The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, "Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths." For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. (Isaiah 2:1-4)
Close your eyes for a moment and try to imagine a land where there is NO war. Not simply a land without murder or killing, but a land without even anger or bitterness or fist fights, a land without hatred or prejudice or burning crosses, a land without gangs or drive-by shootings or road rage. Imagine a land so full of love that people don't even own weapons anymore, they use them for digging in their gardens! In our days filled with "wars and rumors of wars," (Matthew 24:6) it's difficult to envision such a place, yet, that's exactly the kind of place Isaiah describes in this passage. Are we ready for it?
So often we talk of being in the "last days," of being near the time of Jesus' return for His bride, and many signs indicate we are. Here, Isaiah foretells a time when people from "all nations shall flow" to God's house (v. 2), and will desire to learn His ways (v. 3), a time when "they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks" (v 4.), a time when they shall choose to "walk in His ways" (v. 3). Obviously, those days have not yet arrived, but think for a moment just how they will be.
Little children will be able to go to bed without fear of Dad's drunken rage awakening them in the middle of the night, or of Uncle Jack leering at them (or worse) when no one is around. They will be able to rise in the morning without worrying that they'll say the wrong thing and leave for school with a black eye they have to explain, or a bruised back that no one can see. They will be able to go through their days without concern for where their next meal is coming from or whether Mom will be able to find her way home after a night on the town. They will be able to live as children - playing, running, laughing - and not be forced to act as adults before their childhood has even begun.
In this world to come, husbands and wives will desire to be faithful and to love each other only. They won't spend their money on pornographic movies, adult websites or prostitutes. They won't work long hours at the office simply to keep from coming home. They won't drink themselves into a stupor each evening simply so they don't have to face their spouse. Divorces will be a thing of the past and families will once again remain intact. People everywhere will seek God's face and His will for their lives and will choose to live righteous, holy lives that please the Lord. Rebellion will be a relic of days gone by and no one will mourn its passing.
Imagine a world where Jesus IS Lord, a world where He rules visibly and no one will deny that He is God. A world where He reigns in the hearts of all and not only in the hearts of a few.
Mankind has fallen into the dangerous trap of thinking that because Jesus has not yet returned, He isn't going to return. They have convinced themselves that the Bible is a hoax, or a book of stories that give the weak-minded a crutch to lean on. They have chosen to believe that because God has not yet judged them, He won't judge them at all. How far from the truth these thoughts are!
God is both a just and a merciful God (Psalm 89:14; Luke 6:36). It is His mercy that holds His wrath in check, and stays His hand of judgment from those who have openly rebelled against Him. And it is His justice that will govern in the latter days when "He shall judge between the nations" and "rebuke many people" (v. 4). These are both characteristics of God and we cannot discount or discredit either characteristic only because we don't yet see it.
We can be certain that Jesus will return as He has promised. And we can be certain that when He does, the peace and joy He will bring with Him will surpass anything we can even begin to imagine. Are you ready for that day to come?
PRAYER FOR TODAY
Jesus, thank you for your mercy and for your justice, Lord. Help me to be faithful to teach others your ways and encourage them to trust you as I do. In your name, I pray. Amen.
Darlene "Dee" Bishop
All scripture used from the New King James Version, © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
Copyright © 2006 Darlene Bishop. All rights reserved worldwide.
Darlene "Dee" Bishop is a Nazarene pastor, creative designer and writer. Visit her Website at http://christiansitesolutions.com to see how she can help your church create an affordable Internet presence and develop effective online solutions today.
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