(#3 in my short series on Isaiah for PCI's Tides Daily Readings...)
READ: ISAIAH 11: 4-9
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
or decide by what he hears with his ears;
but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
Righteousness will be his belt
and faithfulness the sash around his waist.
The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling[a] together;
and a little child will lead them.
The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
The infant will play near the cobra’s den,
and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
REFLECT: John Lennon imagined there was no heaven. It was easy. Isaiah imagines there is a heaven. That brings us all a challenge.
Back in the noughties our Queen’s Chaplaincy teams to South Africa always toured Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. We heard about prisoners learning to read and write and do mathes. Why? “We were getting ready for freedom before freedom came!”
I heard those words when when I read Isaiah 11. In the midst of God’s judgement being proclaimed, there are signs of different days. Days of a whole new order. Predators dwell in harmony with their prey and children play with snakes!
These are the days of Revelation, when God will dwell with his reconciled peoples of all nations in the new Jerusalem.
Discipleship is getting ready for these days before they fully arrive. To be people of peace. People of reconciliation. People of a world order back in harmony as it was in the early days of Eden.
RESPOND “Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Where can we get ready for heaven before heaven comes?