This is such a great picture! It should be a great encouragement to us. As we began these devotions I wrote that we were focusing on the theme of the Jesse tree that is found in this passage. That picture is the basis for our journey through Scripture this advent.
The picture illustrates a couple truths. First, there is a stump because the tree, which was Israel, was cut down because of sin. God cut down his own tree. He takes sin seriously in his people. We are not immune to his judgment. Cutting a tree down to its stump is a drastic action to destroy a tree that is sick and dying.
Second, though, there is hope because there is still a stump left. The tree is not totally dead and gone. No one has come with a stump grinder to destroy it, because God allowed the stump to remain for a purpose. Even though his people sinned, he still had a plan for them, for the faithful remnant that remained. Out of that stump would grow the heir of Jesse, the righteous branch, Jesus. From that branch would his people grow, which includes you and me. As you put this ornament up on your tree, consider your great sin and your greater Savior.