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A Root Out of a Dry Ground (1 of 23)
Series: The Hope of the Gospel
J. D. Jones
'A root out of a dry ground'! What idea does this figure suggest to you? It suggests to me the idea of unexpectedness, unaccountableness, miraculousness. A 'dry ground'-that is not exactly the kind of place we expect a root to shoot out from. A 'dry ground'-that is not exactly the kind of soil in which we expect plants to flourish. I notice that when the bedding-out season comes round, gardeners, even when they put their plants into prepared ground, take care to keep that ground moistened and well watered. If they bedded their plants in dry ground, they would not spring up at all. If a man took it into his head to plant seeds on our highways, he need not look for flowers in the spring. They are dry ground. And if by chance a root should spring up out of dry ground, it is usually a very poor and stunted and shriveled thing. Some time ago as I traveled through one of the Welsh mining valleys my eye fell upon three or four trees that were growing out of the very midst of a hill of coal waste. It was a most unlikely place in which to see a tree growing at all, and I marveled at the vitality that could exist amid such surroundings. But I also noticed that it was a very precarious and poverty-stricken existence these trees on the coal heap were leading. Compared with the trees that were growing in the green and fertile fields near by, they were poor and sickly-looking specimens. It is hopeless to expect a strong, vigorous, beautiful plant to spring out of a dry ground.
But the prophet here asserts that, in the case of a certain historic Person, that hopeless and seemingly impossible thing actually happened. 'He grew up before him,' he writes, 'as a root out of a dry ground.' I need scarcely say to remind you that the Messiah is the subject of this great and overwhelming chapter. It may be, as scholars assert, that it was the afflicted nation of Israel that the prophet at ...
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