“He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”
Tragically, God is blamed for many of the atrocities committed by man. I say tragically, not because God cannot or will not defend Himself, but because as long as we blame God for what men do, we will fail to find a real solution to the problem. The chief wrong in this world is the heart of man. We see this demonstrated daily in the horrific actions reported on our TV screens. We hear of power hungry people oppressing others, in pursuit of their own ambitions. This happens everywhere on the globe. Sometimes, it is in a far away land where a political vacuum has allowed for the strongest force to take over, other times it happens locally where a person uses the tragedy in someone’s life for their own personal gain. Wherever and whenever it happens, it screams to us that the chief problem in our world is the heart of man.
God has a solution to this problem. That solution is the reign of Christ, and it takes place in two ways. First, when a person accepts Christ and surrenders to Him, his first step is self denial. We lay our sinful ways and selfish ambitions down at the cross, and in their place we pick up the Word and ways of God. In Isaiah’s time, the people were being chided for failing to treat one another the way God had called them to. He wanted Israel to be a beacon of light to the world, and much of that light had to do with the care they were to give to each other. Once they forsook the Lord, ‘self’ began to drive the nation, just as it drove the nation’s around them. Christ solves the self-problem when we are willing to lay ourselves down. This will transform our homes, our relationships, our churches, and ultimately our communities.
The second way this problem will be solved, is when Christ comes to set up His kingdom. Isaiah tells us, at that time, war will be a hazy memory of the past. All the money spent on research and expansion of defense will be reallocated to other things. The world will experience the only era of peace it has ever known. Not a peace held together by the threat of retaliation, but a peace that stems from the Prince of Peace reigning and ruling in righteousness.
We should long for, and live for, the One who will one day come and make all things right.