Isaiah 11:1- 16 Hope in Hopeless World

Hope is a serious problem in our society because people tend to place their hope in the wrong things or things that will not last. When people put their hope in finances then things like the stock market or their job situation controls them. When people put their hope in the Government then depending on how the outcome of the election goes they have despair or joy. Some are putting their hope in a religious organization that promises them a false hope of good works will lead to salvation and prosperity in life.  The people of Isaiah’s day were doing the same things as they placed their hope in a foreign country to save them, the fact that they were financially doing well and the mixture of religions they had developed.   Isaiah is going to tell the few that will survive the destruction that is coming to them that there is always hope no matter how bad life seems to be.

Read Isaiah 11:1 -5 There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord, He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear, but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his loins.

1)   Hope because of Jesus

“A shoot from a stump” is a reference meaning Jesus would come from the line of David and Jesse was David’s father. (2 Samuel 7:16) If you can imagine an entire forest being cut down and then burned but you see one of the stumps with a shoot coming from it this is the picture that Isaiah has in mind.  As bad as things looked Isaiah wanted them to know that there is a hope that goes beyond their current situation and it is in the prophecy of the one who is to come.

“And the Spirit of the Lord will rest upon Him.” Isaiah has already talked twice about a future King that will come who is the Messiah but he is going to go into further detail of what this King will look like from Isaiah 9:6.

Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born,  to us a son is given and the government shall be upon[a] his shoulder, and his name shall be called[b] Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

When future Kings would have the spirit of God come upon them there was the possibility of the Spirit being removed from them but this King (Jesus) would never lose the Spirit of God which would show the difference between Him and all other Kings who have reined. The Apostle Matthew also wanted to show that Jesus was the fulfillment of this passage.

Matthew 3:16-17 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him,[a] and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son,[b] with whom I am well pleased.” (See Also John 1:43)

“Fear of God” means absolute loyalty to God and Jesus showed that by being sinless according to Hebrews 4:15. Fear of the Lord is a respect and awe of God that grows from intimate knowledge of His justice, holiness, goodness and worthiness of honor. (Proverbs 1:7 and 9:10)


There were attributes of this King that would set Him apart as well.

Wonderful counselor: which means a Spirit of Wisdom and understanding which would go beyond human ability?

Prince of Peace: He will judge disputes not by what His eyes see or His ears hear because He knows all truth.

Mighty God: He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth (by speaking) and with the breathe of His lips He will destroy the wicked. (Speaking)

2 Thessalonians 2:8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.

He will stand up for the helpless and the weak because He is the Everlasting father. He will display the character of God because He is God and He will rule with the belt of truth (Ephesians 6:11-17) because He is righteous in all that He does. The belt or sash was used to gather up the robe when a person was getting ready to do an activity. Jesus is active in our world, He was active in bringing salvation to us and He is active in making all things new.

It’s easy to say our hope is in Jesus but so many times we put our hope in other things. When our Hope is in Jesus we can know that HE is the wonderful counselor, the Prince of Peace, the Mighty God and the Everlasting Father. When you place your hope in anything else besides Jesus Christ then all of those things fall short of who Christ is and they will leave you hopeless.

Isaiah 11:6-9The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.

2)   Hope because this is not our home

Isaiah moves from describing the King to describing His kingdom. Today our focus is on this world and trying to do all we can to keep it going. Movies like Avengers infinity war, and the movie Kingsman both talk about killing off half the population for the purpose of saving the planet. People put all of their hope in this world but the Bible encourages us to think about the world that is to come.

People get excited about over crowded over Priced Magic Kingdom but wait till we see the everlasting Kingdom. We look forward to a kingdom that will be restored to the original design that God had given to Adam and Eve, a world where sin will no longer scar nature or people. Isaiah describes this place where people and animals will get along and even babies will play over the hole of snakes. The picture here is that it will be paradise with no more evil, conflict or death. This place will be called “God’s Holy Mountain because the new world will be filled with the presence of God.

Revelation 22:3-5 No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

Isaiah 11:10- 12 In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples—of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious.11 In that day the Lord will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant that remains of his people, from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush,[a] from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the coastlands of the sea. 12 He will raise a signal for the nations and will assemble the banished of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah  from the four corners of the earth.

“In that Day” No matter how bad a situation you are going through we know we can get through it as long as we focus on the finish line and not our current situation. The world focuses on the here and now but we are called to place our eyes on Jesus and the future hope that we have. No matter how difficult this life can be we know that Jesus died on the cross for us so that we can spend eternity with God for all who place their faith and hope in Him. We know that no matter what we are going through one day it will end.

1 Peter 1:13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action,[a] and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

If you have lost hope then you are looking in the wrong direction and focusing on the wrong things. You need to place your focus not on the things of this world but on the world to come when Jesus makes all things new.

The Nations will rally to Him and His place of rest will be glorious. The Lord will reach out His hand.

Salvation has always been about God stepping into our world and now we see on the last days Jesus will reach out His hand and collect His people. The verse does not say all people it says only the remnant because unfortunately not everyone who thinks they are a Christian belongs to God. (Psalm 95:11)  God will reclaim His people who He paid for to have back from all over the world.  The Bible used corners symbolically not that the world is a square but it does indicate that no believer will be left behind.

Matthew 24:31 And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Isaiah 11:13-14 The jealousy of Ephraim shall depart, and those who harass Judah shall be cut off;
Ephraim shall not be jealous of Judah, and Judah shall not harass Ephraim. 14 But they shall swoop down on the shoulder of the Philistines in the west, and together they shall plunder the people of the east. They shall put out their hand against Edom and Moab, and the Ammonites shall obey them.

Feelings of Jealousy, inferiority or superiority will be done away with in the new Kingdom. The division of the people took place since the time of King David (2 Samuel 2:8-11) of the Northern and Southern Kingdoms but God promises a renewal of not just them but everyone worldwide.  The unity that will take place in the new kingdom will be like no other as we gather together from all over the world to worship God. No more racism, no more bigotry no more fighting but all of us focused on God.

Anyone or anything that is hostile to the people of God will be removed.

Revelation 7:9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,

Isaiah 11:15-16 And the Lord will utterly destroy[a] the tongue of the Sea of Egypt,
and will wave his hand over the River[b] with his scorching breath,[c and strike it into seven channels, and he will lead people across in sandals.16 And there will be a highway from Assyria
for the remnant that remains of his people, as there was for Israel when they came up from the land of Egypt.

The Lord will destroy Using language from the Exodus Isaiah reiterates that nothing can stand in the way of God and what He is going to accomplish. Our hope is in God who is more powerful than any obstacle we face and He is the one who provided salvation and it is in Him that we place our trust. Our present problems must be evaluated in light of who God is and His promises. We do not lose hope in this world because we know that one day God is going to make all things new.

And there will be a Highway

“The “highway” is one of Isaiah’s favorite images. Those who obey the Lord have a level and smooth road to walk (Isaiah 26:7-8). When God calls His people back to their land, He will prepare the way for them. (Isaiah 40:3-4) and lead them safely (Isaiah 42:16). He will remove obstacles so the people can travel easily. (Isaiah 49:11;57:14; 62:10). God’s highway will be called “The way of Holiness” (Isaiah 35:8)”  Be Comforted, Warren W. Wiersbe, Pg. 50-51)

God has made salvation possible but many will still choose not to accept it even though God has made the way, God has paid the way and God has shown us the way. (John 14:1-6)  Only a remnant will return because many will not place their hope in God. Many people struggle and strain to make sure they are going to Heaven but the way has already been provided through Jesus death and resurrection.(Acts 16:31)  People have been taught that God is here to meet all of our needs in our way but the reality is we have been separated from God by sin and the truth is we needed to be restored to a relationship with God if we are going to spend eternity with Him.  When you have the wrong view of God you have the wrong view of salvation and many churches are even teaching Christianity as something you add to your life and even some Christian missionaries are encouraging Muslims to not leave their faith but only place their faith in Jesus Christ.  Syncretism is when you add Jesus to what you already believe instead of a radical change in thinking and in your life in following Him. Jesus calls us to deny ourselves (Luke 9:23) and place our faith and hope in Him. (Hebrews 12:2)


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