Day 5

The Stem of Jesse

from the Advent 2017: Joy to the World reading plan


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

BY Missy Fuller

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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Post Comments (106)

106 thoughts on "The Stem of Jesse"

  1. Erica says:

    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!

  2. Lacey Hankins says:

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

  3. Gracie Brim says:

    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.

  4. Eustacia says:

    “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.

  5. Stephanie Hamilton says:

    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!!!

    1. Pam B says:

      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.

      1. Stephanie Hamilton says:

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

  6. Carrie Rogers says:

    Praise the Lord!

  7. laura says:

    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.

    1. Emily B. says:

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

  8. Karen From Virginia says:

    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.

    1. Lyn says:

      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.

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