Friday, June 26, 2009

Eschatological Optimism

These are just a few of the texts that should point us in the direction of eschatological optimism. That is, we believe that Christ will triumph over the world through his church. We see such optimism in Psalm 2:

“Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: Yahweh has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel’” (Psalm 2:6-9).

Jesus will rule over the entire globe, so that the ends of the earth are his possession. When necessary, he will crush the rebellion of the nations.

“Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of Yahweh’s house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of Yahweh, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of Yahweh from Jerusalem. 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” (Isaiah 2:2).

Isaiah prophesies about a period of unprecedented peace, when weapons will be used as tools. This passage is describing our present age, although we appear to be a long ways from fulfilling this.

“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of Yahweh of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:6-7).

This familiar Advent passage promises an increase in the peace of Christ’s rule. Peace can only increase in history.

“There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots. The Spirit of Yahweh shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of Yahweh. His delight is in the fear of Yahweh, And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, Nor decide by the hearing of His ears; But with righteousness He shall judge the poor, And decide with equity for the meek of the earth; He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, And with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins, And faithfulness the belt of His waist. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, The leopard shall lie down with the young goat, The calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; Their young ones shall lie down together; And the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole, And the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of Yahweh As the waters cover the sea. And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, Who shall stand as a banner to the people; For the Gentiles shall seek Him, And His resting place shall be glorious” (Isaiah 11:1-10).

This also describes a condition of unprecedented peace, when the earth shall be full of the knowledge of Yahweh. Yet, notice, that this is not describing eternity, but the latter stages of our present age.

1 comment:

Frontier Forest said...

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to experience His peace throughout the world? “These things I have spoken to you, that in ME you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I HAVE overcome the world!” John 16:33 It’s only His peace and His promises that we must trust in.