The people of God in Jesus’ day had an expectation of a Kingdom that was coming. They were looking for a time when God would reign as their King and life would be very different. It would be helpful to look at some of the prophecies that served as the basis of their hope.
The King is a Master at painting pictures. He wants His people to see what He is up to. Let’s look at a couple of prophetic pictures, all from the book of Isaiah, that will give us a look at God’s coming Kingdom.
1 This is a vision that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:
2 In the last days, the mountain of the Lord’s house
will be the highest of all—
the most important place on earth.
It will be raised above the other hills,
and people from all over the world will stream there to worship.
3 People from many nations will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of Jacob’s God.
There he will teach us his ways,
and we will walk in his paths.”
For the Lord’s teaching will go out from Zion;
his word will go out from Jerusalem.
4 The Lord will mediate between nations
and will settle international disputes.
They will hammer their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will no longer fight against nation,
nor train for war anymore. Isaiah 2:1 – 4
6 For a child is born to us,
a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 His government and its peace
will never end.
He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David
for all eternity.
The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies
will make this happen! Isaiah 9:6 – 7
1 Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot—
yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root.
2 And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
3 He will delight in obeying the Lord.
He will not judge by appearance
nor make a decision based on hearsay.
4 He will give justice to the poor
and make fair decisions for the exploited.
The earth will shake at the force of his word,
and one breath from his mouth will destroy the wicked.
5 He will wear righteousness like a belt
and truth like an undergarment.
6 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.
7 The cow will graze near the bear.
The cub and the calf will lie down together.
The lion will eat hay like a cow.
8 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.
9 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. Isaiah 11:1 – 9
6 In Jerusalem, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies
will spread a wonderful feast
for all the people of the world.
It will be a delicious banquet
with clear, well-aged wine and choice meat.
7 There he will remove the cloud of gloom,
the shadow of death that hangs over the earth.
8 He will swallow up death forever!
The Sovereign Lord will wipe away all tears.
He will remove forever all insults and mockery
against his land and people.
The Lord has spoken!
9 In that day the people will proclaim,
“This is our God!
We trusted in him, and he saved us!
This is the Lord, in whom we trusted.
Let us rejoice in the salvation he brings!” Isaiah 25:6 – 9
What Do We See?
So what do we see when we look at these prophetic pictures? We see a Kingdom coming where
The headquarters of the King (Jerusalem) will be the most important place on earth.
All the nations of the earth will come to worship the King and learn His ways.
The King will settle disputes between nations and put an end to war forever.
The Son of God born to us will rule from the throne of David over a never-ending Kingdom characterized by never-ending peace.
The Anointed Branch of David will bring justice to the poor and exploited.
All creation will dwell together in harmony.
The earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord.
The King provides an extravagant feast for all people.
Death being swallowed up and brought to an end..
With these beautiful pictures before them, it’s no wonder God’s people looked with longing for the coming of God’s Kingdom.
Now There is Jesus
Now there is Jesus in the Gospels saying, “The Kingdom of God is at hand!” (Matthew 4:17). As we look to Jesus, do we see signs that what He is saying is true? Is there evidence that the glorious reign of God was breaking in upon His people? If is should please the King, that will be the subject of the next post. Let me say, however, by looking at Jesus we discover what living in the Reign is all about.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved