Against Isaiah’s counsel, King Ahaz of Judah rejected the calls for an alliance with the Northern Kingdom of Israel and the Arameans to rebel against the Assyrian empire. And such a decision came with terrible consequences. The northern kingdom was destroyed. And Samaria soon followed. King Ahaz kept his crown, but his reign was effectively over. He lost his peoples’ trust. And so they turned their gaze to young Hezekiah, the heir apparent, who might be the righteous ruler they all longed for.
And this righteous ruler had quite the job description. If Hezekiah was the One, he had huge expectations on his shoulders.
A shoot shall come from the stump of Jesse. Jesse, as they would have known, was David’s father. And the news couldn’t have been better.
But “stump” isn’t quite right. “Base’ is more true to the original. From the base of the tree of Jesse a shoot will come out, and a branch shall grow out of its roots. 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 awe of the Lord...”
This leader will rule not according to his own ambitions, but from God’s Spirit. He shall be wise and humble, righteous and fair, strong and just. He shall be everything God’s people needed in a king. He would lead their people back into their glorious past which would become their future.
God’s people had a long and weighty memory. The stories about King David nestled snuggly in their DNA. Those were Israel’s glory years when the kingdom was united and expanding. Their enemies feared them. Their lives overflowed with abundance. The world was their’s to win.
And most importantly, they...(whole thing here)