Isaiah 65 sounds like paradise doesn’t it? The new world order. Let’s take a look what it’s going to be like.
- 20 never again will there be an infant who lives but a few days.
What is this talking about in our language? It’s infant mortality isn’t it.
- 20 or an old man who does not live out his years. What’s that? Long life.
- 21 they will build houses and dwell in them. That’s home ownership
they will plant vineyards and eat the fruit that’s productive farming.
- 22 no longer will they build houses and others live in them or plant and others eat.
Why would that happen? Invasion, burglary. Security.
Being able to say it’s mine and I expect people to respect that.
- 22 my chosen ones will long enjoy the works with their hands.
- 23 they will not toil in vain. That’s gainful employment.
- 23 Or their children doomed to misfortune. That’s child-welfare.
- 25 the Wolf and the lamb will feed together. My view in this is that he’s not talking about the animal kingdom, but international kingdoms. That Russia and Iraq and America and Israel will work together. World peace.
- 25 they will not harm or destroy. A world living in Harmony, community, security.
We see it at the Olympics. Fiesta la Peel.
What a beautiful picture of a world where everything is safe and people look after each other.
When you look at that wonderful list you would have to say, to a large extent, in Australia, we have it now. But they didn’t have it then and many of the parts of the world still don’t have it.
But in what we call the western world most of that is the norm. So normal in fact that we take it for granted.
How did we come to be in such a privilege position? In Isaiah’s day people are selling their kids into slavery, leaving anyone with a defect out to die, treating letters like scum. And it’s happening now. Why is our part of the world so different?
If you want to trace back through history you would have to say the difference comes down to Jesus.
Jesus came into a world that was based on survival of the fittest. It was dog eat dog. And he stood on a mountain and he proclaimed: Blessed are the poor. Blessed are the Meek, the mourners. Not the winners but the peacemakers and the merciful and as much as you do good to the least, you do it to me. He said I'll give you a new way of living. Stop hating your enemy and start loving him. Stop lusting after women and start respecting them. Stop deceiving and start being honest. Otherwise you’ll go to hell. Look after the poor not because you have to, not because someone is watching but because your Father sees it and he will make it up to you. Don’t yearn after pleasure and importance. But yearn after after God’s Kingdom. Seek your significance from God and he will reward you.
It’s taken 2000 years, but slowly over that time people have taken Jesus words to heart and a new world order has arisen. A world order that is based on compassion and honesty and serving, and with those pillars has come prosperity and security.
We can now own houses and gardens and send our children to school because we know that 99% of the population will respect that and we have a law enforcement and police for the 1% who don’t. The coming of the Messiah has changed the face of humanity and we are living in it slipstream. The world is a much, much better place because of Jesus and because of Jesus’ followers.
There is still crime and tragedy but we now consider those things as aberrations. They are not the norm. We label them as toxic because our hearts, activated and enlightened by his Spirit, expect better things.
PAUSE. . . REFLECT.
At the end of Jesus’ radical Sermon on the Mount he said “so you’ve heard it. What are you going to do about it? Are you going to be like a wise man who acted on it or are you going to be like a foolish man who ignored it?
Throughout history there have been people who heard it and acted on it. Under God’s power they abolished slavery, raised the status of women, outlawed child labour, rescued orphans, discovered vaccines to cure disease. They started schools, universities, hospitals, police force, orphanages Salvation Army. And others took inspiration from their example and worked in those hospitals and taught children to care for the week. And the culture that they built grew stronger and brighter. These are the people who built on the rock of Jesus truth.
But our current generation has seen the rise of the sand people. These are the people who stumble on that rock.
Instead of abolishing infant mortality they want to legalise it.
Instead of venerating old age they want to euthanase it.
Instead of strengthening marriage they want to make it temporary.
Instead of enhancing womanhood they promote pornography and in the end by their own
admission they are not sure what a woman is.
Do not be intimidated by the sand people. Jesus said that in the end a storm will come and knock them over.
But there is one other kind of person that's the person who doesn't build at all. There are people, even Christians who say the world will never be perfect until Jesus returns therefore there is no point working to make it better now. Or feeding the hungry won’t get them to heaven. What they need is bread for the soul not bread for the body. So don’t waste your time trying to make the world a better place.
It sounds spiritual, but I say it is wrong on 3 counts:
- It’s not how we treat our own children. if they are hungry we will feed them?
- Jesus, Himself urges us to heal the sick to feed the hungry?
- The good life we enjoy is because people (Jesus included) fought hard to show us a godly way to live.
Every time you do a good deed you are modelling kingdom values and people who may not share your faith will pick it up and pass it on to their children. There are people in this church you are modelling hospitality, teaching in schools, training in boys Brigade, nurturing strangers. You are preaching the gospel without words you may not think it is much but God can use it to make a big difference.
STOP and have a think about the ways in which God is calling you to sow goodness into the world