"Restoration" and the Book of Isaiah (Chris Searles)
An interesting study --
The Bible, as I think many will agree, is full of metaphorical language reaching to describe the spiritual and the divine; realms that are difficult for the human mind and language to accurately depict. It's also a collection of writings across centuries. I'm about as far away from being a Biblical scholar as a person raised in a good Christian church can be, so I submit this post with two qualifiers in mind:
1) My apologies if my premise here offends anyone, especially those who know more about the Bible than I.
2) I'd appreciate any input on the themes below, especially from an expert.
Due to the metaphorical language and diversity of contributors in the Bible, what follows can certainly be interpreted in many ways. From my perspective these cherry picked verses could very well describe a bright, peaceful, rich future on Earth for all living things. With all of that in mind, here are few verses from Isaiah that caught my attention after reading over this article on The Rapture.
I suspect Dr. Matthew Sleeth and others who've invested real time in identifying the Bible's "greenness" could rapidly map out the references that thread together the idea restoring the Creation and its living things. That is theme this month. We'll have to ask Matthew to help us next year! Here are a few verses from Isaiah, which sits nearly in the middle of the Old Testament, I found fascinating in regards to caring for and restoring this great, biodiverse world we share.
From the NIV:
The law (Torah) will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. (Isaiah 2:2-4)
The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon. (Isaiah 35:1-2)
The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs. In the haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow. (Isaiah 35:1-2, 7)
I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs. I will put in the desert the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive. I will set pines in the wasteland, the fir and the cypress together, so that people may see and know, may consider and understand, that the hand of the LORD has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it. (Isaiah 41:18-20)
When the Lord returns in glory the wait will be over, and soon afterward the creation will once again resemble a lush garden. He will make her deserts like Eden, her waste lands like the garden of the Lord. (Isaiah 51:3)
They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. (Isaiah 61:4)
Peace will flow like a river and the wealth of the nations like a flooding stream. (Isaiah 66:12)
Cover image for this post is of the Isaiah scroll.