In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples—of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious. (ESV)
What is your perception of the perfect country? What type of things would be there? What things would not? Who would you want to be there? Who would you not?
John Lennon had an idea. He shared it in his hit song “Imagine” in 1971. Here’s what he said we should imagine:
Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today…
Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace…
I don’t aim here to pick on John Lennon, but I use his song above to illustrate the typical way that people who don’t know the God of all grace think about paradise. For those who haven’t tasted to see that the Lord is good, paradise can’t have God, it can’t have any religion, it can’t be nationally-based, and there can’t be any war. Paradise must include, though, peace. Somehow. All you have to do is believe it’s possible for people to achieve it – to make paradise.
Let’s consider the prophet Isaiah’s hit song in Isaiah 11:1-10. I’ll put some selective lyrics below:
 There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
 And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him,
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. (ESV)
 The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf 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 cobra,
and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den.
 They shall not hurt or destroy
in all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD
as the waters cover the sea. (ESV)
The preceding chapters describe the judgment of God on the wicked nations being like taking an axe to a giant forest and leaving nothing standing. That’s why chapter 11:1 begins with a “stump.” Out of all the nations of the world, the Jewish nation would produce the Ruler who would usher in paradise for the entire world! The stump was Jesse, the father of King David. The branch is the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
What will His paradise be like? It will be centered on the one and only true God. It will be rooted in the Jewish nation. It will be ruled by One who delights in the fear of the LORD. Predators will be transformed into peaceful and peace-keeping beings. The smallest of children will face no threat by serpents. Prosperity will ever increase. Wars will cease. And nations will no longer seek to oppress other nations. Instead, all nations will seek after the Lord, to know the Messiah, to worship Him. Because only the Messiah can make paradise.
Oh, friends, the entrance back into paradise can only be gained through Jesus Christ.