Today’s Bible Reading: Isaiah 11:1–9
Nature programs can fascinate and sicken us in a single episode. First we view tender scenes of a female tiger caring for her cubs. The young cats look playful and cuddly. But later in the program the camera tracks the same female as she surprises a young gazelle and violently snuffs out its life. She drags the limp carcass back to her den, where the cubs proceed to rip it apart.
Life in the wild can be at the same time violent, tender and terrifying. But have you ever wondered how much of what we see in nature fits with God’s original design for creation?
In this passage Isaiah describes a coming time when God will remove the effects of humankind’s sin. The world won’t be under new management; it will revert to its original management. In God’s reestablished kingdom the animals on this planet will behave differently—perfectly. God will reinstitute his initial design for the animal world. Even the lamb and goat will coexist peacefully with their present predators. An amazing transformation will take place!
So what is God waiting for? Why doesn’t he just zap the world back to the time of creation and the Garden of Eden? Wouldn’t it be better for all God’s creatures if the world were a perfect place once again? After all, God loves his creatures, right?
Good questions, because they appeal to our common sense. But God has a different view. The world is the way it is not because the human inhabitants of the garden fell into sin, not because animals rebelled against their Creator. Humans were the source and cause of the sin that has brought sadness and tragedy into the world. The sin of our ancestors caused the original, deadly pollution in creation. And before the rest of the creation can return to its original state, humanity must be set right.
Only Jesus—whom Isaiah calls “a Branch” and “a shoot … from the stump of Jesse” (verse 1)—the promised Messiah from the line and family of David—has the capability of setting the world right again. Acknowledging Jesus as King changes us. Giving thanks for the wisdom and character of Jesus reminds us to pray for his coming—to entreat him to quickly usher in his renewed kingdom, in all of its fullness and perfection.
To Take Away
- What changes can you imagine between the present world and a restored creation?
- In what ways has acknowledging Jesus as King changed your life?
- Are you looking forward to the arrival of God’s reestablished kingdom on earth? In what ways does your life show this to be true?
Copyright © 2006 by Zondervan.