him were fulfilled.. He went from swaddled clothes in a manger to nailed hands and feet on a cross because of love.. so much to celebrate during this season of advent.. yes, even in the face of a world wreaked with havoc, there is so much to celebrate in the person of Christ.. all is calm all is bright.

    • Alli

      I love this Diane, clinging to these truths this holiday season!

    • EarlyBird

      Absolutely beautiful thoughts. Thanks for sharing. I’ve read your words several times and feel a sense of calm wash over me. Yes. Jesus is our calm, He is our bright, no matter what.

  • Praying for you and your family Natalia.

  • Natalia

    Dear friends can you praye for my family this morning . My husband was suspended from his job last night. He has been a faithful employee for the past 17 years. He worked hard, a great leader and many times putting his work before us. In 17 years he has never been able to spend Christmas season with us, he runs a store and as we know during this season those working in retail have no life. The thing is for the past couple of weeks he’s been telling me that after Christmas season he was ready to start something new. He now realized how much work he has put into his job to the point to put his job before us many times. He has been suspended because he first reported his assistant stealing from him so now his assistant reported him for staying late working. There are rules and yes my husband is clear he shouldn’t have not stayed late but he did it because he is way to responsible and he was doing the job his employees were supossed to do. It’s a sad situation, we’ve been struggling financially and sadly our savings are gone. It’s been a very difficult end of a year. Amazingly we are both at peace, we know that God has a bigger plan for us and we see this as a time for a change. Suspension in this company always leads to firing. He will know tomorrrow but no matter what happens we j is that God has everything under control. I’m just asking for prayers so that God can give us direction to what to do next. We want to follow what the Lord has for us, that’s the path we want to follow. Materials things are nothing , a nice car we work hard for maybe we will have to sell? Praise the Lord we have a second one paid off. We live in a very small apartment the 4 of us but we have family with homes and they are willing to help. What I’m trying to say is that that fear of loosing things of course is there but those things are easy to replace and I know deep in my heart that everything is going to be ok. My husband stared going to church maybe 5 months ago, something I’ve been praying for since we met each other almost 18 years ago, and he still haven’t deaclare the Lord as his savior but he so calm during this process and I believe it is the Lord working on him. Friends I’m sorry this is so long but I needed to open my heart this morning to you all! Have a great day and please keep us in yours prayer, his name is Luis.

    • Natalia

      I apologize for the typos, this phone always betrays me

    • Carrie

      Praying for you and your family!

    • Jessie

      Praying for you and Luis, Natalia.

    • Tova

      Praying!

    • Lindsay

      Praying for you during this time of waiting. I went through a similar situation about 5 years ago when my husband was out of work. God is faithful! In hindsight, I can see how He worked in all areas of our life then. He provided when it looked like we would have nothing, he strengthened our trust in him, and he brought us through knowing that we can fully depend on him.

    • Mari

      Praying for you Natalia and Luis. May you feel the Lords comfort.

    • Cindybelle

      ❤️❤️❤️

    • Melissa Hill

      Sending prayers for you & your family.

    • Bree

      Praying for you and your husband.

    • Blessed

      I will keep you all in my prayers. God has a plan. It may be dark right now, but His Light is shining. Now, your husband CAN spend Christmas with his family. Look to the blessings. Remain faithful. God’s got you.
      ❤️

    • Brittany

      Praying for you Natalia…your faithfulness in God is amazing and God will pull you through this!

    • Melissa

      Dear Natalia, praying for you and your family!! May you continue to feel the peace that passes understanding.

    • KathyH

      Dear Natalia— thank you for sharing with us. First , I pray that the Lord becomes Luis’ savior and sure foundation. He sounds like a great provider and family man… may he come to depend on The Provider. Our family has dealt with layoffs and job losses several times over the past 34 years and God is always faithful… maybe not in the way we expected or hoped but His plan is better. I am praying that you see God and His presence in all of these hard things. May your Christmas be joy filled!

    • Clare

      Natalia, thank you for you honesty and your faith, what an example. Praying for you and your family that God will repay you for the honest hard work and that he would be the bright morning star in this situation x

  • How beautiful that the story of Christ himself begins in darkness and great need. Israel been cut down and the people found in captivity, needing rescue and restoration. Mary and Joseph journeyed through the darkness in the pains of ka our, needing rest and home. It’s a beautiful picture of how Christ always meets us at our deepest need, our dark despair serving to better illuminate his light. I am reminded of a quote by Spurgeon: “Hope itself is like a star- not to be seen in the sunshine of prosperity, and only to be discovered in the night of adversity.” If you are in the dark of night, be comforted. Morning is coming, salvation is here!

    • Rhonda

      Agree, such a beautiful reminder of God’s deep love for us and of His faithfulness to fulfill His promises – always. This brought comfort to me along with Spurgeon’s quote you shared. Thanks for sharing. Yes, thankfully our salvation is near!

  • It is so comforting to know that God always comes through and makes good on His promises. If He was faithful in the most painful promise of sending Jesus to die for us, how will He not be faithful in every other promise? I read a book called captivating, which talks about our desires as women and how we become thriving women of God. One Corr desire they point out is out desire for someone to come through us. Unfortunately, we typically bring our question to the world seeing if anyone values us enough to come through for us. This only leads to disappointment at some time or another. We actually need to bring our question to God who gives us out value and who will always come through for us. So thankful for His faithfulness!

  • Lacey Hankins

    I’ve had the same problem! I found that interesting day 34 when there’s only 29 days

  • Gracie Brim

    It’s always reassuring to me to remember that Christians waited for centuries to see the coming of our savior. I have no doubt that many faltered in their faith, but once Christ appeared many knew their waiting had not been in vain. It’s such an important reminder for us, whom know the story of Jesus, when God has us wait for something we believe we need urgently. His timing is the only timing we should worry about for His faithfulness and love for js trumps all else.

  • Eustacia

    “Jesus is the fulfillment of all God promised to his people”. Such a powerful statement! Great reminder that not only is He the promised one, but he’s the fulfillment of the promises of God. In Jesus I find everything I need or could hope for…In a world where we find many disappointments, it’s sweet to know that as we trust Him, He Will Not Disappoint! No matter how it looks now, I know He’ll come through.

  • Stephanie Hamilton

    I discovered something interesting. In the OT the give some visual description of what David looks like. In the NT the writers do not give any visual description of Jesus. I wonder why?
    I love the layout of all the prophecies chart about the coming Messiah in the book!!!

    • Pam B

      The Bible does give a simple description of Jesus, it’s in Isaiah 53:2, “There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him.” The Bible doesn’t say he was unattractive, he just wasn’t graced with beauty. It’s probably a good thing, otherwise people would have been attracted to Jesus, perhaps, for the wrong reasons.

      • Stephanie Hamilton

        True, I was thinking the same thing. I just meant eye color, and body type. But thanks for the verse.

  • Carrie Rogers

    Praise the Lord!

  • I just have to say that I love going through the old testament and seeing Jesus there before we jump into the Christmas story. I’ve tried a few advent books and devos and the underlined theme pointed to us, and me and what I get from advent…and didn’t draw my focus to Jesus. I’m glad I started this one, and found one that is truly centered on keeping our eyes and hope on Jesus Christ.

    • Emily B.

      I agree! It’s so great to see how different parts of the Bible work together.

  • Karen From Virginia

    The Morningstar is Venus. What a smile it put in my heart. A longing to see the dawn. To see the Morningstar that brings hope. I love hope. I love the True Morningstar that gives hope to this weary world.

    • Christmas 1963 was a sad time in our country. President Kennedy had been assassinated the month before, and America was in mourning. I had turned 16 ten days before the assassination. As I packed my books for the Christmas break, I stopped by the school library to get a novel to read over those two weeks. I chose “Marjorie Morningstar” by Herman Wouk. Its story of a young girl growing into womanhood was a comfort during that difficult time. Marjorie’s last name “Morningstar” fascinated me in a way I couldn’t explain. It would frequently come to mind down through the years, unbidden, and make me smile. Today I am beginning to understand why.

  • This is such a beautiful reminder! I love the season of advent. This has been an incredibly hard year for my fiance and I but the Lord has been so good to us and taught us so much and we were truly able to experience the light of the morning star! His plan and promises provide hope on even the darkest nights

  • The thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices — one of my favorite lines. Hope was perfected through Christ. Praise Him that there’s always dawn. Pain, suffering, and darkness may be a part of the night, but joy will always come in the morning!

  • Ashli Rouw

    This was perfection. I never knew Venus is called the morning star! It fits so well with how God created this all so He knows the perfect analogies to give us humans. He always knows how to help us connect with Him! All through Jesus, it is well!

  • Thank you for reminding me that tears may come in the night but the Morning Star brings a new day of hope. I struggle with someone very dear to me who has an addiction but through all the mess I just look up and God is still in control. And His promises will be fulfilled…..Hope!

  • Kezia Goodman

    I’m just loving these Advent devotionals. They are affirming to me that celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ and what he symbolizes, what he brought to the world-hope is very important to the root of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. My mission is to spread the Gospel,the good news, Hope and the only way I can do that effectively is to know the God of hope. I’m getting to know the character of my Savior. Thank you SRT.

  • I’ve just suffered a miscarriage. These words speak right to my heart, that even though the night of waiting might be long, Jesus can bring life into that very place that suffered loss.

    • Sunny

      My heart is heavy for you! I am so sorry for your loss. May you feel his loving arms wrapped around you and find solace in him. He knows your pain. He is your light and your dawn.

    • Jeanna

      Oh Bella, I am so sorry. If I could wrap my mama arms around you, I would. I lift you up today in our common Hope, before Christ the King. Lord, wrap Bella in your loving arms even now. Heal her heart in Jesus’ name and in her grief, be the Lifter of her head.

    • Ruth

      Sweet Bella, I’m very sorry to hear this. I too suffered a miscarriage in December three years ago, and it’s just such a hard thing, especially this time of year. I found comfort in Ellie Holcomb’s song “Hope is Alive”. Perhaps you might too? Love and prayers your way…

    • Wendy Garner

      Bella, I am very sorry for the loss of your child. Our first baby was miscarried 11 years ago on December 4. We also lost our 4th child to miscarriage 5 years ago. Praying for God’s comfort and healing for you. And for Him to fill your arms with a baby in His perfect time and perfect way. He is good, loving, and always with You. Hope in Him and wait on Him. Watermark’s Glory Baby ministered to me, and I still love it.

    • Linsey Carter

      I’m so sorry to hear this and am praying for you now. I’ve just gone through the same thing in October and your post really spoke to me. I’d just read the devotion but had not connected it to my current situation for some reason. Thank you so much for sharing. I’m praying for you what I’ve been praying for myself, that when Gods perfect timing comes, he will choose to bless us again.

    • laura

      Oh Bella, I am sorry and my heart goes out to you. I too had a miscarriage in 2015 and it was a very dark time for me, but I’ve never felt God’s presence so close and voice so loving as during that time. He is close to the broken hearted and binds up our wounds. although it is such a hard situation to walk through and understand we can always, always, always trust that He is God and He is good. may He be near you, remind you of his promises, and bring your heart peace. the first face your baby now gets to see if Jesus. ❤

    • Cassie Kendall

      Praying for you in this hard time. I’m happy you are here with all these people who love and support you! I hope you feel a sense of peace and love today and that you also feel our prayers for you <3

    • Ruth

      Praying for God to heal and and comfort you in this difficult time. We had a miscarriage and found out in December of 2013 and had another one in September of 2014. I know what you’re going through is so very hard. God blessed us with a beautiful little girl, Whitley Alan, who was born 2 days before my birthday this year. After our first daughter, Oakley was born and we experienced our losses, we learned that I have a blood clot disorder. I had to have 567 shots in the stomach (2 per day) during and after my pregnancy with Whitley. Her name means “from the white field” which is a symbol of purity and a new start. I’m praying that God will bless you with a beautiful, healthy baby in His time and that He will hold you close in the waiting. (I hope this encourages you somehow, the wait seemed long and hard, but God never left. He is always faithful)!!

    • Emily

      Aw bella, my heart hurts for you this morning. I suffered a miscarriage in March and know the grief/confusion/ache as well. Praying the deep longing would draw you to Christ’s comfort in this season and an even deeper relationship with Him.

  • Churchmouse

    Yes this is indeed a weary world. Then and now. The only hope, then and now, is Jesus. So grateful for Him. It is dark but He is ever the bright Morning Star. How great is His faithfulness.

  • Did anyone skip day 5 and jump to 34??

    • Melissa

      I think it must be a typo or something.

    • Rose

      I thought I slept for 30 days. Lol
      Glad is just not me..

    • Kim Walters

      Has to b a typo…. only 29 days in the plan haha

    • Elisabeth7291

      There have been errors in the days in the last several plans. The last plan had two day 20s, I think it was. The one before that jumped around quite a bit.

    • Ramona

      Funny- I wouldn’t have noticed if you didn’t mention it. it seems to be the proper content.

    • Stephanie Parrish

      Glad it’s not just my app.. had to sign in all over again and restore my app purchases too!

    • Bessie

      I love you ladies! It is like being with dear friends first thing in the morning. You make me laugh, cry, think, pray, and most of all say ‘Praise the Lord, for His goodness is Everlasting!”

      Have a good day! This will be a challenging one for me and I needed you all this morning.

      • Brooke

        I agree! I live in a very small community where there are few -very few believers to worship and fellowship with. I very much appreciate and enjoy this community here! I learn so much from all of you!

    • Joyce

      Yes

    • Amanda Bible Williams

      Hi friends! It was a technical glitch. It’s been fixed now. Today is indeed Day 5. We didn’t miss Christmas! ;)

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