Read:  Isaiah 11:1-16

The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.
The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the cobra’s den, and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.  Isaiah 11:6-9

We have a picture that hangs in our home, of a lion and a lamb lying down, peacefully, near one another. When you look at something like this, all framed up, just hanging there in the same place day after day, it becomes regular. Nothing about it seems peculiar or out of place. Until you stop and stare at it a minute and think about it. An enormous, powerful, ferocious lion. And a small, very-near-sighted, fluffy, virtually powerless lamb. Lying peacefully next to each other. This is not normal. But the middle of this chapter (vs. 6-9) depicts a similar picture as something that will be normal when Jesus returns. His presence will bring a new normal.

This chapter foretells the coming of Jesus. His first arrival made the way to God possible. When we come to know Him as our Savior and Lord, we are changed. The old has gone and there is a new normal (2 Corinthians 5:17). Eternity is set in our heart and we get a glimpse of how God intended life to be; we begin to realize that our normal is not God’s normal – His normal is way better!

When Jesus comes the second time (vs. 11), the final time, He will rule the earth and His blessing will be unmistakable. And as this chapter ends, we see God’s ultimate goal: to make the way clear for those who are His, to reach Him. By His might, and by His mercy.

In the end there’ll be a highway all the way from Assyria, easy traveling for what’s left of God’s people — a highway just like the one Israel had when he marched up out of Egypt.” (vs. 16)

Ultimately, Jesus is the ‘highway’ to God. The one and only way (John 14:6). One day, Jesus will return. He will gather all people from all around the world (vs. 11-12) who belong to Him, and the ‘highway’ will be clear as we enter into the final Promised Land to live in His presence with Him forever and ever.

Father, God, thank you for your presence. Thank you for offering me a new life that has hope and a future and that, one day, will be as you designed it to be in the beginning. Please help me to see life with your eyes and to live in a way that reflects your presence.


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