Isaiah 11: 6 The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. 7 The cow and the bear shall graze, their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. 8 The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den. 9 They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
In this passage the prophet Isaiah gives a word of hope to a people who would soon be suffering at the hands of the Assyrians. God withdrew his protection from his people due to their unfaithfulness. He supported the Assyrians as they conquered the Jews and destroyed much of what had been built up since the days of King David.
Yes, there was judgment to come, and God’s people would suffer. But that would not be the last word.
The prophet then speaks of a time when the violence would end and peace would return to the land. In these verses there are several examples of animals who are natural enemies living together in harmony. The animals are, or course, metaphors for people who are enemies of one another. The Lord will bring about a day when enemies are reconciled to one another in their worship of the Messiah – Jesus Christ.
Oh, that such a day would come. So far, it has not.
This past Friday, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the constitution guarantees the right of gay and lesbian people to legally marry. The response to this decision has been mixed, which is no surprise. A question I’m pondering is, “How will the church respond?”
Here’s one thing I know for sure – there is no concensus on this issue in many churches, including the one I lead. There are God-honoring, informed people on both sides of the issue. My prayer for us as God’s people is that, whatever we do going forward, we do it together.