But as the terebinth and oak leave stumps when they are cut down, so the holy seed will be the stump in the land. (Isa. 6:13)
A few years ago, we finally gave up on a rose bush that we had been nursing along for quite some time. To say that I don’t have a green thumb is an understatement. I feel guilty when I bring plants home from our local nursery, knowing that they will most certainly meet an untimely demise at my hands, despite sincere efforts on my part. The rose bush was no different. Finally, we cut it to its roots, saying our last goodbyes. But in the spring, something unexpected (to me) happened—it sprouted the most precious tender, green, youthful shoots. LIFE!
In this passage, we see a stubborn and rebellious people. Their hearts were hardened due to sinfulness, and a gracious God, intent upon keeping his promises, intervened with refining judgment to bring holiness and hope. He warned Isaiah that Israel would be pruned, and only a remnant would remain. A holy seed, Christ, would bring new life.
Though Isaiah’s prophesy in this passage is sharp, he does not leave God’s people without hope because God’s desire to cleanse Israel of its sinfulness is a desire to bring holiness. Isaiah’s service to Israel is delivering this truth. Similarly, we must serve by communicating and accepting the fact that though pruning is always necessary, Christ brings new life.
Submit to God’s purifying pruning.
Dalene (Rovenstine) Fisher is a wife, mother, and grandma. She serves as assistant provost and dean of Arts and Sciences at Oklahoma Wesleyan University.
© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.