“Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah.
In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring forth for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.
In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which it will be called: ‘The LORD is our righteousness.’
One of the chief glories of Advent is the opportunity it affords us to see how perfectly ready was the hour when Jesus came to us in the flesh. When we read the prophecies that were fulfilled at His birth, as we see how the Father brought innumerable avenues into convergence in a stable in Bethlehem, it is astonishing to us in its fulness.
We cannot see the clock ticking down, ready to strike the hour, but we know that it did, even to the appearance of a star that turned on to attract the attention of the Magi and give them time to travel and reach the Child and His family some time later, and just at precisely the right moment. With their arrival and their conference with Herod, the horrors came too, exactly as foretold.
Thousands of years pressing in upon one another, that the cry of the human heart might be answered. Few mortals have ever even known to ask for what we need most … we need to be “right with God.” In typical human-ness, men had been looking under every superstitious stone for a way to effect personal cleanness and freedom from guilt and to ward off evil, but to no avail. There is no righteousness, there is no cleanness apart from faith in the Promised One, the Root of David. When we think of it, how could we imagine that God would splinter His person to fit into the doctrines of men. Please, no! He must then be Who He Is, One God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, Almighty God, Majesty, Lord of All. Merciful God. Righteous One. How could we hope in less than all that He is? That would, amazingly, be a false hope.
The very search away from God demonstrates how deeply we need His righteousness alone. May all the paths of our Christmas season and all those of the year ahead lead us into the perfections of Christ, into His faith and His love and His wisdom and His holiness. Further, we may rejoice that the time is right, just now, for each of singly and all of us together, if we will believe. This is the only time we have, and now is the hope of life eternal and of confidence in the hour of our death.
Lord God, save us to the uttermost, that we may dwell securely in our souls as well as in our holiday homes. Save us to hope in you, for by your Word, those who hope will never be put to shame. Oh Righteous Branch, that we would bear fruit that remains, as foretold. Amen.
a barley root
Mark Talbot, by permission, Wikipedia