The opening chapters of Isaiah are filled with words of judgment against the people. The section concludes with Isaiah’s vineyard application in which Israel is pictured as a vineyard, well watered and taken care of by God but which, in the end, produces not good but sour fruit. And, so, God declares, “I will break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down” (5:5)
However, in chapter two, Isaiah speaks of that which the sovereign God will do concerning Judah and Jerusalem: “It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it, and many peoples shall come, and say: ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.’” (2:2,3)
In light of this reality, Isaiah invites his fellow countrymen, “O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord” (2:5). That is, despite our sinfulness, God will use his people to bring his redemption to the world. Surely, Jesus had in mind passages like this when he spoke of us as being salt and light in the world (Matthew 5:13-16). Thinking on these things, our prayer should align with Harriet Auber’s words:
Hasten, Lord, the glorious time
When beneath Messiah’s sway
Every nation, every clime
Shall the Gospel call obey.