2:1-4 | For the people of God, Jerusalem is in decline. Will it ever reclaim its former glory? The answer here is not until “the last days.” But at that time the house of YHWH will achieve ultimate interest from all people not the people or the city. The nations will stream to the place that God dwells among men. The crowds of pilgrims converge from all directions into one river of humanity coming to sit and learn in the house of God. This reminds me of the boy Jesus running off to the temple to discuss the Scriptures (Lk 2:42-50). Where else should we be?
Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us about his ways so that we may walk in his paths. (Is 2:3 CSB)
The God of Jacob. Isn’t it interesting that God allows this type of possessive title to be used of himself. It’s like saying Jacob’s God just as we would say John’s hat or Daniel’s friend. The title can almost sound irreverent and too casual. But there are two truths about God that come from this title. 1) He is a personal God who calls us by name. He wants to take long walks with us and enjoy community with us. Just as he spoke to faithful men and woman in the past, he wants that for us again. 2) He is a promise keeping God. Christians today still hold tightly to the promises given to Adam, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, and so many others. God has proven himself in faithfulness to Jacob, why would he not do the same for us. Especially in the last days, the nation will see that the God of Jacob is a promise keeping God.
He will teach us about his ways. What an amazing gift! So much heartache and pain because we don’t understand the ways of God. We doubt what we can’t see plainly, but God will graciously explain the perfect brilliance of the paths he has led us down in the past.
So that we may walk in his paths. This whole verse shows a change in the heart of man. We are no longer rebellious. We long to know the ways of God. So much that we will travel from and corner of the world to listen. We want to listen to him and live according to his design. For this is the only correct response to the word of the Lord. Acceptance and obedience. This is not how the prophets’ messages were received. This is not how Jesus, the living word of God, was received. Verse 4 shows the effect of being confronted with God’s truth – there is no defense or argument. Only peace and agreement. Weapons to farm equipment. Gunsmiths become gardeners.
2:5-11 | Before the Day of the Lord comes, the Lord’s light will be abandoned for darkness. Humility before the Lord’s “majestic splendor” will be abandoned for dull handmade idols. The truth of the word of God will be abandoned for the mysteries of foreign belief. Humanity tries to put itself on the mountain of God, but they will be brought so low. In terror with their pride melting away, they flee to the rocks and dust.
The pride of mankind will be humbled, and human loftiness will be brought low; the LORD alone will be exalted on that day. (2:11)
2:12-22 | The Day of the Lord comes. The LORD of Armies comes against the proud. Everyone and everything that thinks it can stand tall on its own power is brought low – trees, mountains, hills, towers, walls, ships of the sea, and the pride of mankind.
The God of Armies. Studying Daniel recently, I’m reminded of the last king in Daniel 11 who worships the God of Fortresses (Dn 11:38). Many commentators view this “king who will do as he wills” as the final king who stands opposed to God in the last days.
They will go into the caves of the rocks. There is no doubt who is here. Humanity has stood against God, and when he reveals his strength and power it sends everyone running, hiding, clawing their way deep into the earth to escape. Those who venture into caves for fun and exploration are remarkable. It takes special gear and training to make sure you are able to remain safe and not get lost. I like caves, but the darkness, the tight spaces, and thinking about the weight of the earth above you is terrifying! Many people would never go into a cave of their own volition. But their fear of caves is no match for the fear they have at the sight of God and his majesty.
Put no more trust in a mere human, who has only the breath in his nostrils. What is he really worth? (2:22)
We who crave significance will never find it in ourselves. We are only dust. We only have what we have been given – the breath of life. We need to remind ourselves of this when we elevate people in our eyes. Before the majesty of God no man can compare or even stand.
Father, give me a longing for your presence. Help me go out of my way to sit before your glory and wisdom. Remind me to call others into your presence. Teach me your ways and direct my paths. I want to throw my self made objects of worship away and worship you. Jesus, thank you for making a way for me to no longer fear standing before holy God but instead to wait eagerly for that day. Spirit, you are the only thing substantial within me, and you are all I need for significance. Remind me of your strength and my weakness. More than anything today, make me humble. I want you to raise up not the work of my hand.