Summary: Darkness can hide a lot of things, but it cannot remove the one thing we need to have taken away...a guilty conscience.
1The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. 2And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. 3And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 4And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. 5O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD. Isaiah 2:1-5 (KJV)
A part of verse 4 has been taken by peace advocates around the world as their rally cry; it even found its way onto the walls of the UN Plaza in New York City..."They shall beat their swords into plow shares...".
What is omitted is that God is the source of peace, and it is HIS judgment that will eventually bring into being the peace that will last. While we as believers are to work towards peace, and anything that is moral and ethical, the reality is that the world will one day end in radical elimination of the world’s governments, political and economic systems as we know them. It will be the final conflict at Armageddon where the Man of Peace will utter the ultimate word of war, ending all hostilities with the "sword of His mouth" (the Word of God).
This will be no David Koresh incident. This will be THE King of Kings and Lord of Lords. F.C. Spurr has aptly described the man, Isaiah, and his times:
"Isaiah was a prophet interpreting the mind of God. He was a statesman with a keen and comprehensive outlook on human affairs. He was also a poet bringing to human problems the illuminating imagination of the seer. His were days of international strife and convulsion, days witnessing vast world movements in which empires were seen at their birth, and empires were seen in withering decline and death."
Does this not remind us of our own day? After forty years of crisis (cold and hot wars, and their intrigues), Isaiah the realist and prophet of God knew that a world without tensions was out of the question. However, he looked with the heart of God for a world where men resolved their conflicts without resorting to wars.
Isaiah was also a confirmed optimist. Matthew Henry said that he had "a keen sense of the future." Perhaps sensing the brink of possibilities for the kingdom of God...of making some sense and order of the confusion of his day, the prophet did speak out. And he did make some sense that is still making sense today.
We live today in a world fraught with questioning. Truth is said to be relative (who wants more relatives?).
It (truth) is changeable, according to the individual.
We’ve almost ceased being shocked when leaders in government flaunt their immorality; and men we held up as God’s men leave their pulpits over sins revealed. And they leave without genuine repentance -- only sorrow over being caught.
We’ve almost come to expect professional athletes to have cocaine habits.
We tolerate open sexual immorality and behavior that would have made our grandparents rise as one nation to accuse us of being Sodom and Gomorrah revisited.
Everywhere there is tension and disappointment in the faces of our neighbors. In an election several years ago the media reported that all six candidates for city commission seats had had misdemeanor or felony convictions in the past.
It is disheartening, and frightening to witness in our lifetime the tremendous downhill slide of morality, and the grotesque loss of character in America.
With all the uncertainty of life, and the confusion of what life offers (and the future), HOW can a person keep from worrying and wondering when it is all going to fall apart - cave in?
==>How can we begin to stop this national paranoia and begin to enjoy life?
==>How can you find meaning that will make sense at all of why we’re here?
==>Can there be a rebuilding of the American dream?
If Isaiah were standing right next to me now I am certain he would shout a resounding YES!! He spoke to just as mixed-up a crowd as this world now sees.
Notice how in verse 3 he points out that it is the Word of God, and God’s law that would have pre-eminence when people turn from the confusion of life towards God. There it is!!! It is the WORD OF GOD that is to be our standard!