The prophet Isaiah goes on to forecast the promised rule of Christ, highlighting the righteousness of His reign. He says this One will render righteous judgments, for He will see things as they are. The Spirit of knowledge equips Him for this. Our Lord Jesus fulfilled this in the days of his flesh, for He “knew what was in man” (John 2:25). The Spirit of counsel shall equip Him to be truly fair. In his fairness, He will pay special attention to the poor, defending and asserting their rights. When He comes to reign, the meek shall inherit the earth.
But while He is gentle with the poor and meek, He is fierce and overpowering to the wicked. The judgments of his mouth are so fierce that their mere utterance slays the wicked. He will unite Himself to righteousness to such a degree that He is pictured as wearing it like a great belt. Righteousness will be His cause and costume, like a superhero suit made of justice.
Let us submit all our causes to Him for just judgment in due time. He will address every injustice and right every wrong in our lives. Let us never take our own vengeance, for He has claimed vengeance as His own. When He returns to reign, He will straighten it all out for His people. Likewise, let us fear lest we throw our lots in with the wicked. These truths ought to sober us in the fear of the Lord and thus deter us from walking in evil ways, for we know that because of these things, the wrath of God is coming upon the world.
Isaiah says there will be great peace in the reign of the Messiah (Isaiah 11:6–9). It is set forth in striking illustrations involving the animal kingdom. “The wolf,” says the prophet, “shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf, the lion, and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den.”
The sin of our father Adam brought chaos and death to the entire natural order, including the animals that were created to be his co-inhabitants. But when God’s Christ comes to reign, these effects of the fall shall be reversed. Previously hostile species shall live in harmonies, such as the wolf and the lamb. Predator and prey will become friends. Not only this, but the human family will enjoy renewed peace with the natural world, as even children will lead fierce beasts like lions, and infants shall play with deadly snakes like cobras.Let us hold the banner of the gospel so it may fly in the wind of God’s Spirit. Click To Tweet
Oh, how we ought to hope after the day when the Lord makes all things new! On that day, all our pain and suffering shall come to an end. Every wound in the world will be healed, and we will be united with the natural order once again. Jesus made peace by the blood of his cross and reconciled things in heaven and on earth, yea, verily, things on earth and on earth. The universe itself will be resurrected and renewed. On that day, we will suffer no more thorns and thistles from the creation, but it will bless and keep us. We will be as Adam in the safety of the Garden and even better than Adam. For in that place, nothing will be off limits. Temptation will not be possible. As Saint Augustine remarked, in glory, we will not even be able to sin. For these reasons, let us “set [our] hope fully on the grace that will be brought to [us] at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:13).
What will bring about this Edenic peace? The prophet tells us: “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.” A renewed and overwhelming knowledge of the Creator will sweep through the creation and swallow it up whole. Every molecule in it will gladden in happy submission to the righteous rule of the Second Adam.
This ought to make us hope all the more in the coming new heavens and the new earth, for there, God will be known everywhere. And even now, peace and righteousness will be sown in our lives through the true knowledge of our God. May the knowledge of the Lord cover our hearts even now as a foretaste of that which is to come very soon. Let us search out His glories and make Him the meditation of our hearts. Steep the soul in the knowledge of God, and peace and righteousness will stream forth. In other words, peace follows good Bible reading. “A Bible that’s falling apart,” said someone, “usually belongs to someone who isn’t.”
The substance of this ruler’s reign will consist in his salvation of his people and of the nations:
It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest o the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it, and many peoples shall come, and say: ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that He may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths (Isaiah 2:2–3).
Let us hold the banner of the gospel so it may fly in the wind of God’s Spirit. Isaiah 11:12 says that the Father upholds the banner of Christ. Therefore, when we preach Jesus Christ, and Him crucified, we become co-workers with Him. Let Christians everywhere give themselves to the work of making Jesus known wherever, whenever, and however they may.
In the final section of the chapter, Isaiah describes God’s coming grace to His people Israel (Isaiah 11:11–16). “In that day the Lord will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant that remains of his people” (verse 11). The section is strewn with imagery taken from the exodus of the children of Abraham from Egypt. “The Lord will utterly destroy the tongue of the Sea of Egypt, and will wave his hand over the River with his scorching breath, and strike it into seven channels, and he will lead people across in sandals” (verse 15). When the Lord brings back his people from the ends of the earth a second time, it will be like when He led them forth out of Egypt with an outstretched arm. When the Lord sends his Messiah to his people Israel, He will fulfill all that was foreshadowed in the exodus through Moses. He will lead them forth on a straight highway as they gather, not to a place, but to a person, to the Son of David. The tribes of Israel will stop fighting with one another and will instead team up to fight their enemies together. The enemies all around them shall be destroyed.
First, the story of God’s redemption has been written in the Scriptures long ago. The exodus pictures salvation through Christ. The seed of Abraham can only be saved in this way, through Jesus. When we were saved He brought us forth out of the Egypt of sin. We were slaves to our sinful desires and passions. They ruled over us with perfect peace. They gave us no straw to work with, and we gladly worked for them. Never have slaves worked for their masters so willingly as we did under the corruptions of sin. We didn’t want to be freed. But the Lord appeared, and with an outstretched arm and terrible judgments (the cross!), He saved us from them all.
Luke Walker is the lead pastor of Redeeming Cross Community Church in Minneapolis. He is the author of six biographies on historic Christians, and a book entitled He Gave Them Judges: Jesus in the Book of Judges. Luke is an MDiv student at Reformed Baptist Seminary. He is married to Angel and is the father of three children.