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. Isaiah 11:6
God’s intention at the time of creation was a world of peace, a world of communion. Because sin entered the world through the disobedience of Adam and Eve, the world is anything but peaceful. Yet, even as the people of God wandered from His goodness, God established His covenant with His people Israel. God raised up Judges and then Kings that would establish His rule but not even those who were anointed king could remain faithful. The present reality of God’s people at the time of Isaiah’s proclamation was that of a people turned away from God, incurring His judgment and facing exile from the land promised to their ancestors so long ago.
Today, humanity suffers the same consequences of our disobedience. Our world is anything but peaceful. Communion between peoples is replaced with division among the nations. Selfish pride all too often gets in the way of sharing that which God has provided and our society is inwardly focused with many living for their selves rather than keeping God’s command to love their neighbor. Yet given all of this, there is hope for God’s people.
Isaiah’s prophecy of the coming Messiah provides a glimpse of the redeemed world. Not only will God’s Messiah come in judgment of all that has been and will be, at the time of His second coming He will establish God’s eternal peace within the restored kingdom of God. This future kingdom is one filled with God’s justice and the communion of God’s creation is reestablished through Christ.
The present reality of the people of God is simply no longer one of a people turned away from God. Rather than living as people divided and facing separation from God, through Christ Jesus God’s people once again enjoy an eternal and loving relationship with their heavenly Father. Even as we wander in the wilderness of a fallen world, through Christ Jesus the people of God have the assurance of forgiveness and salvation. Through Christ, the certainty of death is overcome with the promise of living in the peace of God’s kingdom forever.
We give you thanks, O Lord our God, for your mercy is good and your promises are sure. We look forward to the celebration of the birth of your Son and patiently await His coming again. Bring us at last to the joy of your salvation, living in the peace of your eternal kingdom. Amen.
Photo: A Heart Redeemed, Nathaniel Cook; blogspot.com