God sent the prophet Isaiah, along with his contemporaries Micah and Hosea, to warn Judah and Jerusalem of the consequences of their ongoing idolatry and their outright rejection of the Lord and His commandments. He did this even though He knew all along that they would not listen – He even warned Isaiah of this at the very beginning of his ministry.
Judah held God’s temple and the kingly line of David. The eternal regal line would run through the tribe of Judah, as foretold back when Jacob blessed his twelves sons in Genesis 49:
10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
Nor a lawgiver from between his feet,
Until Shiloh comes;
And to Him shall be the obedience of the people. Genesis 49:10 NKJV
“Shiloh” is usually taken to be a reference to the coming Messiah, a world leader who would preside over a global age of peace. Christians believe this will happen when Jesus Christ, the final King in the Davidic line, returns to earth to reign in glory.
In Isaiah’s day, Judah was supposed to be a light to the world, drawing all nations to Jerusalem to hear about the wonders of the Lord and to eagerly learn about His laws. Although their initial mission would fail, God has the final say, and in the last days, He will fulfill this prophecy for His purposes and glory.
2 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days
That the mountain of the Lord’s house
Shall be established on the top of the mountains,
And shall be exalted above the hills;
And all nations shall flow to it. Isaiah 2:2 NKJV
In the last days, God will install His Messiah on Mount Zion to rule and judge the world with justice and fairness.
3 Many people shall come and say,
“Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
To the house of the God of Jacob;
He will teach us His ways,
And we shall walk in His paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth the law,
And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. Isaiah 2:3 NKJ
3 He shall judge between many peoples,
And rebuke strong nations afar off;
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. Micah 4:3 NKJV
This coming era of world peace is sometimes referred to as the Millennium Age. Even the strongest distant nations will not be able to ignore or resist His rebuke. Warfare and conflict will be futile, so resources will be re-directed to feeding the world.
But God clearly warns all of us that the road to this destination will not be smooth or easy. Because mankind clings to their idols so tightly, drastic measures will be needed to get their attention and convince them to let them go and turn back to God.
Like a three-act play, Isaiah 2 gives us the good news first as an Act 1, a joyful time that will come at the end of the play. A golden age of peace with God on the throne.
Act 2 spells out the suffering and troubles that must come first and highlights the reason for the required suffering – a universal stubbornness and rejection of God and His commandments.
Isaiah 2 spells out these problems in a way that sounds quite up to date: a turning to other gods and soothsayers from the east while ignoring Him, an unending pursuit of more and more riches and treasures, a reliance on a strong military to defend us without also considering God’s role as our Protector, and bowing down to the inventions of mankind without acknowledging the generous blessings of Almighty God.
Act 3 describes the painful process of a paradigm shift as a God-ignoring populace comes face-to-face with their Creator. Many will humbly turn to Him; others will hide themselves in shame and regret.
God describes the end from the beginning for our benefit. He wants us to consider our lives and to turn to Him and His Messiah, Jesus Christ, to be a part of His eternal coming kingdom.
9 remember the former things of old;
for I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me,
10 declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ Isaiah 46:9-10 NKJV
God loves us deeply and wants nothing more than for us to invite Him into our lives. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, He will completely forgive us, then put His Spirit into our hearts, gently leading us along our faith journey.
Though many trials and tribulations will come, God tells us that we need not worry or fear – He will never leave us nor forsake us.
Lord, hold me close in Your love. Thank You for forgiving me all of my sins. Help me to let go of all the other gods and idols that hurt You and teach me to love and forgive others. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.