He will judge between the nations. Isaiah 2:4
The longest international border in the world is shared by the United States and Canada, covering an incredible 5,525 miles of land and water. Workers regularly cut down ten feet of trees on both sides of the boundary to make the border line unmistakable. This lengthy ribbon of cleared land, called “the Slash,” is dotted by more than eight thousand stone markers so visitors always know where the dividing line falls.
The physical deforestation of “the Slash” represents a separation of government and cultures. As believers in Jesus, we look forward to a time when God will reverse that and unite all nations across the world under His rule. The prophet Isaiah spoke of a future where His temple will be firmly established and exalted (Isaiah 2:2). People from all nations will gather to learn God’s ways and “walk in his paths” (v. 3). No longer will we rely on human efforts that fail to maintain peace. As our true King, God will judge between nations and settle all disputes (v. 4).
Can you imagine a world without division and conflict? That’s what God promises to bring! Regardless of the disunity around us, we can “walk in the light of the Lord” (v. 5) and choose to give Him our allegiance now. We know that God rules over all, and He will someday unite His people under one banner.
What disunity in the world is heavy on your heart today? How does looking forward to God’s eternal kingdom give you strength?
Dear God, I acknowledge Your sovereignty over every power in the world today! You reign above it all.
The prophet Isaiah is well known for writing about two themes: the nature and work of the coming Messiah and prophetic writing that both warns the reader and offers encouragement through hope-filled visions of the days to come.
Today’s reading, Isaiah 2:1–5, falls under prophetic writing. Verse 2 begins with the phrase “in the last days,” or when God’s plan of salvation is about to reach its final fulfillment. Isaiah sets everything he’s about to discuss in a future context. In verses 3–5, three distinct ideas emerge: the supremacy of the mountain of the Lord (v. 3)—the Jerusalem temple—here a symbol for the power and presence of God; the desire of the nations to flock to that mountain to learn from God Himself (v. 3); and God’s relationship to the nations and their disputes (v. 4). Isaiah’s writing challenges the people to join in God’s work and be a part of what’s coming.