Advent Devotional – December 4, 2019

A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse,

and a branch shall grow out of his roots.

2 The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him,

the spirit of wisdom and understanding,

the spirit of counsel and might,

the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

3 His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.

Isaiah 11:1-3 NRSV

The prophet Isaiah wrote much about the coming Messiah as the answer to the world’s current situation of his time. The shoot coming forward will be filled with the spirit of the Lord and that will create in him…wait for it…fear. The passage says that the coming Messiah will not only have but also delight in the fear of the Lord. Of all the list of traits that I take joy in, fear does not make the cut. But fear of the Lord is different.

Fear of the Lord is a right understanding of who God is and who we are. The clearer we see God the greater we understand the difference between God and us.

Isaiah is saying that this coming Messiah will have an unobstructed view of God. Nothing will stand between him and the One who sent him. And as a result God’s plan will be obvious; God’s power will be available; and as a result God’s purpose will be fulfilled.

Is something, or someone, obstructing your view of God? Is a hurtful relationship or past circumstance getting in the way? Is a lack of prayer or study shielding your perspective? Does your busyness or distraction cloud your view like a cloud-filled night does the moon?

Published by Todd Nelson

I'm one of the pastors at First United Methodist Church in Lexington, Kentucky where I've served for the past thirteen years. The sub-title of this blog is "Grace is no accident" which happens to be the defining reality of my life. God's grace (gift) is the reason we have breath in our lungs and hope in our hearts.

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