Friday, December 04, 2020
Daily Devotion for December 4 2020
Here is Friday's devotion. Jesus' Word that Sustains the Weary (Isaiah 50:4) Today's Devotion from Pastor Merrill Friday, December 4, 2020 "Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and He shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which He will be called: 'The LORD is our righteousness.'" Jeremiah 23:5-6 [ESV] The family tree of Jesse in the Old Testament is pretty impressive. Jesse was the father of King David, and his family tree produced kings! For fourteen generations, spanning over 450 years, a descendant of Jesse reigned on the throne of the nation of Judah. But over time the kings from Jesse's family drifted away from faith in the LORD and led the nation further and further away from him. Finally the LORD allowed Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, to invade Jerusalem and take the people captive. There was no more son of Jesse on the throne; God's people were captive to a foreign king in a foreign land. The family tree of Jesse had been reduced to a stump. But from this stump, God promised a live Branch. Echoing Isaiah 11, which predicted that a shoot would come forth from the "stump of Jesse," the prophet Jeremiah predicted, "Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and He shall reign as king and deal wisely...And this is the name by which He will be called: 'The LORD is our righteousness.'" The "Branch" is capitalized, so this passage traditionally has been seen as a reference to Jesus. He would be born into the family tree of Jesse, a living Branch from the line of David. But most significant about this Branch is the name He is given in Jeremiah's prophecy: "The Lord is our righteousness." "None is righteous, no, not one," the Bible says. (Romans 3:10) The universal predicament of all human beings is that we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. None of us have a righteousness of our own before God. Indeed, Scripture tells us that "all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment." (Isaiah 64:6) Enter the Branch from Jesse's stump. Jesus comes to be our righteousness. He lived the perfect life God desires, the life no human being can live. He offered that perfect life as a sacrifice for our sins on the cross. He took our sins, and in exchange He gives us His righteousness. We stand before God now clothed with Christ. God looks at us and He sees the perfect righteousness of His Son. The Lord is our righteousness! Prayer: "O come, Thou Branch of Jesse's tree, Free them from Satan's tyranny That trust Thy mighty power to save, And give them vict'ry o'er the grave. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to thee, O Israel." (LSB #357, v. 4) Amen.