NLT Study Bible Blog.
Isaiah 2:1-5 (Mosaic, Advent 1)
Isaiah envisions a future time when "the mountain of the LORD's house will be the highest of all" -- when people recognize God's rule and revere his name, when the nations listen to his instructions and do as he says. At that time, conflicts and wars will cease as "the LORD will mediate between nations and settle international disputes." Nations will be at peace with one another, not because their grievances have been suppressed, but because they have been resolved by the LORD.

Isaiah calls this future time "the last days." "In the NT, [this expression] is used to refer to the period that began with the coming of the Lord Jesus (Heb 1:2) and more specifically to the period immediately preceding the end of the present age (2 Pet 3:3)" (NLTSB, note on Isa 2:2). Hebrews 1:2 refers to Jesus' first advent as "these final days" -- "These final days refers to the historical era inaugurated at Christ's coming (see Isa 2:2; Acts 2:17). Whereas the revelation of the OT era came in a wide variety of forms over time, God's ultimate revelation was given through his Son, Jesus" (NLTSB, note on Heb 1:2). 2 Peter 3:3 also talks about the last days, and the note comments, "Peter was not merely predicting an event in the future; he was speaking about his readers' situation. In the NT, the last days refers to the period from Jesus' first coming to his second coming (see Acts 2:17; Heb 1:2)" (NLTSB, note on 2 Pet 3:3).

The last days are "already, and not yet" -- just like everything else about our Christian hope. Jesus has come, and he has established his kingdom over earth, and he has instructed his students to teach everyone to obey him (Matt 28:18-20). At the same time, Jesus has not yet come again, and we long to see his kingdom established. When we read Isaiah's description of that future time when God's rule has spread over all the earth, it sounds like a far cry from our own time, and every other time in human history.

And so we wait for the coming of the LORD. Come, Lord Jesus, and establish your name as the highest name on earth. Come, Lord Jesus, and teach the nations to walk in your ways. Come, Lord Jesus, mediate between the nations and settle international (and local!) disputes.

In the meantime, as Isaiah urges, "Come, descendants of Jacob" -- and all who wait for the Lord -- "let us walk in the light of the LORD!" (Isa 2:5).

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posted by Sean Harrison at 7:00 AM

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