The prophet Isaiah ministered over 40 years (740-697 BC) spanning the rule of the four Judean kings Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah. As suggested by his comfort in the presence of these kings and the richness of his vocabulary, Isaiah was thought to be an educated, cultured nobleman, the son of a prince of Judah. During the reigns of Uzziah and Jotham, there was relative peace and prosperity in the kingdom. Yet along with his contemporaries Hosea, Micah and Amos, Isaiah spoke continually of the spiritual destitution of the people. Tradition has it that Isaiah was eventually sawed in two because of his ministry during the reign of King Manasseh.
By the time of Isaiah's writing, Israel's kingdom had been split in two, into a Northern Kingdom of Israel and the Southern Kingdom of Judah where worship was still conducted at the temple in Jerusalem.
In a divided land, we need 3 things that the Messiah came to fulfill -
An example of perfect, unadulterated worship, wisdom in how to serve God, and a king who would rally for, teach to, go to and win the war for those He came to liberate.
Worship (Discipleship - an example to follow)
We deeply desire and need a perfect example to follow in the true worship of the one true God.
The Israelites of the North had long ago assimilated into the culture of the surrounding nations, defiling themselves with the worship of foreign gods in foreign ways. Judah would not be far behind.
There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And 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 fear of the Lord. And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear, but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his loins. The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder's den. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples—of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious.
What this means for us today: Jesus did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it.
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Whatever has been fulfilled in Christ is finished (i.e. - His sacrifice of atonement, etc.) and is not to be replicated. However, it is our daily obedience to the law given by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8) that constitutes as worship in the spirit of the law. It is, for example, the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our interaction with others, our preaching, our giving, our service, our coming, going and staying in the places God has called us to be that has not been fulfilled in Christ. It is obedience to these things previously mandated in the law that are our worship to God today.
This is where wisdom resides.
We deeply desire and need wisdom that will enable us to follow God successfully as we walk in the fear of the Lord. Jesus spoke with the unadulterated wisdom that leads us to the fear of the Lord and to the glorious resting place of His gospel.
“When looking back on the lives of men and women of God, the tendency is to say, “What wonderfully keen and intelligent wisdom they had, and how perfectly they understood all that God wanted!” But the keen and intelligent mind behind them was the mind of God, not human wisdom at all. We give credit to human wisdom when we should give credit to the divine guidance of God being exhibited through childlike people who were “foolish” enough to trust God’s wisdom and His supernatural equipment.”
- Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest: Traditional Updated Edition
"The messianic expectations in the Jewish and Christian faiths are traced back to God's covenant with King David (II Samuel 7) and the aftermath of exile and cessation of the Davidic dynasty. Hope arose that God would someday restore a godly king to Israel. Some of Israel's prophets foretold the coming of a regal Davidic descendant, and their descriptions seem to portray him as far more than a mere mortal. Isaiah foretold the coming of a "child" and "son" who "will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace," and whose kingdom will never end (Isaiah 9:6-7). Again, Isaiah prophesied the coming of a Branch of David, on whom the Spirit of God will rest, who will rule the earth with justice and equity (Isaiah 11:1-5). Descriptions such as these hinted that the coming anointed one, the Messiah, would be God Himself."
- Craig A. Evans
War (That leads to rest)
We deeply desire and need a champion who will fight for us and win battles that we can not win for ourselves. Saul was the first such king, rallying the Israelites to the defeat of the Ammonites (I Samuel 11); Jesus is our greatest, the king of kings and Lord of lords.
Jesus is the shoot from the stump of Jesse, reassuming and resuming the Davidic kingship. By the time of Jesus' appearing, David's great royal line had been whittled down. Instead of King David's prominence, the Messiah would come out of Jesse's obscurity.
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram, and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king. And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph, and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah, and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon. And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.
These kings were charged to both protect and preserve the freedom that God provided for them in the promised land.
Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the Lord, saying, “I will sing to the Lord , for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea. The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him. The Lord is a man of war; the Lord is his name.
“To live a remote, retired, secluded life is the antipodes of spirituality as Jesus Christ taught it. The test of our spirituality comes when we come up against injustice and meanness and ingratitude and turmoil, all of which have the tendency to make us spiritual sluggards.”
- Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest: Traditional Updated Edition
The Messiah who was to come is the Davidic king who would fight for our freedom. This would ultimately be accomplished through Jesus' sacrifice on the cross to make war against sin and death triumphing over them through His victorious resurrection from the dead. Turn away from sin and believe the good news. Come to Him now to be fulfilled in worship, wisdom and war for your forgiveness and freedom that has already been won.
Second City Church- Fulfilled Sermon Series - Rollan Fisher 2017