6 The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
and a little child will lead them.
7 The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
8 The infant will play near the hole of the cobra,
and the young child put his hand into the viper’s nest.
9 They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD
as the waters cover the sea.
Lions and Lambs
Like I’ve mentioned before, Isaiah is filled with wonderful, and often heartwrenching, imagery and metaphors. This is one of those passages, heralding the peace that God brings in his wake. But it is so poetic that we often get fixated on the image itself, focused on animals laying down next to each other and not eating one another.
Whether this will literally take place, I’m not really sure…perhaps predators and prey will be the best of friends. I think these images are intended to remind us of the personal peace that Christ brings, between individuals, and even between nations. People who have fallen out with their friends and spouses will be able to forgive and move forward. Peoples who have suffered at the hands of others will focus more upon the future than the past. Enemies would be transformed into friends.
This might seem altogether impossible, but remember that this was the heart of Jesus’ ministry on the cross: the transformation of a fundamentally broken relationship into a restored one. If Christ can change us, we who were enemies of God, into adopted children of God instead, surely restoration of our earthly relationships is now possible as well.
1. Who is your “lion”, the person whom you just can’t along with, or has hurt you? How does Jesus’ presence and work in your life make it possible to forgive them?
2. Who is your “lamb”, the person whom you have hurt or left behind? Why is it important to ask for forgiveness from these people?
3. What is one area of the world that we should be praying for peace, as it is described here?