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. Kathy Martella says:

    With every Stump, Proust new life. Amazing

  2. Kathy Martella says:

    This is an amazing devotional.

  3. Kristi Veis says:

    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!

    1. Melissa says:

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

  4. Shelby says:

    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!

    1. MeliJ says:

      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!!

  5. Jess G says:

    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.

    1. BSan says:

      Beautiful!

    2. Liz C says:

      Thank you for these words. I feel just like this and I’m also one of the ones hoping for a better 2018.

  6. Jayme says:

    @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.”

    1. Katy Dennis says:

      This caught me as well!

    2. Jaclyn says:

      This spoke right to my heart as well

  7. Lindsey Abercrombie says:

    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:)

    1. BSan says:

      I didn’t realize what that meant! Thank you and Amen! Amen! Praise Jesus!

  8. Meg says:

    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.

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