I have a stump in my yard. It has been there since we moved in almost 4 years ago. I have tripped over it and fallen backwards. Justin has tried to chop it up and dig it out but it is still there. Just a dead stump. But you know, that stump was once a tree, full of life and leaves, providing shade in the summer and beautiful foliage in the fall. But now it seemingly has no purpose.
 Isaiah 11 talks about a stump but it is a little different than the stump in my yard. Now, don’t get confused –  it is still a stump, which means that at some point it was a flourishing tree but then it was cut down. Let’s see what it says: Isaiah 11:1 –
A shoot will come… My mom has given those to me before. She usually finds them in her yard/wooded lot and will give it to me to plant in my yard. Most of the shoots I have been given are from a “fruit-bearing” tree. I plant them, and they grow into another tree. Serving its’ purpose.
So, it says that a shoot will come from the stump of Jesse. So my first question was: Who is Jesse? And then my next question was: what happened that his “family tree” was cut down?  1. Jesse is the father of David (Ruth 4:22) who was chosen to be King by the Lord himself (1 Samuel 1: 1, 12-13) 2. In 586 B.C.,  Babylon was taken captive thus ending the “Davidic dynasty” leaving one to believe that this “family” was not longer to reign. A stump. But you see, God can make even something dead come alive if He so chooses.
A Branch shall grow out of his roots….. God laid that foundation when He created the world and all the people in it. He knew and He chose the line from which Jesus would come. He kept the roots nurtured and healthy so that when the world thought that nothing could come of it – out came Life!
Isaiah was telling us here about Jesus – The greatest gift ever given. Jesus began as a small babe in a manger and then grew to become a great teacher. All the while, He was and is the Messiah. But then, Jesus was cut down, He was beaten and ridiculed and then hung on a cross to die – for you and for me.
See, that Shoot grew a Branch and then that Branch became a mighty Tree. That Tree was then cut down again and hung on a cross and once again out of death came Life! Life for you and for me. But what’s even better – The TREE is still ALIVE! When we are “cut down” –  because of things in this world, because of broken promises, because of mistakes – we can find life again. Life through Jesus Christ.
I Corinthians 15:55
One Friday morning, the third tree was startled when her beams were yanked from the forgotten woodpile. she flinched as she was carried through an angry, jeering crowd. She shuddered when soldiers nailed a man’s hands to her. She felt ugly and harsh and cruel. But on Sunday morning, when the sun rose and the earth trembled with joy beneath her, the third tree knew that God’s love had changed everything…….and every time people thought of the third tree, they would think of God”
~The Tale of Three Trees
Today, I find JOY in the stump!

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