Sunday, February 17, 2008

Weekly Meditations: Is. 2 (1)

The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it, and many peoples shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and 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.

O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord. (Is. 2:1-5)

Isaiah here starts a new line of thought. In it, he proclaims the future and coming glory of the Lord, and of the reality of His coming. Although the situation of the people of God is desparate, Isaiah anticipates the coming glory of the Kingdom of God and the goodness and peace it brings. As he starts, it will come to pass (not hypothetically, but SHALL come to pass) that the absolute Kingship and Lordship of God will be established. As it states in verse 2, God's Kingdom and rule (symbolized by the imagery of the moutain) will be exalted far above all other kingdoms, countries and dominions, and all the nations will acknowledge and submit to its reign. In that day of the Lord, all peoples will submit themselves to the rule and reign of God, and will submit to the His Word (v. 3). All of this will be found within and from the Scripture through the Church of God (v. 3b) and not from any other, contrary to the Inclusivist and Pluralistic viewpoint espoused by many compromisers and apostates. That day will be a time of peace, true peace, as God who reigns will bring an end to all warfare (v. 4), shown as the weapons of warfare are used for more constructive purposes and not for war.

Obviously, such a scenario has yet to happen. Wars do happen and are increasing in violence and frequency, and the name and cause of Christ is mocked and derided by His enemies. Yet, there will come a time in the future when all of such injustice and blasphemy will come to an end, and we should like Isaiah look forward to the blessed Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will do all of this. When Christ comes, he will executes true justice and will restore the honor and glory of His name and His Kingdom among the nations, bringing the whole world under submission to His authority and thus granting true peace.

Isaiah ends this with an exhortation to the people of God to walk in the way and the light of the Lord (v. 5). Knowing that the end of everything is for Christ, we are therefore exhorted to follow Him, knowing that at the end His cause and Kingdom will reign supreme. This is our blessed hope and something we must be looking forward to. As it is written:

For he (Abraham) was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. ...

For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city. (Heb. 11: 10, 14-16)

As the situation in this present world and age continues to worsen in growing moral decadence amidst the self-destructive process inititated by the wicked and the reprobates in destroying themselves and their societies, we as Christians ought to follow the example of our father Abraham and the great giants of the faith. We are to look forward and yearn for the coming of our God and King, and think of ourselves as aliens and sojourners in our countries and societies. This world is not our home. For example, Singapore is not my home; Heaven is. (And this is one reason why the propsperity "gospel" is so antithecal to true Christianity; it places the emphasis on the here and now as opposed to Christ and His heavenly kingdom). All of us Christians are saved OUT of this world of sin and debauchery into the glorious Kingdom of God; from the Kingdom of darkness into the glorious Kingdom of Light (Acts. 26: 18; 1 Peter 2:9). And we are to live our lives as such, with our gaze and perspective firmly fixed on Christ and His Kingdom, and doing all to the praise of the glory of His grace.

So, let us continue to be heavenly-minded and not focus our eyes on the things of the earth. For we truly look forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God Himself (Heb. 11:10). So come, Lord Jesus (Rev. 22:20). Amen.

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