In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together; the leopard will lie down with the baby goat. The calf and the yearling will be safe with the lion, and a little child will lead them all. The cow will graze near the bear. The cub and the calf will lie down together. The lion will eat hay like a cow. The baby will play safely near the hole of a cobra. Yes, a little child will put its hand in a nest of deadly snakes without harm. Nothing will hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain, for as the waters fill the sea, so the earth will be filled with people who know the Lord.
Peace is a wonderful and much needed thing. A lack of peace can often keep us from seeing the good (and the hope) God has for us. When we live our lives without much peace we will grow tried and weary. The more tired we get, the less peace we experience, the more hopeless we become. Isaiah was talking to a pretty tired Judah when he spoke these words. This message was to instill in them hope and to help them see the good God had for them. The best is yet to come!
We are living in a time when many people find themselves absolutely exhausted and longing for peace. We need just a moment of fresh air, just a minute to get our heads above water so we can catch our breath and find hope. It is good to hope for a peaceful eternity but we cannot forget that Jesus has also made it possible for us to have a peaceful present and live in a peaceful community. He challenges us all throughout His teachings to be a people of peace, to seek reconciliation, to love, and to forgive. This peace He is talking about isn’t just for individuals, it is for all of society.
John 14:27 Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” In those moments when you are feeling tired and weary we need to look to Christ and rest in His peace. Peace is something we will experience perfectly in eternity, but it can also be something we rest in presently, thanks to Christ. Do not let yourself be swept away in despair – accept the peace Jesus is offering and live in it. By doing so we might just change our world!
Pastor Matt Huff leads Portland Central Nazarene Church. He loves being in ministry and seeing lives transformed by the power of Christ.