Day 17

Root of Jesse, Come

from the Advent 2023 reading plan

Jeremiah 23:5-6, Isaiah 11:1-10, Psalm 57:2-3, Romans 15:4-13, Revelation 5:5

BY Erin Davis

O Root of Jesse, standing as a sign among the peoples;
before you kings will shut their mouths,
to you the nations will make their prayer:
Come and deliver us, and delay no longer.

A long time ago, God sent a promise: a forever King would come from the house of Jesse. In a day of spiritual darkness, the prophet’s ears tingled with the news: “Fill your horn with oil and go. I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem because I have selected for myself a king from his sons” (1Samuel 16:1). 

That son, of course, was David, the one who slayed giants and pursued the heart of God. Among the many kings of Israel, David stands apart. So much so that God doubled down on His promise, “But my faithful love will never leave him as it did when I removed it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your house and kingdom will endure before me forever, and your throne will be established forever” (2Samuel 7:15–16). A never-ending throne and an ever-enduring kingdom: that sure sounds nice. But David’s bones are buried just like the kings before and after him. His throne room has been toppled. His kingdom lies in ruins. 

Ah, but that’s just the start of the story. God’s promises go far beyond the rule of a single human king. For Jesse’s family tree to endure, it needed more than one, sturdy branch. Look deeper. 

“ ‘Look, the days are coming’—this is the LORD’s declaration—
‘when I will raise up a Righteous Branch for David. 
He will reign wisely as king
and administer justice and righteousness in the land.” 
—Jeremiah 23:5

God always keeps His promises. Though David was a great king, he was not the Promised One. He is merely a foreshadowing of the King who was to come. 

That king, of course, is Jesus, born in the line of David. There He is, right there in the pages of your Bible, an eternal King on a forever throne:

An account of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David…
—Matthew 1:1 

This season reverberates with glad tidings of the greatest joy. Our King arrived in a stable, and His throne alone will endure. For now, other kings will come and go. Other kingdoms will rise and fall. Ah, but that’s just the start of the story. There’s a grander story still at work. 

He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will have no end. 
—Luke 1:33

This Christmas and for always, all hail our forever King.

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