‘And again Isaiah says, “There shall come the root of Jesse, and He who arises to rule over the Gentiles, in Him shall the Gentiles hope.” ‘ Romans 15:12
The apostle Paul, as he was moved by the Holy Spirit, quotes in part from another great Messianic passage in the scroll of Isaiah.
The entire verse is from chapter eleven, verse ten: “Then it will come about in that day that the nations will resort to the root of Jesse, Who will stand as a signal for the peoples; and His resting place will be glorious.” This quote of Isaiah by Paul in his letter to the Roman brethren follows three previous Old Testament quotes he has cited, all in reference to the Gentiles. The first quote, in verse nine of chapter fifteen, begins to carry the theme of mercy that has been extended by God through Jesus Christ to the Gentiles. It comes from a thanksgiving “hymm” of deliverance offered by David after being delivered from the hand of his enemies (including Saul) as recorded in 2 Samuel chapter 22:50. Because of God’s deliverance and mercy extended to him, David is ready to proclaim this among the nations (Gentiles). Anyone who has received deliverance and mercy from God should be willing to acknowledge that among the nations, right? Right! The second quote comes from the song of Moses as recorded in Deuteronomy 32 concerning the LORD avenging the enemies of His people as well as atoning for the people and the land, telling the nations to rejoice with His people (Israel) for this promise. This can only occur if the nations become His people, right? Right! The third quote is from the shortest chapter (two verses) in the Bible, Psalms chapter 117, concerning the praise all the nations are to render the LORD for His great lovingkindness. Again, you only praise the LORD when that lovingkindness is “great toward” you, right? Right! These bring us to our quote from Isaiah and our text above. The Gentiles will have hope when the root of Jesse “arises to rule over the Gentiles.” Well, He’s going to have to “arise” in order for us of the nations to have hope, right? Right! Brethren he did arise – from the grave to glory – where Isaiah, through the Holy Spirit said His resting place would be. And you’ve probably noticed (hopefully) from New Testament passages that this prophesied mercy, deliverance, lovingkindness, atoning and hope of the Gentiles all takes place because of the Lord’s resurrection and ascension to the throne in heaven. The context of these verses mentioned above, deals with the issue of accepting “one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God. (Rom. 15:7)The premise of the book of Romans opens with the statement that Paul’s apostolic mission and the reason God’s grace has been extended to him is to “bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles.” (Rom. 1:5) It closes with a similar statement in chapter 16:26 concerning the preaching of Jesus Christ, once secret “but now manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith..” That’s been God’s eternal plan from the beginning. How will these diverse nations come together as one and accept each other? By the common thread comprised of mercy, deliverance, lovingkindness and the atoning work of Jesus Christ based on a real hope rooted in a real resurrection. Amen.