Eternal Peace (a meditation)

The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. ~ Isaiah 11:6

We dream of peace in an unpeaceful world (at least we should). We know well that sense of lack of peace—not just personal times of turmoil, but global turmoil. Especially in an age when we can read about or hear about murders, persecutions, and terrorist attacks at home as well as the far reaches of the world in an instant with just the click of a few buttons. A lack of peace dominates global news.

Yet thousands of years ago the Bible prophesied of a King who would bring an end to violence, wars, and hate, and usher in an eternity of true peace.

Isaiah 11 is one of these prophecies. Isaiah spoke about one who would come from the line of King David. The Spirit will be upon this King, the fear of the Lord will be his delight, and he will judge in perfect righteousness. Under his rule, natural enemies will be at peace within each other’s presence.

Isaiah 11:9 says, “They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”

We know this prophecy points forward to Jesus’ eternal reign because part of it is repeated in Isaiah 65, where we read: “The wolf and the lamb shall graze together; the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain” (65:25, cf. 11:6, 9). That section of Isaiah 65 begins with the promise, “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind” (65:17). This calls us to think ahead to the glimpse of eternity in Revelation 21&22.

As perfect, eternal peace is coming, so Jesus says to us today: “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons and daughters of God” (Matthew 5:9). The King calls his followers to mimic him in peacemaking. We strive for this as we seek to reconcile people to God and people with other people.

Will we see every attempt at this succeed? No, for sin will still corrupt and bring division, hatred, and war, until Jesus comes back. But that doesn’t give us an excuse to not try. Personal, familial, community, and global peacemaking should be our aim today as citizens of the kingdom of eternal peace.

This post is part of our ongoing journey through the Bible as a church.

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