Mountain, in ancient times, was often used as a symbolic reference to the home of gods; the god who lived on the highest mountain was the supreme god. For biblical writers a mountain was symbolic of the presence of the God of Israel. In the passage for today, Isaiah describes God on ‘the highest of the mountains,’ signifying God’s Sovereignty over all gods, all nations, all people. Sovereignty (God ruling over all creation) is a key theme in the book of Isaiah. The LORD’s house (the temple) was built on Mt Zion in Jerusalem.
Prepare to listen. Light the 1st purple candle, praying, ‘Deliver me, O LORD, from lying lips, from a deceitful tongue.’
Prayerfully Read Isaiah 2:2-5
In days to come the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; all the nations shall stream to it. 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.’ For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the LORD!
Isaiah envisioned a day when all nations, regardless of creed, will live together in perfect peace. On the day of the LORD’s coming, peoples from every nation, will voluntarily seek the LORD by coming to his temple in Jerusalem to be taught God’s ways and walk in God’s paths. War and violence will cease as peoples turn their weapons into tools.
The vision challenges us with this question: What will make nations want to go up to Jerusalem (where God is fully present and accessible) and submit to God? All the nations will cease their oppressive threats, their hateful and divisive ideology; give up their me-first demands and will learn and practice peace among all peoples. What will make them do this? What will make ‘Jerusalem’ the magnet that draws all nations to God? According to Walter Brueggemann, it will happen “when the city has become a place commodious for widows and orphans, when the city is marked, as it surely will be, by faithfulness, justice, and righteousness” (Isaiah 1-39, 1998, p. 34).
This lifestyle of welcoming all is what will draw people to God therefore, our passage closes with the challenge, ‘Come let us walk in the light of the LORD.’ It’s an invitation to embrace the vision of peaceful unity between all nations, live in obedience to God’s Word, in justice and righteousness and attract people to our God.
How can you live today in a way that draws people to the way of the Lord?
Respond to Jesus
Sovereign Lord of all nations, may I live today in a manner that can be a magnet to draw peoples to you, a way that welcomes the poor and the alienated, a way that promotes faithfulness, righteousness and justice, for the sake of your glory, Amen.
Go live obediently in the world, walking in the light of the Lord.