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Return of the King - Advent 2016

December 7, 2016 – Our King is Coming

“Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse,
And a branch from his roots will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him,
The spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The spirit of counsel and strength,
The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.
And He will delight in the fear of the LORD,
And He will not judge by what His eyes see,
Nor make a decision by what His ears hear;
But with righteousness He will judge the poor,
And decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth;
And He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth,
And with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked.
Also righteousness will be the belt about His loins,
And faithfulness the belt about His waist.”
– Isaiah 11:1-5

Searching for the King

In America, we’ve slowly been losing respect for our leaders – religious, political, or otherwise. They’ve let us down. They’ve lied to us. They’ve corrupted themselves. Every time we read about another politician lying to us, or businessman involved in an underhanded deal, or pastor implicated in a sex scandal, it’s a disappointing reminder. Our leaders have feet made of clay. And too often, they don’t live up to their standards of their own rhetoric.

Scripture is filled with leaders like this. And as we read, even some of the best leaders of Israel disappoint us. Saul neglects God’s commands. David commits adultery. Solomon foolishly gives in to idol-worship because of his wives.

And so, throughout all of history, man has searched for a faithful leader. And time after time, we think we’ve found one. We hear the rhetoric. We see the passion. We’re swept into a movement, thinking this time things will be different. But eventually we’re let down. Again and again.

Is there anyone, we might ask, that will lead justly? Is there anyone who will act and wisdom with wisdom? Is there anyone out there that won’t act in ways that make us cock our heads and ask, “What were they thinking?” Anyone?

Our King is Coming

Isaiah has a vision of just such a one. Throughout his prophecies, Isaiah paints the picture of a future that’s almost unbelievable. Swords into plows. A King who judges with righteousness. Lions laying down with lambs. The absurdity of his vision is impossible to miss. And yet, Isaiah speaks it with conviction and boldness and hope. This prophecy isn’t pie-in-the-sky. It’s a prophecy that Isaiah believed was going to actually take place. God was going to break into history and set things right.

I wish Isaiah would have lived long enough to see the beginnings of his prophecies come to pass.

Over 2,000 years ago, that shoot Isaiah spoke of sprung from the stem of Jesse. A descendant of David, son of Jesse, was born in a little town called Bethlehem. He was born to save his people from their sins, to become the shepherd of Psalm 23 and the righteous King of Isaiah 11. He’s the son of David whose Kingdom will never come to an end.

He is God made flesh.

Our King has come. And he is coming.

So quit searching for another earthly leader to put your faith in. They’ll fail you every time.

We have a ruler who will never lie to us, forget us, or leave us on our own. We have a King who will always judge righteously and faithfully. And we have a Kingdom that will never end.

Can you hear the footsteps? Our King is coming.

Keep watching.

 

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