Out of the stump of David's family will grow a shoot - yes a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root. And the spirit of the Lord will 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. He will delight in obeying the Lord. He will not judge by appearance nor make a decision based on hearsay. He will give justice to the poor and make fair decisions for the exploited. The earth will shake at the force of his word, and one breath from his mouth will destroy the wicked. He will wear righteousness like a belt and truth like an undergarment. In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together; the leopard will lay down with the baby goat. The calf and the yearling will be safe with the lion, and a little child will lead them all. The cow will graze near the bear. The cub and the calf will lie down together. The lion will eat hay like a cow. The baby will play safely near the hole of a cobra. Yes, a little child will put its hand in a nest of deadly snakes without harm. Nothing will hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain, for as the waters fill the sea, so the earth will be filled with people who know the Lord. In that day the heir to David's throne will be a banner of salvation to all the world. The nations will rally to him, and the land where he lives will be a glorious place.
At Christmas we ought to look back to the birth of Christ, but we should also look forward to that moment when God will bring all of creation back to ideal state that existed before the fall. I love this passage as it describes the coming healing that all of creation will experience. When we think of the fall of man we often only think about the effect it has had on man, but the fall forever altered all of God's creation. His creation is forever longing to be made right again. Out of the stump of David one will come that will bring that about. He is Jesus. He will be a banner of salvation to the world. He will be a banner of salvation not only to the Jews, but the Gentiles also. God says that as the waters fill the sea, that is how he will fill the earth with people who believe in the Lord. In this passage we have a promise already fulfilled, and a promise yet to come. If we know nothing about God, then we at least know that he is one who keeps his promises. Praise God! We should worship him today, and anxiously await when he will make all things new.