qui stas in signum populorom,
super quem continebunt reges os suum,
quem gentes deprecabuntur:
veni ad liberandum nos;
jam noli tarde."
(O Root of Jesse,
you stand for an ensign of humankind:
before you kings shall keep silence
and to you all nations shall have recourse.
Come, save us, and do not delay.)
"And though a tenth remains in the land, it will again be laid waste. But as the terebinth and oak leave stumps when they are cut down, so the holy seed will be the stump in the land (Is. 6:13)."
Roots, even though they are necessary for the life of a tree, are hidden beneath the surface. There, hidden in the dirt, they draw moisture and nutrients needed for the life of the rest of the body. The tree may be cut down, those roots still remain and so does a stump, which will grow again to its former height by drawing from the nutrients of the roots.
God is the God of stumps. The prophet Isaiah prophecies later that even "A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out (Is. 42:3)." When we, much like the idolatrous people of ancient Israel, are cut down divided into two nations -- that we have the "holy" Andy and the "sinful" Andy; both taken in captivity -- the "holy" to the spirit of religion and the "sinful" to the lusts of the flesh. We wonder if God is still with us. We go to church and am convicted of our sinful ways, but we have this irresistible urge to go and do that sin. These two personalities are at conflict with each other and the "true" Andy, hidden deep within, shrinks from the fight and hides within the Spirit of God. Eventually, one of these sides will eventually win, and either we become so religious that we condemn and hate, or we become so sinful that we no longer cared that Christ died for us.
All the while, the stump of our former glory remains, hidden within the Spirit of God. Without our conscious awareness, I won't presume where or how this happens, the "true" Andy eats and drinks and is sustained by the Spirit of God, while our flesh goes off to extremes, no longer caring about the direction of God (this happens to both the religious and the sinful, really they are the same.) Sometimes he comes out on those cold sleepless winter nights, thinking, "what has happened to me? I used to walk with God; I use to know His ways and His voice. God, will I ever return to that with you? Will I ever know your grace again?" Shortly, the ruling flesh tells him to shut up and that no one cares about you anymore. Sometimes he comes out when we feel that biting loneliness even though we are surrounded by people, again, both the religious and sinful kind. But, for the most part, He remains in hiding, asking, "When, God when?"
"O God, lover of the remant, hidden within You,
Bring our waring fleshes to peace,
So that we may lift up our cups one more time,
And that you may fill them with your salvation.
O God, come -- HURRY!
SAVE us from this bondage of the flesh,
and do not delay. Amen."