“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord,
“When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch;
And He will reign as king and act wisely
And do justice and righteousness in the land.
– Jeremiah 23:5 NASB
The prophet Jeremiah lived roughly a century after the prophet Isaiah. The two prophets – along with Moses and all the prophets of the Old Testament – prophesied of the Messiah that God was sending to redeem Israel and all of humanity.
While there is an element of prediction involved in such prophecies, they are more rightly considered matters of promise. That is, God makes promises…and because He is faithful, He keeps those promises. Thus the promises of God demonstrate His faithfulness. He says what He going to do…and He does what He says.
In this prophecy, you can right away see the promise of the resurrection of Christ (“Christ” just being a the Greek term for the Hebrew term “Messiah”). You see this promise in the phrase “I will raise up.” This is not to say that everyone in Jeremiah’s day would have recognized that a resurrection was being promised, but the actual resurrection of Christ three days after His crucifixion made it crystal clear.
During His earthly life, even though Jesus was a descendant of the mighty David, He walked in humility and was ultimately crucified. He did not “reign as king” until He ascended into heaven after His resurrection. Whether in humility on earth or in glory in heaven, however, He always “acted wisely and did justice and righteousness in the land.” And He’s still doing so today – because “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
Jesus’ kingdom is the kingdom of God…because He is God. All His subjects are former rebels – me and you included. Even still, we have a rebellious streak that must be disciplined and kept under control. Part of why we look to the Scripture every day and pray is to conform our will to His, so that we might be dutiful sons and daughters – not rebellious children. In our obedience, we are twigs that spring from “the righteous Branch.”
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord, God, and Father: Alas, I already know how to rebel; I need no instruction in that course of action. Rather, what I need is instruction in righteousness. You set an example for me; help me follow it this day…(this is where you remain quiet in order to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.