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. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the cobra’s den, and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. Isa. 11:6–9 (NIV)
Lord Jesus, every promise of God finds its resounding and robust “Yes!” in you (2 Cor. 1:20) So we worship and adore you for securing the Day Isaiah describes in this heart-thrilling passage, and we express our intense longings for the arrival of that Day.
Hasten the Day when all “tooth and claw” violence gives way to wolves frolicking with lambs; leopards and goats napping together; aardvarks and antelope, bison and beavers, puppies and pythons meandering through the new heaven and new earth as friends; cows and bears lunching together, rather than having one another for lunch. All creatures, great and small belong to you, Jesus.
But as much as we love the vision of shalom in the animal kingdom, a gazillion times more so, do we long for the Day when we—the two-legged image-bearers of God, no longer harm one another in any way. No more marginalizing or minimizing one another; no more demeaning or dismissing, vilifying or idolizing one another; no more hating or hurting, ignoring or igniting one another… by any word, thought, or deed. Jesus, thank you for securing that Day by your life, death, and resurrection.
Indeed, hasten the Day when God’s glory will cover the earth like salt water covers the Pacific Ocean; the Day when knowing the Lord won’t be something we do, but who we are; the Day when we will finally and fully love one another as you love us.
Jesus, until that Day, keep us groaning and growing in grace. Grant us quick repentances when we love poorly. May the world recognize us as your disciples by the way we love one another. So very Amen we pray, in your powerful and patient name.
From Scotty Smith at The Gospel Coalition