These beautiful words are also found in Isaiah 2:1-4. (I believe I am right in saying that glorious words from verse three are to be found in the U.N. building in New York City. The people who work for that organisation must often feel that this is an unattainable ideal, but they don’t give up. Someone has suggested that the U.N. should move their headquarters to Jerusalem, because one day Jesus is going to achieve universal peace from there.) As you listen to and watch the news, you can’t help but long for the day when this prophecy fully comes to pass and Nations will quit fighting each other, quit learning how to kill one another. Each man will sit under his own shade tree, each woman in safety will tend her own garden. The Message. This is not the world as we find it now, but we can be sure that it is how it will one day be, for the God of truth has spoken.
You will note, I’m sure, a dramatic gear change between 3:12 and 4:1ff. The temple hill in Jerusalem will become a mound overgrown with thickets (3:12); but in the last days (4:1) the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as chief among the world’s mountains. He is referring to a time when the Messiah comes; days that began with the first coming of Jesus and that will culminate in His second advent. Already, to some extent, there is a fulfilment of these words. Today, under the reign of Jesus, His church, comprised of Jews and Gentiles, is being built as a city set on a hill that cannot be hid. The Word of God goes out from the church and Many nations are streaming into it. Under His rule there is peace, security and willing worship. But the fullest realisation of the prophecy will be seen when Jesus returns to the earth and establishes His Kingdom over it. I remember our highly intelligent and very godly Director of Studies at Bible College saying that there are passages in Scripture that really only make sense if there is to be a literal reign of Christ over the earth. This is one of them.
By the way, (5) is not implying that it’s okay for the pagan nations to walk in the name of their gods. He is just stating what the norm is currently; what is likely to happen. This is how it has been throughout history, but when Jesus comes back all will submit to Him (Phil.2:9-11).
F.B. Meyer writes eloquently about this passage in Great verses through the Bible,p.352: In a deep and true sense it has come to pass that the Lord’s house has been established in the top of the mountains, and has been exalted above the hills. The church is a conspicuous and influential object among the forces of the world; and peoples are flowing towards it. In very many cases whole nations have flung away the religion of their ancestors, and gathered within that Christian temple which has been built upon the foundation of Judaism. Out of Zion there has gone forth the law; and from Jerusalem the Word of the Lord. In Jesus, the Jew is still the centre of the world’s vision. But the full accomplishment of these words waits behind the curtain that is so soon to be rent at the coming of our Lord. Then holy influences will proceed from the chosen people who shall have been led to recognize Christ as their Messiah. From these the Gospel shall go forth unto all the world. Beneath the hallowing influences of that age…the canon shall be as obsolete as the tomahawk; the explosives of war shall be stored in museums; whilst schools for training the art of war shall be used as missionary seminaries. There shall be no war, because there shall be no fear…And there shall be no fear, because universal love shall reign towards God and man.
Prayer: I thank you Lord Jesus that a day is coming when you will make all wars to cease across the earth. Even so, come Lord Jesus.