Todays readings.. Deuteronomy 30, Isaiah 2, Acts 28
“PROCLAIMING THE KINGDOM”
We come to the end of the readings in ACTS today with the last 2 verses telling us that Paul was in Rome for “two whole years … and welcomed all who came to him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.” That is where Luke ends his narrative, we have no inspired record of what happened after that.
We notice the emphasis on Paul proclaiming God’s Kingdom – it is sad that as the generations passed that the message preached became totally corrupted to one of human imagination, that of an immortal soul existence in heaven.
Now our reading in Isaiah has wonderful details about God’s Kingdom that “shall come to pass in the latter days … and all the nations shall flow to it … and say: Come let us go up … to the house (temple) 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 the law and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem … he shall judge between nations … nation shall not lift up sword (weapons) against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” [2 v.2-4]. The kingdom Paul was proclaiming was that revealed in Isaiah and other prophets as well as spoken of by Jesus Christ.
But Isaiah has another vision of our days: three times in the last 11 verses of this chapter we encounter the phrase, “in that day”! His vision describes a time when “the lofty pride of man shall be humbled” [v.11] a message against “every high tower” [v.15] and never have buildings been built higher than today. Later Isaiah sees in vision “the day of the great slaughter when the towers fall … the LORD comes from afar, burning with anger … to sift the nations with the sieve of destruction” [30 v.25,27,28]
This compares with words in today’s chapter, “the lofty pride of men shall be brought low, and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day … when he rises to terrify the earth” [v.17,19]. Those who do not know God’s word will be terrified. Let us make sure we know what God has spoken about “the kingdom” through the prophets: we will come across some awesome prophecies about “that day” as we read Isaiah.