Wednesday, December 19, 2012

O Root of Jesse

O Root of Jesse, standing as a sign to the people,
before whom kings shall shut their mouths
and whom the nations shall seek:
Come and deliver us and do not delay.

Isaiah sees a Davidic King, a monarch for Israel and the earth.  Elsewhere this figure is the Branch; why, here, the Root?  Isaiah lives amidst the collapse of Davidic hopes - the dynasty corrupted, its territory diminished.  Not long until the end of it all.  Is it, perhaps, that he looks behind the Davidic dynasty - not so much to a son of that line, but to the very source of the significance of that line?  At the least, we can say that the Root of Jesse is the only Person who can make sense of the OT picture of kingship.

Universal and absolute monarchy - a nightmare, unless it is this King.  He is the one who carries all our hopes, who reigns and rules for goodness, in goodness.  A signal.  Lifted up, for all to see.  We will come to him, and he will come to us.  And of his government and peace, there will be no end.

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