Interpretation of Isaiah 11:6-9 in context of the theme "Peace with the Earth"

The theme of this day is to bring to light violence against the earth, overexploitation and destruction of the creation by humanity. The present dominant civilization treats the whole creation in a violent way which is expressed in climate change and water crises. There is a possibility of change, of metanoia, as the gospel teaches us: change of paradigms, mindsets, lifestyles and international law instruments. These changes may result in the peaceable kingdom - Isaiah 11: 6-9.

Under the present challenges churches are expected to contribute by their action to highlight the importance of life giving agriculture, the efforts made for mitigating of and adapting to climate change, the advocacy work with others for fair, ambitious and binding international instruments.

Three suggested speakers to this theme are:

from the Pacific, speaking on the resettlement of populations because of the rise of sea level;

from Latin America, bringing indigenous perspective on relating with the earth;

from eco-congregation or green church, speaking about ecological concerns addressed at the congregational level.

The way Is 11: 6-9 is interpreted has a lot to do with what we will do with God's gifts and callings in our lives. Either we will think the gospel is not being effective and legitimize our interpretation with a futuristic interpretation, or we will insist on crying out for God to desperately work in our lives and weak faith that we could help those around us. The verses, a transformed creation, seem to demand either a setting of the millennium or of the new heavens and earth. Since we do not see a transformed creation where wolves can dwell with lambs or leopards with a baby goats or calves with a young lion, it is easy to discard this section into a file for some future application. In such a case we are not affected by God's Word.

By favoring the figurative interpretation this passage becomes a description of the work of the Spirit in the church age starting with Christ.

Isaiah 11: 6-9 Harmony Restored - The Peaceable Kingdom

Species lie down together:

Can nurture overcome nature?

Can Spirit overcome genetic wiring?

How are we to be ‘civilized’?

The verses refer to the NT age: we see the results of the Spirit's work in the NT, though realize it will be fully realized in the age to come. We see it in the NT age in two areas:

1) Christ's wonderful transformation of the people around Him through His Spirit-anointed ministry.

We first see that Christ simply transformed everything around Him. God's Spirit was released through His life into the lives of others. As much as the other disciples opened themselves to this Spirit, the affect of Christ's rule changed their lives. We see a reverse of the curse that was put on man in the Garden of Eden where he ran from God. Now God's life is again in Him. We note that the wild animals during His temptation did not bother him.

And He was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan; and He was with the wild beasts, and the angels were ministering to Him. (Mark 1:13).

2) The kingdom of God (Heaven) where God's presence is seen in and through the church.

Although some dispute the presence of the kingdom of God in the NT era, they are overrun by a number of clear scriptures. Only different unsound presumptions enable them to skip over these words. The phrase is used more than 150 times in the New Testament.


Bible study by Anastasia Dragan