Isaiah speaks again a message from God about what he sees concerning Judah and Jerusalem specifically. “In the last days, the mountain of the Lord’s house will be the highest of all—the most important place on earth.” We know that Jerusalem is a high point in the region. The temple was built on Mt. Moriah and would be visible to the people. I have not traveled myself to Israel, but I know that as of today the temple is not standing in all its glory as it once was. Are we to assume that this vision has already taken place?
Revelation 21 is thought to be the fulfillment of this prophecy. God brings forth a new Jerusalem “descending out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God and sparkled like a precious stone—like jasper as clear as crystal.” It will be a place of beauty and people from all over the world will go there to worship God. Our text today says people from many nations will come. This had to be strange for the people Isaiah was speaking to. Jerusalem was their city. Why would other nations come there?
Clearly God’s intentions were to be all-inclusive. His promise of salvation would go beyond his chosen people. Once the people are gathered, God will teach us his ways. Because people of all nations will be gathered, presumably there will be many who don’t know why they are there. Others will have no idea who God is. So, it makes sense that God will give his instruction so people will know how to obey. “For the Lord’s teaching will go out from Zion; his word will go out from Jerusalem.”
Justice will truly be served. People will be unified at last. In these days of turmoil and distrust, it seems hard to fathom that people from different nations could come together in peace. Doesn’t that sound terrific? God is the only one who could pull this off! People have tried peace making strategies with varied degrees of success for centuries. Close your eyes and imagine world peace finally being achieved. “The Lord will mediate between nations and will settle international disputes.” I can’t think of a better mediator, can you?
In these verses, we see Isaiah not just as a prophet of salvation, but as a prophet who sees God’s salvation affecting all nations and peoples. We can read the oracles and visions God gives him keeping that lens in mind. Isaiah may be speaking to the people of Judah first, Israel second, but to the rest of the world, and us, as well.
What should we be doing while we wait for this glorious day? “Let us walk in the light of the Lord!” What does that look like to you? We have the benefit of knowing Jesus. The first hearers of Isaiah’s words did not. What did they understand this to mean? John 8:12 says, “Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” Apart from Jesus, we live in darkness. Jesus helps us to see how we should live.
Let’s pray … Lord, thank you for how you have been working among the people of all nations from the beginning. It feels so good to know I am included in your plan of salvation. Help me to live the life you have designed for me. I want to always focus on you and your will for my life. May I shine your light in this world. In Jesus’ name. Amen.