Isaiah Week TWO
The Branch of Jesse – What God Can do when all seems lost
- Can you think of a time when you felt things had reached rock bottom, but then turned around, and good came from it? Share this in the group.
- Either sing a song that reflects what God can do by his Spirit, read Psalm 72 - focusing on the character of God’s chosen King
- Praise God for the way he has worked in what you have Shared previously.
- Background: Isaiah has been talking about what will happen to God’s people as a result of their rebellion against him, and here he picks up again a returning theme- that despite all that will happen ‘something’ will remain – in terms of the people this is referred to as a ‘remnant’ – in terms of a coming Saviour a ‘stump’ . for more background on the doctrine of the remnant see Isaiah 10:20-23, Jeremiah 50:20, and Paul’s New Testament Commentary in Romans 11:1-10.
- Read:Isaiah 11:1-10 ‘A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse
- Big Idea:This is prophecy which looks forward to a time that is yet to be. From our 21st Century perspective we can recognise a prophetic announcement of the coming of Christ the first time – but the emphasis is on his Character, and the nature of the Kingdom that He will ultimately bring into being. The application could equally apply to the character of the People of God and to their role in bringing in God’s kingdom.
- Questions you might want to ask:
- Looking at v.1: what do you understand Isaiah to be talking about here? [Issues here about who Jesse was, the frailty of a ‘shoot’ or ‘rod’ as opposed to a trunk].
- Vs.2-3a. This passage is often thought to refer to Jesus: What aspects of his character are drawn out here? Can you find NT examples of these aspects?
- Vs.2-3a: How does the shoot of Jesse gain this character? Can Christians have this character too? If so, how?
- Vs. 3b-5: Again, look for examples in the NT of Jesus demonstrating his character in these ways. How can Christians undertake this type of role in their world? How can we individually do it?
- Vs. 6-9 How would you really feel if nature and society acted in this way?
- V. 9b What do you think this part of the verse means? What will have happened?
- V.10 What does this verse tell us about the root of Jesse? When will this take place?
- Although this passage points to Jesus Christ, it also points to his Church. How can I this week develop a ‘Christ-like’ Character? How can I demonstrate that to others?
- God makes it clear in the background to this passage, and in Romans, that only a remnant will be saved. How can I draw a friend, a relative closer to God to be part of his people? Should I invite someone to Alpha, or to a Church Service this Christmas?
Anne Milton-Worsell, 03/12/2010