In that day the Branch of the LORD will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of the survivors in Israel. Isa 4:2
What is the Branch of the Lord? Isaiah 11:1 gives us insight, “A shoot will spring up from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit.”
The Branch of the Lord is the Messiah, who will come from the line of Jesse, David’s father. So the prophesy of Isaiah 4:2 says that the Messiah will be beautiful and glorious, and that he will be associated with fruit.
Although we could take “the fruit” literally, and believe that it refers to a time of crops and prosperity for the Hebrews, I think it also has to refer to the progeny of the Messiah. Look at Isaiah 26:7, “In the days to come, Jacob will take root. Israel will bud and blossom and fill the whole world with fruit.”
Doesn’t this remind you of the Great Commission? Jesus told his disciples to go into all the world so that all could become worshippers and children of the Most High.
We get such a picture of God’s plan to bring vitality and abundance.
Look at how other prophesies speak to this.
They say that the Messiah would establish an ever increasing kingdom. “Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish and sustain it with justice and righteousness from that time and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of Hosts will accomplish this.” ( Isa 9:7)
They say that he would bring salvation. “He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. . . by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.” (Isa 53:2, 11)
There’s just one caveat for the production of fruit. “Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” John 12:24
For the Messiah to bear fruit, he would have to die. The rest of Isaiah 53 makes this clear. “because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors.” (From Isa 53:12)
For there to be beauty and glory, there must first be death.
And the same is true for us. If we want to be effective, if we want the life we long for, we have to die to self.
It’s a good thing to remember. We just had a friend and his dad and cat stay with us for a week after Hurricane Michael. The time was a blessing. I think in the way my husband and I served our friend, we planted a seed of faith. But I also think I can learn from this how to die to self more completely, how to be more willing and wholeheartedly, and to do better next time.
I long for our church to grow. It hits me like never before that this will only be accomplished as each of us dies to self.
And what other beauty do I long to see? How does my heart yearn to see God work?
His work starts with my death. It could be an action. It could be surrendering the matter to him in prayer.
But I am the progeny of the Branch of the Lord. It is my destiny to bear fruit as he did.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5