Isaiah: The Messiah’s Millennial Reign.

The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” (Isaiah 11:6-9)

When Jesus Christ rules and reign on earth during the Millennium, all enmity among men, among animals, ravenous or otherwise, including the enmity between animals and humans will cease. This is why Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).

The Millennium is a Biblical term (taken from the Latin word meaning “a thousand”) referring to the thousand- year reign of Christ. The primary biblical context for the doctrine of the millennium is found in Revelation 20:1–6 (where the Greek word for thousand is used five times). The idea of a thousand-year reign may also be supported by passages such as Acts 3:19–21 and 1 Corinthians 15:23–26, which speak of a future restoration and reign of Christ.

Isaiah specifically describes the Lord’s reign on earth as a time in which the wolf will dwell with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the young goat, and the lion will be with the calf. Wild animals will dwell with domesticated animals. All will do so in perfect harmony and tranquility. The reason for this peace and harmony is because God will lift the curse He placed upon the earth following Adam’s sin (Genesis 3:1-19).

Isaiah continued by saying that a little child shall lead them, referring to the previously mentioned animals. A small and seemingly insignificant adolescent will, in contrast, guide these powerful beasts.

The prophet continues by further describing the character of the Millennium as follows: “The cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den” (Isaiah 11:7-8).

Dr. John Walvoord explains that, “Many Bible students interpret these verses nonliterally, because they suppose such changes in the animal world are not possible. However, because the Messiah is “God [is] with us” (7:14) and He will be dwelling with His people, it need not be difficult to envision these changes in nature. Though the curse of sin will be removed to some extent it will not be totally removed until the end of the millennial kingdom when finally death will be abolished (Rev. 20:14).”

Why does this harmony in creation occur? It is because “They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9). At the beginning of the Millennium, everyone will know the Lord when He fulfills the New Covenant.

Dr. Walvoord further explains that, “The reason such tranquility is possible is that all the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord (Isa. 11:9; cf. Jer. 31:34; Hab. 2:14). This means more than people knowing intellectually about the Lord. The idea is that people everywhere will live according to God’s principles and Word. Animals will be affected, as well. This will occur in the Millennium when the Messiah will be reigning (Isa. 9:6–7), Jerusalem will have prominence in the world (2:2), and Judah and Israel will be regathered to the land in belief and will be living according to the New Covenant. The Millennium can hardly be in existence now since these factors do not characterize the present age.”

Dr. Walvoord concludes by saying, “Israel will have a special place in the kingdom because of the Abrahamic Covenant (Gen. 15:18–21; 17:7–8; 22:17–18), the Davidic Covenant (2 Sam. 7:16), and the New Covenant (Jer. 31:33–34). But people in other nations will also benefit from the kingdom. The Messiah, the Root of Jesse (cf. “stump of Jesse,” Isa. 11:1), will be a means of rallying for the nations (cf. v. 12; Zech. 14:9, 16). Jesus Himself made the same point that many people from outside Israel will have a part in God’s kingdom (Luke 13:29). God had promised Abraham that through his line all peoples on the earth would be blessed (Gen. 12:3).”

Is Jesus Christ your King? The kingdom is not only the not yet, but also the now. He must rule and reign over your soul because He is both Savior and Lord.

Soli deo Gloria!

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