God’s Purpose for the Nations

Read: Isaiah 2:1-5

Come, descendants of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the LORD. (v. 5)

In this beautiful poem we have Isaiah’s vision of dramatic, world-embracing events expressed symbolically. These events will take place “in the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains . . . and all nations will stream to it.” (v. 2)

Many go to this mountain, the house of God, anticipating that as God teaches them his ways, they will walk in his paths. The results are dramatic: people beat their swords into agricultural tools; nations no longer take up war. This vision is the world we long for!

Several recurring themes of Isaiah are introduced in this passage. Isaiah’s perspective embraces the moral and political realities of his day as well as God-given visions of future events. The “last days” are a future time. Reading this passage today, some of Isaiah’s visions have already been fulfilled, particularly those that relate to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

Another recurring theme is how God enfolds people of every nation by his redeeming love and care, beginning with Pentecost and continuing to this day as the gospel is proclaimed and believed throughout the world. We await the ultimate fulfillment with confidence in God’s promises. Consider how you are being invited to the great work of creating peace and in welcoming all nations. —Gordon Van Wylen

As you pray, thank God for the glorious future he is creating. Ask God to help you fulfill your role in advancing the gospel.

About the Author

Gordon Van Wylen served as the Dean of the Engineering School at the University of Michigan, and was the President Emeritus of Hope College. Dr. Van Wylen died in 2020.