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Advent Devotional - December 11

A shoot shall come out from the stock of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear; 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 kill the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist, and faithfulness the belt around his loins. The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze, their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den. They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.

The spirit of the Lord…this is the word for breath – “ruach” in Hebrew. The same spirit that moved over the formless void and created life when there was no life. It was hopeful then and it is hopeful here. While in Genesis, “ruach” was bringing forth life, the breath of God is now granting wisdom, counsel, knowledge, and fear of the Lord…a whole new kind of life; this reminds us how vast God’s very breath is. Imagine what it can do if we were willing?

Prayer: Breath of God, move in us. Move over us. Move through us. Bring us the gifts we are lacking. Amen.

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