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. Rachel Samuelson says:

    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.

  2. Heather64 says:

    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.

    1. Heather64 says:

      This is for Natalia. The app jumped all the way down here.

  3. Crystal Mendez says:

    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!

    1. Courtney says:

      I love this! Thank you for sharing!

  4. Diane Huntsman says:

    ‘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.

    1. Alli says:

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

    2. EarlyBird says:

      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.

  5. Ashley says:

    Praying for you and your family Natalia.

  6. Natalia says:

    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.

    1. Natalia says:

      I apologize for the typos, this phone always betrays me

    2. Carrie says:

      Praying for you and your family!

    3. Jessie says:

      Praying for you and Luis, Natalia.

      1. Michelle says:

        Praying for you and your family!

    4. Tova says:

      Praying!

    5. Lindsay says:

      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.

    6. Mari says:

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

    7. Cindybelle says:

      ❤️❤️❤️

    8. Melissa Hill says:

      Sending prayers for you & your family.

    9. Bree says:

      Praying for you and your husband.

    10. Blessed says:

      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.
      ❤️

    11. Brittany says:

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

    12. Melissa says:

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

    13. KathyH says:

      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!

    14. Clare says:

      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

  7. Sharon says:

    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!

    1. Rhonda says:

      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!

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