Advent Devotionals: Day 5

Isaiah 2:1-4

This is what Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem: In the last days the mountain of the Lord's temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. Many peoples will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths." The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.

Here the reader encounters Isaiah, the tough prophet of God, looking forward to a day when the Messiah judges and reigns forever. This prophecy must have seemed a little far-fetched, because the powerful nations of that day, Assyria and Egypt, wanted nothing to do with Yahweh, the God of Israel. Furthermore, the central role of Jerusalem in this future Utopia must have made the nationalistic Jew both inwardly smile and outwardly smirk with doubt.

Much has happened since 700 B.C. The Messiah has come and rescued His children from spiritual tyranny, but only at the consummation of His second return will this Utopia be realized. Until then, Christians are called to live out a kingdom ethic, sowing the seeds of the Gospel to a lost and dying world.

As you reflect on these verses, ask yourself if you live with the same fervency for Jesus' second return as the Jews did for His first. Do you long to sit and learn under His omnipotent feet for all eternity?

Prayer: Father in Heaven, we long to taste and see that You are good. We also long for Your return when justice and love will transform our broken world. Empower us with Your Spirit, convict us of our sin, and grow our affections for You and Your glorious name. In Jesus' name, Amen.
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