“In that day”

Today we completed reading Acts. The last 2 verses of the book tell us that Paul was in Rome for “two whole years … and welcomed all who came to him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance”. That is where Luke ends his narrative, we have no inspired record of what happened to him after that. We notice the emphasis on Paul proclaiming God’s kingdom – it is sad that as the generations passed that the message preached about the personal future of the righteous became totally corrupted to one of human imagination; that of an immortal soul having some kind of existence in heaven.

Our reading today in Isaiah has wonderful details about God’s kingdom that “shall come to pass in the latter days … and all the nations shall flow to it … and say: Come let us go up … to the house (temple) of the God of Jacob that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths for out of Zion shall go the law and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem … he shall judge between nations … nation shall not lift up sword (weapons) against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (2:2-4).

The kingdom Paul was proclaiming was this kingdom that Isaiah reveals. God spoke of it also through other prophets, and we should know well how Jesus preached it. But – now note – Isaiah has another vision of our days, a fearsome vision, three times in the last 11 verses of today’s second chapter we encounter the phrase, “in that day”! His vision describes a time when “the lofty pride of man shall be humbled” (verse 11) with a warning “against every high tower” (verse 15) – and never have there been more towering buildings than today. Later Isaiah sees in vision “the day of the great slaughter when the towers fall … the LORD comes from afar, burning with anger … to sift the nations with the sieve of destruction” (30:25,27,28). This compares with words in today’s chapter, “the lofty pride of men shall be brought low, and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day … when he rises to terrify the earth” (verses 17,19). Those who do not know God’s word and have no relationship with him will be terrified.

Let us make sure we know what God has spoken through the prophets, we will come across some awesome words about “that day” as we continue our readings in Isaiah for the next several weeks.