The mere mention of 9/11 brings with it memories of chaos, fear, and devastation. It changed our lives in many ways, but most young people can’t remember a “before.” They have no concept of not being in a war in the Near East, and they have no idea what peace might look like when that day finally comes.
Yesterday we spent time at the beginning of Micah 4, talking through God’s plans for Israel to be a light to the nations and the glorious “last days” when the nations would stream to Jerusalem for the Lord Himself to teach them. Today let’s look at a parallel passage from the Old Testament prophet Isaiah that describes the peace that will come when Christ returns and sets this world aright.
Both Micah and Isaiah paint a picture of these “last days” (Isa. 2:2). There will not just be a cessation of violent warfare. And it won’t even be the transition to a cyberwar or information war or any other sort of war. No, this will be complete and entire peace in which the very weapons of violence and warfare—swords and spears—will be transformed into tools for human flourishing: plowshares and pruning hooks (Isa. 2:4). These tools are commonly used in agriculture, one for the cultivation of fields and the other for the cultivation of trees.
I don’t think either prophet envisioned that we would all return to farming, but these prophetic passages do point us back toward the type of idyllic life Adam and Eve experienced in the garden of Eden before the Fall, when humans lived in perfect harmony with each other and with God. Tools were used for good instead of evil, and we are promised that they will be used that way once again: “nor will they train for war anymore” (Isa. 2:4).
>> We are now living in the time between the times—after the death and resurrection of Christ but before His final return. What can you do during this time to encourage human flourishing as Micah envisions it? For additional reading, please turn to Isaiah 2:2-4
Merciful Lord, even though we are in the “time between times,” You still allow goodness to flourish in our sinful world. As Your servants, use us for the good of humankind—physically, emotionally, and spiritually.