11 A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch shall grow[a] out of his roots.
2 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.
3 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,
4 but with righteousness he shall judge for the poor
and decide with equity for the oppressed 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.
5 Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist
and faithfulness the belt around his loins.
6 The wolf shall live with the lamb;
the leopard shall lie down with the kid;
the calf and the lion will feed[b] together,
and a little child shall lead them.
7 The cow and the bear shall graze;
their young shall lie down together;
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8 The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,
and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.
9 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.
On a recent trip to Virginia, my grandson, Noah, asked me to read a Bad Guys book to him. The Bad Guys is an illustrated children’s graphic novel series by Australian author Aaron Blabey. The book series centers around a gang of anthropomorphic animals (Wolf, Snake, Piranha, Shark, and Tarantula), known as the Bad Guys who attempt to perform good deeds to change society’s perception of them as criminals, despite their efforts usually going wrong.
Among these creatures, Wolf’s reputation has been spotty since Bible times. But there is hope for redemption for all bad guys (Wolf, Snake … and even you and me.) Isaiah painted the peaceful portrait as the culmination of God’s plan. God does hope that all creation will dwell in unity. God does hope that one day the wolf will live with the lamb, and we will not hurt or destroy on all God’s holy mountain.
We can begin this as we become more closely followers of the little child who came from the stump of Jesse. Let’s do our part to live like good guys.
Let me take my place in creation today, and live as one of your good and blessed creatures. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.