As you walk on trails through the woods and along the lake or river, you frequently see trees cut down by beavers or loggers, and the stump that’s left is often sprouting new growth. This is quite common with deciduous trees and is a natural way of reforestation. Some of these shoots grow into fully mature trees. What seemed dead and over with is resurrected to new life and fruitfulness.
In Isaiah 11:1-5 (MSG) we read about such a situation:
“1-5 A green Shoot will sprout from Jesse’s stump, from his roots a budding Branch. The life-giving Spirit of God will hover over him, the Spirit that brings wisdom and understanding, The Spirit that gives direction and builds strength, the Spirit that instills knowledge and Fear-of-God. Fear-of-God will be all his joy and delight. He won’t judge by appearances, won’t decide on the basis of hearsay. He’ll judge the needy by what is right, render decisions on earth’s poor with justice. His words will bring everyone to awed attention. A mere breath from his lips will topple the wicked. Each morning he’ll pull on sturdy work clothes and boots, and build righteousness and faithfulness in the land.”
Isaiah uses this extended metaphor to bring real hope to his people. He lived during the time of the Assyrian invasions of Israel and Judah. The ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom of Israel were destroyed by the Assyrians, and later on they even tried to destroy the Southern Kingdom of Judah. It was a very tense situation for those holed up in Jerusalem, as Isaiah recounts in the historical section of his book in chapter 37. The people were stumped about how this would all continue and whether God had given up on them. But in the prophetic sections, Isaiah has already delivered a very hopeful prospect for the royal line of the house of David, that
“a virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel” (Is.7:14 NIV).
He has also shown the Northern kingdom, that in spite of its present demise, there is light at the end of the tunnel:
“In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan--
In Is.10:32 (NIV) he uses the same metaphor of felling trees and applies it to the enemies of the people of God who will be destroyed:
“See, the Lord, the Lord Almighty, will lop off the boughs with great power. The lofty trees will be felled, the tall ones will be brought low.”
While there is no hope provided for the enemies of God, who are cut off, there is hope for the people of God, because the shoot from the stump of Jesse, the Messiah, Jesus Christ, will bring about a new, spirit-filled life, righteousness, faithfulness -- in other words: real hope!
While our personal situation, our work and our ministry might look at times like a dead stump, because of Jesus living within us, there will always be a new shoot growing. Spiritual reforestation will take place. The kingdom of God cannot be eradicated. As Martin Luther sang: “The body they may kill, God’s truth abideth still, His kingdom is forever.”
We are a pastoral couple named Stefan & Heidi König. We have many years of experience in various ministries, and are thankful that God has given us this property to use as a way to bless others who need a place to relax and reconnect with Him.
Kingfisher Spiritual Direction
Direct your heart to Jesus and restore your soul. If you need to hear from God, to grow deeper with Him, consider spiritual direction. An ancient discipline of soul care, Heidi is trained to prayerfully lead you in this practice.