I want to show immediately that there is a vital connection between verses 1 and 5. When God causes us to see a truth we then need to live ”in the light” of it, or rather ”in the light of the LORD” who gave it, and who is Himself light. Yesterday morning, in a church service, I believe God spoke to me clearly. It was a powerful and memorable moment. I now need to live in the light of what He showed me, and I’m pretty sure that at times it will be a fight to do so. The enemy of our souls would much prefer to consign us to the shadow lands.
Isaiah’s ‘vision’ had to do with ”the last days”. These are the days of the Messiah. They were inaugurated at the first coming of Christ and will be fulfilled finally at His second appearing. There are things here that are being fulfilled currently in the church, but there are other matters that probably will not be totally realised until the very end of time, and even after the return of Jesus to the earth. Here are at least five truths to ”walk in the light of”:
- God will ‘elevate’ the church (2): He is building his church as a city on a hill so that it cannot be hidden. He doesn’t want to keep His work ‘under wraps’ but on display.
- God will make His church a truly international community (2c, 3a): ”…all nations will stream to it. Many peoples will come…” The church will draw in men and women, boys and girls from all over the world, and so the Lord’s original plan to bless all peoples through Abraham and his descendants will come to pass (Gen.12:1-3). ”All nations will river toward it, people from all over set out for it.” The Message.
- God will cause His church to be attractive and magnetic (3b): This is not about our publicity saying, ”Come ” (although there is admittedly a place for that.) This refers to such a movement of God that people are saying to each other: ”Come, let us go up…’ This is about men fishing for men and catching men. They are saying to each other: ”He’ll show us the way he works so we can live the way we’re made.” The Message.
- The church is meant to get the Word of God out (3c). We are not meant to keep it locked up within our tight little Christian community. This wonderful prophecy (also found in Micah 4:1-5) shows an inflowing of people but also an outflowing of God’s Word.
- God will one day establish world peace (4): He will actually do this. We can and should work for peace and we will be blessed if we are peace makers (Matt.5:9), but only the Lord will be able to usher in an era of world peace. Even listening to the news today we are reminded of how difficult it is for people to resolve conflicts, and that we live with ”wars and rumours of wars’’ (Matt.24:6) as the background noise of life. But if today’s headlines distress you, remember what God will do in just a little while. Verse 4 is ”on a block of granite outside the United Nations headquarters in New York. It’s a pity that they didn’t quote the whole verse, for it starts, ‘He shall judge among the nations…’ Without God to judge between the nations, there is no way that anyone will ever manage to complete the second half of the verse.” J.D. Pawson: Unlocking the Bible, p.499.
So, as we read this passage, let’s be clear about what God will do and what we are called to do: a.) He will build His international church with ‘many’. We can expect great church growth across the world; b.)He will ensure that people flow in and the Word goes out; c.)He will bring in world peace;
We are to walk in the light of all He shows us. Let’s play our part; He will surely play His.
Prayer: Thank you Lord that we, your people, get to be workers together with you. But let me always be clear about my role and never confuse it with yours.