NLT Study Bible Blog.
Isaiah 11:1-16 (Mosaic, Advent 1)
In addition to the four headline readings, Devotions for Advent, week 1, includes an additional "suggested reading," Isaiah 11:1-16. This passage brings us back around to a vision for the coming kingdom of the Lord, which we meditated on at the beginning of the week with Isaiah 2.

Isaiah 11 paints a beautiful picture of the coming kingdom of Christ. When Christ reigns as king on earth, all his decisions will be just and fair; there will be peace between nations and even among enemies in the animal kingdom; and those who worship the Lord will return from their exile in lands ruled by enemies of the Lord.

Not only is there a picture of the kingdom of Christ and its results, but there is a picture of the king himself. He will have the Spirit of the Lord, and the Spirit will give him wisdom, understanding, knowledge, strength, good counsel, and fear of the Lord. He will exemplify all that is good and right and true. Out of the beauty of his character will flow all that is good about his kingdom. This is Christ our king.

The picture fills our souls with longing, as it should.
"And as we catch glimpses of this Messiah-healed world, we long for its coming now. All of the best Advent hymns capture this spirit of groaning and longing for Messiah's better world. When we sing 'O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,' with its dark, unresolved melody, it cracks our hearts open with longing's wound. And yet, we know Messiah has come, even as we wait for him to come again. ... This Advent-like longing is at the heart of Christian spirituality. ... Advent is the time to acknowledge, feel, and even embrace the joyful anguist of longing for Messiah's birth and the world's rebirth" (Mathew Woodley; Devotions for Advent, p. 10).
Come, Lord Jesus, and heal your world. And heal our hearts as we long for your kingdom.

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posted by Sean Harrison at 7:00 AM
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