Day 11. The Spirit Will Rest upon Him (Isaiah 11:1-3)


Audio (7:03)

Wednesday, Second Week of Advent

'Holy Spirit Window,' original watercolor by Ralph F. Wilson, 10 x 14 in., private collection.
'Holy Spirit Window,' original watercolor by Ralph F. Wilson, 10 x 14 in., private collection.

Read in the Bible: Isaiah 11:1-10

For the next three days we'll be examining the important and beautiful Messianic prophecy found in Isaiah 11:1-10. Today we'll consider the first three verses.

"1  A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
2  The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him --
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of power,
the Spirit of knowledge
and of the fear of the LORD --
3  and he will delight in the fear of the LORD." (Isaiah 11:1-3a, NIV)

A Shoot from the Stump of Jesse (Isaiah 11:1-5)

A few chapters earlier, Isaiah had prophesied the fall of the Davidic kingdom, of destruction and then a word of hope: "The holy seed will be the stump in the land" (Isaiah 6:13). But the tree will not be cut off forever!

"A shoot will come up from the stump50 of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit." (Isaiah 11:1)

Jesse, of course, is the father of David,51 and from this Davidic line a new king will come. In Isaiah 11:10 the Davidic messiah is called "the root of Jesse." In Revelation we read of Jesus:

"The Lion of the tribe of Judah,
the Root of David, has triumphed." (Revelation 5:5)

"I am the Root and the Offspring of David,
and the bright Morning Star." (Revelation 22:16)

Our passage also calls this Messianic figure the "Branch," a designation that occurs several other times in the Scripture.[52] (For more on this see my study Names and Titles of Jesus, Lesson 4 http://www.jesuswalk.com/names-jesus/04_messiah.htm)

The Spirit of the Lord upon the Messiah (11:2-3a)

Isaiah continues with a description of Messiah's character -- in sharp contrast the injustice, idol-worship, and rebelliousness against Yahweh that he sees all around.

"2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him --
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of power,
the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD--
3 and he will delight in the fear of the LORD." (11:2-3a)

The word "Spirit" (rûaḥ) occurs four times in this passage. The Messiah will be anointed by the Spirit, full of the Spirit, walking in the Spirit, ministering in the Spirit.53 It is appropriate that walking in the fullness of the Spirit be characteristic of Messiah's disciples as well.

Observe the qualities that the Spirit imparts to the Messiah to make him a leader and ruler of the people:

  1. Wisdom here involves "prudence in secular affairs, skills in the arts, moral sensitivity, and experience in the ways of the Lord."54
  2. Understanding is a synonym of "wisdom." The basic idea here is the ability to discern between alternatives, which leads to wisdom, discernment.55
  3. Counsel. The verb means, "to give counsel, deliberate, purpose, determine."56 In Isaiah 9:6 (Day6) we saw that Messiah is called "Wonderful Counselor." He has the wisdom to advise others on their course in life. He is the King who needs no counselors to guide him.
  4. Power/might, especially, "royal power." The verb means, "to prevail, be mighty, have strength, be great."57 What the Messiah determines in all wisdom to do, he has the power to bring to pass.
  5. Knowledge of Yahweh. This is a general term for knowledge. It particularly describes knowledge that is of a personal, experimental nature, technical knowledge or ability, as well as discernment.58 The Messiah knows the Father intimately. The resurrected Christ is omniscient, all-knowing.
  6. Fear of the Lord. Fear isn't used here in the sense of terror, but of reverence, respect, and piety.59 This section closes with the promise: "and he will delight in the fear of the LORD." The Father is the Son's greatest delight!

28 Advent Scriptures, by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
Also available in book formats: PDF, Kindle, and paperback.

The Messiah is uniquely equipped to govern well. No human king has all of these qualities.

Because Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35; Matthew 1:20) and anointed by the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:38; Luke 3:22; 4:18), he is also the Baptizer in the Holy Spirit (Luke 3:16), desiring to pour out the Holy Spirit's power into our lives, limited only by our openness to him (1 Thessalonians 5:19). Open your heart to him today. Surrender all. And let his Holy Spirit flood you afresh.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, you are full of the Spirit. Pour your Spirit afresh upon us. Wash us. Renew us. Give us your wisdom and power. We pray in your holy name. Amen.

Discussion Question

Q11. (Isaiah 11:1-3). Why do we resist letting the Messiah govern our own lives? Why don't we seek his counsel more often? Why is surrender to his wise leadership so difficult for us? What can we do about this hardness we find in ourselves?
http://www.joyfulheart.com/forums/topic/2085-q11-spirit/

Endnotes

References and Abbreviations

[50] Gezaʿ, "stump (of tree), rootstock" (Holladay, p. 58).

[51] 1 Samuel 16:1; Ruth 4:17.

[52] Isaiah 4:2; Jeremiah 23:5; Zechariah 3:8-9; 6:12.

[53] Also Isaiah 41:1; 61:1.

[54] Louis Goldberg, ḥākam, TWOT #647a.

[55] Louis Goldberg, bîn, TWOT #239b.

[56] Paul R. Gilchrist, yāʿaṣ, TWOT #887a.

[57] In Arabic the basic meaning of the root is "to rise, raise, restore." The Hebrew root is commonly associated with warfare and has to do with the strength and vitality of the successful warrior. A related word is gibbôr, "mighty, strong, valiant, mighty man," used of warriors. Our word gebûrâ refers especially to royal power, commonly ascribed to God (John N. Oswalt, gābar, TWOT #310c).

[58] Paul R. Gilchrist, yādaʿ, TWOT #848c. The verb yādaʿ means "to know," especially knowledge gained by the senses. It is used 41 times in Proverbs.

[59] Andrew Bowling, yārēʾ, TWOT #907b.

Copyright © 2021, Ralph F. Wilson. <pastor@joyfulheart.com> All rights reserved. A single copy of this article is free. Do not put this on a website. See legal, copyright, and reprint information.

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