The prophet Isaiah was given a “word” from God “concerning Judah and Jerusalem.” It was about events that would come to pass “in the latter days.” The mountain of the Lord’s “house” would be lifted up above every other hill. Not only that, “all the nations shall flow to it.” The vision was clearly not only about the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Many people groups from all over the earth would be encouraging one another in the journey that would lead them to “the God of Jacob.” Their delight would be to “walk in His paths.” The word or “law” of God would go forth out of His “Zion,” and a powerful kingdom of perfect peace would be established.
Worshipers throughout the world are still waiting for a day when wars cease. But even now, we know that Jesus is the only way to the fullness of the kingdom of God. We join others in calling Jews and Gentiles everywhere to “walk in the light of the Lord.”
When we encounter prophetic passages that contain important Old Testament words like “Zion,” we must be careful in our interpretation. The safest approach is to look at the New Testament usage of these words and concepts from the Hebrew Bible. Joel 2:28-32, like Isaiah 2, uses this word “Zion.” We know from the quotes of Joel 2 in Acts 2 and Romans 10 that the apostles knew that the true Zion was being built through the preaching of the gospel to the people groups of the earth. The new Zion was not a city made with human hands, but an assembly of people who were called by God to put their trust in Jesus.
The problem with the covenant community in the days of Isaiah was that they were “filled” not with the fullness of their God, but with religious ideas from the idol worship of other nations. What would it take for them to find the real eternal Zion? What would be necessary for men and women to turn away from their false deities? An amazing work of God was absolutely necessary. The Lord promised to visit them and to “terrify the earth.” Only then would people abandon their false gods and their foolish pride. Only then would they begin to look for some safe place to hide.
“The Lord of hosts has a day against all that is proud and lofty.” If God did not teach us to fear, would we ever abandon our idols? When we are finally brought to see the greatness of the real God, perhaps we will “stop regarding man” as if we were the lord of all. When we give up on what is false and low, only then can we find the freedom and obedience of the true sons of God.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Glorious Lord, according to Your promise establish Your church as the highest mountain of truth and righteousness throughout the earth. Teach us to walk in Your light, O Lord. There is great danger for us in all that is proud and lifted up against You. We long for the day when You alone will be exalted. Even now, we yield ourselves to You as the only God. Loosen our grip on every idol and cause us to worship You in Spirit and in truth.