Monday, September 13, 2010

Divine Pairs

"A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.  The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom & understanding, the spirit of counsel & might, the spirit of knowledge & the fear of the LORD."
(Isaiah 11:1-2)

Isaiah 11 talks about the coming Messiah.  It was a predictive passage - as Isaiah was looking towards what would come down the road.  God's chosen... a new kind of king!  Not one with political & geographical borders, but a king of spiritual & eternal consequences... ready to usher in God's kingdom here & now!!!

One of the sings Isaiah points us toward, so we can know who truly is this Messiah King, is recognizing that the spirit of the LORD is with him.  But there are other signs, too.  A spirit of wisdom & understanding, counsel & might, and knowledge & fear of the Lord.  They're all very familiar terms and the sentences flow so smoothly together.  But I spent a while seriously thinking about what they actually meant...

A spirit of wisdom & understanding... Wisdom is more than intelligence.  it's also insight & common sense.  Couple it with understanding, and it gives a depth of comprehension.  It becomes practical & extremely valuable.  It's definitely not a 'trivial pursuit.'

A spirit of counsel & might... This gives the king the ability to lead others - to help guide, direct, inspire, challenge, and encourage.  But couple it with might, and he can exude confidence because he's speaking from strength.  The might is not to be abused, of course.  Instead, it provides a deep reservoir... a foundation that enables him to better share good counsel (and have people accept that counsel!).

A spirit of knowledge & the fear of the Lord... Knowing God (not just knowing about God, which is vitally important, of course) means having an intimate relationship with God, which leads to a genuine fear of God.  Fear, however, does not mean literally being afraid... but rather a sense of respect, awe, and reverence.  Together these enable a healthy relationship with the Divine.

So this is what the Messiah King... what JESUS... would eventually be like, Isaiah says.  Why do we need to know this, if we already recognize Jesus as the Savior?  I think we ALL are called to strive for these "divine pairings" in our lives.  They can be a wonderful start of a daily prayer... "Lord, by your grace, fill me with your wisdom & understanding, with counsel & might, with knowledge & fear of you!  Help me to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, my Savior!  AMEN."

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