God’s Holy Mountain

I will answer them before they even call to me.
      While they are still talking about their needs,
      I will go ahead and answer their prayers!
The wolf and the lamb will feed together.
      The lion will eat hay like a cow.
      But the snakes will eat dust.
In those days no one will be hurt or destroyed on my holy mountain.
      I, the Lord, have spoken!” (Isaiah 65:24–25 NLT)

Isaiah 65 gives a grand and joyful vision of a world when God sets up new Jerusalem. It’s a stunning chapter that delivers prophetic hope in our future, a future as God always intended it be.

For whatever reason, on this reading I am stopped at verses 24 and 25. I just cannot get beyond this sacred stop in Scripture. In a world that so regularly resorts to violence and coercion, God reminds us that his eternal shalom is on the way. We get glimpses of it here and now, but nothing like what is to come. As I read toward verse 25, my heart came to a resounding crescendo at the words, “In those days no will be hurt or destroyed on my holy mountain.”

Holy week approaches – only two weeks away – and I cannot help but think of the hurt and destruction our sisters and brothers of Cameroon continue to endure at the hands of civil war. Additionally, we are all watching each day as the war in Ukraine continues to take innocent lives. My grief is eased when I reflect on the truth that the innocent Son of God bore the weight of all human rage, violence, and sin on that Holy Mountain. He knows the path of those who live in the ruin of God’s broken shalom. He climbed the holiest of mounts for the sake of us all, and at that cross, shalom is again made possible in our hearts, our cities, and our country lanes.

May our walk toward Holy Week be marked by our deep desire to welcome God’s shalom and view the world as Christ did when he climbed calvary.