Sunday, July 3, 2016

Isaiah 2:2-4 -- On Working towards Perfection

"And 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.
And 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.
And 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."
Isaiah 2:2-4

There are a lot of last-days scriptures that talk about consequences and judgments and "burning instead of beauty" (Isaiah 3:24).  I think those scriptures are important because they warn us about what will happen, and where we need to stand in relation to the Lord.  Despite their importance though, sometimes it is nice to focus on the positive side of the last days, and that is what I really like about this selection.

I like the idea of God's house and being able to go to the Lord to learn from him. That is something we can do now, of course, and totally not discounting that at all, because we need that relationship.  Still, though, the whole having him there in person thing, the tactile presence... I think that would be an overwhelmingly positive experience, and is something I look forward to.

I also love the idea of God as judge and government, correcting things and turning the world into a place where we don't even learn war any more.  Imagine all of the things that would have to change to get to that kind of a perfect society.  Those changes are probably why there are so many judgment and consequences scriptures... but despite all of the bad parts, it seems worth it overall for these good parts... for the chance to live in a society like this, and be part of God's people, under his leadership.

On a micro level, our lives are sometimes like this too.  We often have to go through bad things in order to get to the good.  It feels awful to have to repent sometimes.  It's horrible to learn some of the lessons that we have to learn.  But after, after the repentance, after learning... it's truly glorious.  Everything that God asks us to do and to live through and to be... it's all worth it--more than worth it--for how we turn out in the end.  And the world will be too.

It's sometimes scary to see how things are going, but let's hang in there, find the positive, and work to make things better.  God has a plan, and (spoilers) ... the end is perfect. :)

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