There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
Isaiah ended chapter ten with a grim depiction of God’s judgement—"He will cut down the thickets of the forest with an axe, and Lebanon will fall by the Majestic One”—which effectively sums up the story of man. Adam’s family-tree is full of potential, divinely sown with ingenuity and reason, and created to fill the earth with the knowledge of the glory of God, yet we always fall short. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). No matter how many prophets, priests, and kings God has sent; no matter how many laws and covenants He’s breathed out; we’ve perpetually disregarded them. Have our self-help books and political ideals and technological advancements raised us back up from fallen stumps? Have our words and efforts been a catalyst for redemption? No! Divine incarnation is the only way.
Christian, marvel afresh at the thought that God didn’t sow a brand new world over the ashes of the old. He sowed Himself into the stump of fallen earth—into your life and mine—to raise us back up with Him.