Today is the final day of the advent season, and that means tomorrow is Christmas Day. As we wrap up our journey through the themes of hope, love, joy, and peace I’d like to take one last look at what this peaceable kingdom might be like that Jesus Messiah, the Prince of Peace, will establish upon his return.
The book of Isaiah found in the Hebrew Scriptures is full of imagery. The first ten verses of chapter 11 invite us to imagine the peaceable kingdom, the worldwide government of peace that Jesus Messiah will usher in. In the NET Bible these verses have a caption that says, An Ideal King Establishes a Kingdom of Peace. I love that phrase! What a powerful statement about the purpose of the role of the king. To be honest, I don’t think you’ll see that statement on any job descriptions for kings in the kingdom of the world…just sayin’.
Below you’l not only find those ten verses to encourage you and give you hope, but below that is a painting by artist John August Swanson entitled The Peaceable Kingdom. As you read, I encourage you to allow yourself to be drawn into the painting to discover the peaceable kingdom for yourself.
One last thing, if you click on the link in the above paragraph regarding the painting, The Peaceable Kingdom, you’ll find yourself at a site specific to these verses in Isaiah. It’s a great read and gives you a chance to see more artwork specific to the imagery surrounding the peaceable kingdom.
“A shoot will grow out of Jesse’s root stock,
a bud will sprout from his roots.
2 The Lord’s spirit will rest on him—
a spirit that gives extraordinary wisdom,
a spirit that provides the ability to execute plans,
a spirit that produces absolute loyalty to the Lord.
3 He will take delight in obeying the Lord.
He will not judge by mere appearances,
or make decisions on the basis of hearsay.
4 He will treat the poor fairly,
and make right decisions for the downtrodden of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and order the wicked to be executed.
5 Justice will be like a belt around his waist,
integrity will be like a belt around his hips.
6 A wolf will reside with a lamb,
and a leopard will lie down with a young goat;
an ox and a young lion will graze together,
as a small child leads them along.
7 A cow and a bear will graze together,
their young will lie down together.
A lion, like an ox, will eat straw.
8 A baby will play
over the hole of a snake;
over the nest of a serpent
an infant will put his hand.
9 They will no longer injure or destroy
on my entire royal mountain.
For there will be universal submission to the Lord’s sovereignty,
just as the waters completely cover the sea.
10 At that time a root from Jesse will stand like a signal flag for the nations. Nations will look to him for guidance, and his residence will be majestic.” – Isaiah 11:1-10 (NET)