Todays readings.. Joshua 7, Isaiah 11, 2 Thessalonians 3
“THE EARTH SHALL BE FULL OF … ”
Today’s Isaiah chapter is that marvellous one which tells us of the time to come when “the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea”[Ch.11 v.9] The first part of the chapter is about the work of our Lord Jesus – and we see how it began in his first coming when v. 2 was fulfilled. “The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.” John 3 v.34 tells us that Jesus received the Spirit “without measure”.
The Gospels show us how he showed wisdom and understanding and also exercised the Spirit of “might” when the occasion required; but how much more in the time to come, which is surely getting close, when he returns to “strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his loins” [v.4, 5]
How wonderful that destruction is followed by righteousness, exercised in faithfulness for the meek of the earth. Let us always remember how, in what is called ‘The sermon on the Mount’, Jesus said, “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth“[Matt. 5 v.5]
Meek does not mean timid, we read of Moses that “he was very meek, more than all people that were on the face of the earth.”[Numbers 12 v.3] He learnt meekness after he fled from Pharaoh and spent 40 years as a shepherd – only then could God use him to lead his people out of Egypt.
It is thought provoking to see how often David uses this word in the Psalms, it is often translated as “humble.” The other wonderful thing in Isaiah’s chapter today is the reference to the removal of the curse on the earth that God imposed when Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden of Eden. Paul referred to this in writing to the Romans. Read Ch 8 v.18-22 of the time when “creation will be set free”.
How wonderful what Isaiah tells us about that time “when they shall not hurt nor destroy”[v.9] – and this will include all living things for “the cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.” [v.7] Oh, the wonder of what is to come. What a contrast to the fears of human beings today with their worries over climate change and the endless and increasing friction between nations. Let us all increase our vision of that time – and our anticipation of when “the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD…”