4 He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. 5 O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord.” (Isaiah 2:4-5).
Of all the many familiar verses from the Book of Isaiah, Isaiah 2:4-5 falls into this category. The LORD will have an extensive ministry of judging and settling disputes throughout the world. It will be the LORD who will require nations and peoples everywhere to abstain from warfare and be at peace. A world at peace, instead of a world at war with no military conflict or training, will prevail because the implements of warfare (swords and spears) will be turned into implements of agriculture (plowshares and hooks; cf. Joel 3:10).
At this time of worldwide peace all nations will go to Jerusalem to learn from God (Isa. 2:2). Peace will come not by human achievement or government, but rather because of God’s presence and His work in Jerusalem. At that time Israel will be filled with God’s Spirit (Ezekiel 36:24–30) and her sins will be forgiven (Jeremiah 31:31–34).
Isaiah closed this brief section with an exhortation for his Jewish readers to walk (live) in the light of the Lord. All believers in Christ are encouraged to do the same (Ephesians 5:1-21). To walk means to obediently live and behave in response to God’s revelation of Himself in the Scriptures.
When Isaiah called the Nation of Judah the house of Jacob, this was a reference to Abraham’s, Isaac’s and Jacob’s descendants. Isaiah used this term eight times (vv. 5–6; 8:17; 10:20; 14:1; 29:22; 46:3; 48:1) whereas it is used only nine times by all the other prophets.
Dr. John Walvoord explains that, “When great truths about the future are given in the Scriptures, readers are often reminded of how they should live in the present (e.g., 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18; 5:1–8; 2 Peter 3:10–14; 1 John 3:1–3). In view of the fact that in the Millennium all nations will stream to Jerusalem to learn God’s Word, it would be sensible for Israel, already knowing that Law, to follow it (walking in its “light”) until the Lord sets up His glorious kingdom. It would be sensible for believers in Christ today to do the same.”
May the Lord’s truth and grace be found here.
Soli deo Gloria!