Isaiah 11 pictures the Messiah, “the root of Jesse,” and the redemption of the world. For those who hold to a literal 1,000-year reign of Christ on earth before the final judgment, Isaiah 11 is that picture.
Jesse refers to the father of King David. The Bible often refers to the Messiah in reference to Jesse, rather than the great king who received God’s covenant promise of an eternal heir (2 Sam 7). There is no way to know why Isaiah refers to Jesse instead of David. It may be, however, that he wants to make clear this isn’t just another descendant of David, it is one “like” David, the son of promise.
This passage provides a wonderful description of the Messiah and all his power. Likewise, the Messiah will be a fair judge and ruler. He will treat the poor fairly, and make right decisions for the downtrodden of the earth. The wicked on the other hand, will be executed. We see a grim description of this in Psalm 2 when the Messiah will break them with an iron scepter;
and will smash them like a potter’s jar! (Psalm 2:9) He is the stone who crushes kingdoms (Daniel 2:44–45).
After the Messiah brings justice upon the wicked there will be peace. Verses 6–8 provide a description of what one might call “extreme” or “hyperbolic” peace. There will be so much peace that not even animals will quarrel. No living thing will harm another living thing. We can’t even fathom such a reality—For there will be universal submission to the Lord’s sovereignty,
just as the waters completely cover the sea.
The Messiah will set up his worldwide empire. All nations will look to him for guidance. It is at this time that the Messiah will reclaim the remnant of his people (See also Romans 11:5). Although sin and destruction scattered believing Israel, the Messiah will bring back his covenant people to himself.
What are we supposed to do with this kind of passage? There are two important points. First, one of my seminary profs said that the only apologetic (proof) that God gives for himself is to say he will do something, then do it. We see this over and over in the literal fulfillment of many Old Testament passages in the New Testament—especially through Jesus. Because God kept those promises, proving himself faithful, we can trust that he will fulfill promises like this. Christ will return in judgment and set things right. All suffering, heartache, loss, injury, and shed-tear will be set right. This is unimaginable, yet, it is a promise.
Secondly, we must live in light of eternity and impending judgment. Every person will pay for every wrong thing they ever do. Mom, Dad, Grandma, Cousin Eddy, your niece, nephew, friends everyone you know will give an account. For those in Christ, when God looks upon us, he sees Christ—our ledger is clear. On that day, how many people in your life will be found wanting? If you are in Christ, you have a divine obligation to share with them the good news—but the news is only good if it gets there in time, and it is accepted.
By: Tyler Short — Connections Ministry Associate