Isaiah 11:1-12:6 – I Am Root

What does POTUS do all day?

I don’t mean President Joe Biden specifically. I mean, “What is a day in the life of the President of the United States like?” Obviously every day is going to be a little different. Let’s pick a president and take a look at his Palm Pilot.

The 43rd President of the United States woke up at 5am every day and would be in the Oval Office for early morning briefings. “I go to work a little before 7am, and I expect everybody to show up on time when I have a meeting,” George W. Bush said in 2008.

At midday, Bush would take a break for a workout – usually jogging or cycling – which was then followed by lunch. He was a fast eater, eager to get back to work.

Around 5.30-6pm, Bush would wrap up his workday and make his way home. Bed was generally no later than 10. Bush thought it important to get eight hours of sleep.

Isaiah takes us to ‘work’ with King Jesus in the future Kingdom of God on Earth.

We wonder what we will be doing in the future Kingdom. Since we will be serving the Lord in our resurrected or raptured bodies, it is better to ask, “What will King Jesus be doing in the Kingdom?”

I’ll organize my comments around two points: #1 King Jesus Will Spread His Righteousness, and #2 King Jesus Will Savor Your Praises.

#1 – King Jesus Will Spread His Righteousness (11:1-16)

The future Kingdom of God on Earth is also called the Millennial Kingdom, or the Millennium, because it lasts for a solid one-thousand years.

  • We are currently in the Church Age that ends when Jesus the resurrects and raptures believers. The rapture could occur any moment, and it definitely will occur before the Time of Jacob’s Trouble.
  • Sometime after the rapture, the Time of Jacob’s Trouble lasts for seven years. It is known by its more popular name, the Great Tribulation.
  • At the end of the seven years, Jesus returns in His Second Coming. He establishes the Kingdom on Earth, the Millennium.

Isa 11:1  There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots.

The International Standard Version of the Bible translates this, “A shoot will come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch will bear fruit from his roots.” “Jesse” was King David’s father.

It illustrates the fact that the king would be both the ancestor and the descendent of David. The promised king existed before David was born, but was Himself born in the line of David – after David.

It’s no mystery who this describes. Jesus called Himself, “the root and the offspring of David” (Revelation 22:16).

Jews immediately recognize this as the fulfillment of what is called the Davidic Covenant. God promised David and Israel that the Messiah would come from his line and would establish the Millennial Kingdom.

Isaiah is going to be showing us the future. This passage is a day in the life of King Jesus.

Isa 11:2  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 of the fear of the LORD.

The “Him” Isaiah describes is Jesus, God’s

Anointed, the Messiah of Israel and Savior of the world.

He was God from eternity; then in His virgin birth He added humanity to His deity; and now He is fully God and fully human, the unique God-man, forever.

“The Spirit of the LORD” is God the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity. Jesus will be aided by God the Holy Spirit. It’s not that He can’t rule without help. He’s not in over His head. There is a precious, cooperative intimacy between God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Not three gods, one God, eternally existing in three persons. They act harmoniously.

God the Holy Spirit is named before any words or works the Lord performs. If Jesus will be in constant contact and communion with the Spirit, how much more do we need Him?

Christians in the Church Age have the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit the moment they are born again. Our problem is that we inhabit unredeemed bodies, with a propensity to sin. God the Holy Spirit enables us to obey God’s Word, and empowers us to serve the Lord.

When the first century church needed men to serve widows, the apostle Peter instructed they choose men who were “full of the Holy Spirit, and wisdom” (Acts 6:3). Why specify that they needed to be full of the Holy Spirit, if all believers enjoy His indwelling?

Not all believers yield to the Holy Spirit, many preferring the wisdom of the world, or their own.

David’s son, Solomon, was encouraged in a dream to ask for whatever he wanted from God. He asked for wisdom to rule God’s people.

God, the Holy Spirit has many attributes, certainly more than six. But six attributes especially necessary for the Millennial King are “wisdom,” “understanding,” “counsel,” “might,” “knowledge,” and “the fear of the LORD.”

Isa 11:3  His delight is in the fear of the LORD, And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, Nor decide by the hearing of His ears;

Jesus wants His subjects to see His relationship to God the Father. He thus acts “in the fear of the LORD,” interdependent upon the Father. His judgments are not only from His “ears” and “eyes,” but involve the Father and the Spirit.

Isa 11:4  But with righteousness He shall judge the poor, And decide with equity for the meek of the earth; He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, And with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked.

On this day-in-the-life, the King is out among “the poor,” and “the meek.” The Millennium cannot be a perfect utopia. Not as long as there are human beings in mortal bodies. Jesus, however, will immediately act to protect the poor and the meek. His very words and breath will “slay the wicked.”

Isa 11:5  Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins, And faithfulness the belt of His waist.

The Message Version translates this, “Each morning He’ll pull on sturdy work clothes and boots, and build righteousness and faithfulness in the land.”

The Millennium comes immediately after the Time of Jacob’s Trouble, the Great Tribulation. Earth is devastated. The Lord is not going to simply snap His fingers and restore everything. There will be a lot of building to do. Jesus, as we like to say, will get His hands dirty.

The apostle Paul uses the illustration of building to describe our serving. We are to build with the best materials, being faithful stewards.

Isa 11:6  “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, The leopard shall lie down with the young goat, The calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little child shall lead them.

Isa 11:7  The cow and the bear shall graze; Their young ones shall lie down together; And the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

Isa 11:8  The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole, And the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den.

Isa 11:9  They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain… For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD As the waters cover the sea.

Jesus pauses His schedule in order hang out with some kids and deadly animals He has made safe.

I can’t think of a better way of communicating that there will be universal peace on Earth than to show that the wild beasts will get along with one another, and with us.

Of course, you know what this means. There will be no hunting, no killing, and we will all be vegetarians or fruitarians.

Isa 11:9  … For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD As the waters cover the sea.

We understand God’s Word to be alive and powerful. It will be even more powerful in the Millennium, in that nothing and no one will oppose its reaching the entire planet. An Earth “full of the knowledge of the LORD” will undergo many marvelous changes simply because of that. For example, later in Isaiah we read, “waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert” (35:6). It’s like when Jesus said the rocks would praise Him. One commentator said, “If God had never breathed life into humanity, He would still receive worship and praise. His perfection provokes the heavens to declare, the sky to proclaim, the rocks to cry out, the trees to clap, and the waters to roar the praises of His glory.”[1]

Isa 11:10  “And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, Who shall stand as a banner to the people; For the Gentiles shall seek Him, And His resting place shall be glorious.”

This “root of Jesse” thing reminds us how bleak the prospect of God keeping His promise to the Jews really was. It seemed that their lineage, illustrated by a mighty tree, had been cut down and was only a stump. True, but God would bring a shoot from its roots that exceeded all its former glory.

“Gentiles” are everyone who is not a physical descendant of Abraham. Like a “banner” – hopefully not one of those creepy air inflatables with the wild arms – Jesus will draw Gentiles from all over the world to Jerusalem.

His “resting place” is better understood as Jesus giving rest, spiritual rest. Funny, all the worlds religions promise spiritual rest, but their programs exhaust you trying to work your way to Heaven.

If you’re not a believer, you are under a heavy burden of sin. Jesus is the only person who has the shoulders broad enough to take upon them your sin, and the sins of the world. Following Jesus is not a burden. It is not a weight, it is a wing.

Isa 11:11  It shall come to pass in that day That the Lord shall set His hand again the second time To recover the remnant of His people who are left, From Assyria and Egypt, From Pathros and Cush, From Elam and Shinar, From Hamath and the islands of the sea.

A major feature of the seven year Time of Jacob’s trouble will be the antichrist attempting to exterminate all Jews. They will disperse over the planet, and receive help from many Gentile nations.

The Great Tribulation ends when Jesus returns in His Second Coming. A saved remnant of dispersed Jews will be drawn by Jesus to Jerusalem from all over the Earth in the future “that day.”

He says it is “the second time” He has done it. When was the first?

  • Some commentators immediately point to the Exodus from Egypt.
  • Some commentators say it was when the Jews returned from a 70 year captivity in Babylon.

Those were remarkable regatherings, but not from all corners of the Earth. It would seem that the regathering Isaiah is speaking of is the one that is happening now, in the modern state of Israel, as many Jews are returning from all over the world. It is part of setting the stage for the last days.

Isa 11:12  He will set up a banner for the nations, And will assemble the outcasts of Israel, And gather together the dispersed of Judah From the four corners of the earth.

Isa 11:13  Also the envy of Ephraim shall depart, And the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off; Ephraim shall not envy Judah, And Judah shall not harass Ephraim.

The nation of Israel had split in two after King David’s son and successor, King Solomon, died. The northern kingdom of Israel, also called “Ephraim,” was conquered by the Assyrians. Judah in the south lasted longer, but was conquered by the Romans. The split has never been healed, but it will be in the Millennium. They will be one nation, Israel.

Isa 11:14  But they shall fly down upon the shoulder of the Philistines toward the west; Together they shall plunder the people of the East; They shall lay their hand on Edom and Moab; And the people of Ammon shall obey them.

Remember, people in the Millennium will not be perfect. These verses portray a kind of SWAT action against any rebellion to the Lord’s rule.

Let me stop here and answer a question you might have. “Who are these people who go inhabit the Millennial Kingdom on Earth in their mortal bodies?” They are survivors of the Time of Jacobs Trouble, the Great Tribulation.

When Jesus returns in His Second Coming, believers who survive the Time of Jacob’s Trouble are separated from unbelievers to become the first citizens of the Kingdom. They remain mortal. The children they bear, and the children that their children bear, will be sinners in need of salvation. A multitude will reject the Lord. There will be opposition to Jesus during the Millennium and at the very end of the thousand years.

Isa 11:15  The LORD will utterly destroy the tongue of the Sea of Egypt; With His mighty wind He will shake His fist over the River, And strike it in the seven streams, And make men cross over dryshod.

Isa 11:16  There will be a highway for the remnant of His people Who will be left from Assyria, As it was for Israel In the day that he came up from the land of Egypt.

Jesus will alter the geography of the mouth of the Nile River to make the journey to Jerusalem easier. It is likened to the day that the Jews came up from the land of Egypt. Moses lifted his staff, and the Red Sea parted so that the children of Israel could cross on dry ground.

Here’s a good check for churches. Do we make it easier, or harder, for a sinner to be saved? Or for a saint to be sanctified?

Are we living in the most idolatrous, immoral times the nations have ever known? We could make a case for “Yes” by factoring in technology. For example, there has always been pornography. But it has never been so close, so easy, so prevalent, as today, with the World Wide Web to blame.

It’s bad, but not as bad as it could be, and will be. Evil is being restrained.

The apostle Paul wrote, “He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way” (Second Thessalonians 2:7).

This Restrainer is Someone well-known to the Church whose power is great enough to hold-back the devil. It is, in fact, God the Holy Spirit. He will be “taken out of the way” before antichrist can be revealed. This can only refer to the rapture of the Church. Individually and corporately, the Church is the Temple of the Holy Spirit. When we are removed, He will be as well. He then ministers powerfully but differently during the Time of Jacob’s Trouble.

Until our removal, we spread righteousness by our presence, empowered by the Holy Spirit.

#2 – King Jesus Will Savor Your Praises (12:1-6)

This day in the life of King Jesus in the Millennium continues with a concert performance for an audience of One.

Isa 12:1  And in that day you will say: “O LORD, I will praise You; Though You were angry with me, Your anger is turned away, and You comfort me.

The Time of Jacob’s Trouble takes Jews through the greatest tribulation the world has ever known, disciplining them, drawing them to salvation. In Zechariah 13:9 we read, “I will bring the one-third through the fire, Will refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them. I will say, ‘This is My people’; And each one will say, ‘The LORD is my God.’ ”

Fully of the Jews on the Tribulation Earth with be killed. The will endure to the end and be welcomed into their Kingdom by King Jesus.

I’ve been referring to the Great Tribulation by the name Jeremiah gave it, the Time of Jacob’s Trouble. I do it deliberately because it reminds us that those incredible seven years are primarily designed as discipline and discipleship for Israel.

Isa 12:2  Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; ‘For YAH, the LORD, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.’ ”

Maybe you’ve met someone who meant a lot to you, who inspired you. That’s the thing I see here.

“Jesus, you saved me, and now I can trust you and never be afraid. You give me strength, not simply to endure, but to enjoy, so I sing to You. Now everyday I am being saved – sanctified – to become more like You.”

Isa 12:3  Therefore with joy you will draw water From the wells of salvation.

The Lord is living water. His wells are over-abundant to save all who are thirsty, and to keep us satisfied.

Albert Barnes writes, “Partake abundantly of the mercies of salvation; that it is free, overflowing, and refreshing – like waters to weary pilgrims in the desert; and that their partaking of it would be with joy. It fills the soul with happiness; as the discovery of an abundant fountain, or a well in the desert, fills the thirsty pilgrim with rejoicing.”

Isa 12:4  And in that day you will say: “Praise the LORD, call upon His name; Declare His deeds among the peoples, Make mention that His name is exalted.

This is both an altar call, and a call to evangelize:

  • “Call upon His Name” to save; He is worthy to be praised.
  • Then go “declare His deeds” to the “peoples,” i.e., the Gentile nations.
  • Always portray Him as “exalted,” with no fault, the “name” above all names, the King of kings.

Isa 12:5  Sing to the LORD, For He has done excellent things; This is known in all the earth.

The word “excellent” is misused by us. We like to complement someone by saying to others, “He does excellent work.” No matter how excellent something may seem, everything in our world is deteriorating, decaying.

Everything the LORD has done is excellent. His plan of salvation reverses the curse that our original parents’ sin brought with it. Our future and the future Creation will be living, growing, without decay and death.

Jesus’ ministry during the Millennium will make His excellence “known in all the Earth.” What do you think is His most excellent work? Yes, it will be you and I and all those in glorified human bodies.

But not just because of our bodies. We will enjoy perfect fellowship wit the GodHead.

We will have free will, but like God, be unable to sin.

It won’t be a return to the Garden of Eden, in which Adam and Eve were tested and failed.

Isa 12:6  Cry out and shout, O inhabitant of Zion, For great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst!”

As the Little Einsteins might say, “Crescendo.”

This day in the life of King Jesus is how the Church will spend our days in the future Kingdom:

  • “Do you not know that the saints will judge the world?” (First Corinthians 6:2).
  • “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne” (Revelation 3:21).

Every day that the Lord does not come back there are opportunities to serve Him that will ready us for the future kingdom. Check your daily schedule.


1 Psalm 19:1, Luke 19:40, Psalm 98:7