I was reading Isaiah chapter 2 earlier this week, a chapter that always excites me about the destiny of the kingdom of God. In the first three chapters of Isaiah, the Lord rebukes Israel for abandoning Him and forewarns them of the judgment He is about to bring on them from the Assyrians. But nestled in the beginning of chapter 2, seemingly out of place against the backdrop of rebuke and judgment, is a promise about the Kingdom Age:
“Now it will come about that in the last days the mountain of the house of the Lord will be established as the chief of the mountains, and will be raised above the hills; and all the nations will stream to it. And many peoples will 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 concerning His ways and that we may walk in His paths.’ For the law will go forth from Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And He will judge between nations, and will render decisions for many peoples; and they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they learn war.” (Isaiah 2:2-4).
Here’s three quick points from this passage as it relates to the kingdom of God:
1. As the kingdom of God advances on the earth, the Church will become preeminent in the earth. The Church–the body of true believers, not the institution–will be established as the “chief of the mountains” (v.2). There will still be opposition, but the Church will ascend to a position of clear preeminence.
2. As the kingdom of God advances on the earth, the world will look to Christians for leadership. Isaiah describes it as non-Christians persuading one another to “go up to the mountain of God” so they can learn His ways and be subjected to His earthly justice (vv.3-4). Earthly justice is a repeating theme and indicia of the kingdom of God, but I will save that topic for a future post.
3. As the kingdom advances, commerce will replace warfare. As the kingdom of God brings economic prosperity, the traditional reasons for war will lose their appeal. The tools of commerce will replace the tools of warfare, people will become more productive and less destructive (“they will hammer their swords into plowshares”), and as people prosper war will become a thing of the past. (v. 4).
There are good things ahead for the kingdom of God, it’s citizens and the world. GS