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Isaiah 11:1-9

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In or Out?

What’s in your perfect world?
Some things we all agree should be included. Other things we disagree.
The embarrassing truth is that each of our ‘perfect worlds’ are rather selfish! They migth be perfect for us - but not for many other people.
The bible teaches us about a world that is perfect for everyone! Not in Revelation (as we might expect) but in Isaiah, who wrote this before Jesus was even born! Isaiah tells us three things that everyone would want included in their perfect world.

Justice

Has anyone ever said, “That’s not fair!”? If so, why?
We all know that this world is not as ‘fair’ as we’d like it to be.
Once again, our definition of what’s fair is usually pretty selfish; but we would all agree that this world is not right.
Read Isa 11:3b-5
Isaiah 11:3b–5 NIV
and he will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.
In this perfect world, there will be justice for everyone. Someone, the “he” of the passage (we’ll come back to him), will make a world where there will be no injustice or favouritism. Instead just equality, righteousness and justice.
That’s the first thing. Who wouldn’t want justice in their perfect world? Anyone here long for a world that is unjust and unfair?
On to the second thing:

Safety

I’ve bought some toys along with me.
Get out drill and circular saw.
Who wants to come and play with these? Any children want to come and play?
Any adults prepared to let their children come and play…? No…? Of course not!!! That would be ridiculous!!
Children and power tools don’t mix. It’s simple as that. No need to clarify and explain. It’s obvious. It would end in a painful mess. It’s too dangerous.
What about is a lion was playing with a little baby sheep? How safe does that sound?
Read Isa 11:6-8
Isaiah 11:6–8 NIV
The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the cobra’s den, the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
What about it I’d brought a cobra along with me? A venomous snake. Would anyone let their children play with that?
But here is a description of this perfect world - and these are precisely the kinds of things that will happen…because the perfect world will be safe.
Would anyone prefer their perfect world to be unsafe? Didn’t think so!
The third thing:

Knowledge

We’ve talk a lot so far about what is included in our perfect world. But what about things that are excluded?
Who’d exclude Marmite? Vegetables? Rain? Anything else?
What about pastors? (in general, not me specifically - don’t let that sway your decision!!)
What about Communion?
What about Bibles?
Here’s the deal, in the prefect world that Isaiah is writing about, there will be no bibles, or pastors. Why?
Read Isaiah 11:9
Isaiah 11:9 NIV
They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
Because these things are designed to give knowledge of God. And in this perfect world, knowledge of God will “fill the earth as the waters cover the sea.”
Just pause for a moment. Let me talk to the grown-ups: Doesn’t v9 thrill your heart? I hope it does. If you call yourself a Christian but aren’t desperately longing for a deeper, fuller knowledge of God then you should be worried. For all of us who are longing for that - that heart, friends. That day is coming. We’ll see Jesus face to face. We’ll know as we are known. Press on. Stand firm. Don’t lose heart. It’s hard now, I know it, you know it. But the day of our longings is coming.

How do we get there?

Obviously this perfect world sounds great doesn’t it? Who doesn’t want to life in a safer, kinder world?
The question is how do we get there?

Not “how?” but “who?”

Really important: the Bible doesn’t speak about heaven apart from God. Heaven is not just some place we go to, it’s always connected with a person: God.
The same is true here.
Read Isa 11:1-3a
Isaiah 11:1–3a NIV
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him— the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord— and he will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears;
This perfect world is all tied to one person. And we have two clues as to who he is:
He’s connected to Jesse. Anyone know who Jesse was? He was King David’s dad. And throughout the whole Bible, King David points forward to who? Which town was Jesus born in? “Once in Royal David’s City...”
These verses keep mentioning the spirit. The person who bring about this perfect world is filled with the Spirit.
Read Luke 4:18
Luke 4:18 NIV
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,
It’s Jesus, get it. This perfect world isn’t just some nice place. Some idyllic holiday resort in the Bahamas. This is the kindgom of God. This is Jesus home. This is heaven.

Are you coming?

This perfect world sounds pretty great, yes?
Want to come there, with me?
Read Isaiah 11:11
Those who go there are those whom Jesus brings there.
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