These words of the Lord God, spoken by Isaiah the prophet, adorn the United Nations building in New York.
“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.”
Mankind, however, has failed dismally to establish peace on earth. In the last one hundred years, one hundred million people have died in war. Frightful weapons exist that can wipe out tens of thousands of people at the push of a button. Wars in Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere see brothers killing brothers with millions left displaced and homeless.
Joel, another prophet in the Bible, has an attention-grabbing statement, for it appears to describe the days just before God’s kingdom is established on earth.
“I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: Blood and fire and pillars of smoke.”
Is this a description of modern warfare? Whatever it means, the Lord Jesus forecast that just before he returns there would be a time of trouble never seen before. This is not meant to worry us but to prepare us. Jesus calls on his followers to stand firm for their faith, and in that grand Sermon on the Mount he said “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God”. Jesus is the ultimate peacemaker because he takes away our sins and brings us into a relationship of peace with him and his Father.
What is our response? Do we bring peace into our relationships with others? Do we look to build our relationship with Jesus?
Isaiah also tells us that the reign of Jesus will be like no other.
“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.”
Isn’t it exciting to think about what God has prepared for those who love Him? There is no hope like it.
Isaiah’s words may adorn the United Nations complex in New York, but it is only God working through Jesus who can deliver the real and lasting peace we all desperately need.