The earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea Isaiah 11:9 

When the Spirit of truth comes he will guide you into all the truth. John 16:13

Isaiah chapter 11, verses 1-9 is a section often titled “The Peaceful Kingdom.” In it Isaiah writes of a time when a branch will come from the family tree of Jesse. For Isaiah’s readers, this would be associated with King David and his descendants. We, of course,  associate this with the coming of Jesus, the Prince of Peace. The verses tell of a time when natural predator/ prey enemies will be able to be together, to rest together. The wolf with the lamb, the calf and the lion feeding together, the cow and the bear, and the lion will eat straw with the ox. Then, a little child shall lead them.

The verse for today speaks of knowledge of the Lord, as part of Isaiah’s vision of the future. Back in verse 2, we see a person who will have the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord. There will be a judge, not like the biased human judges Isaiah sees in his present time, but a good judge. One that will judge with righteousness for the poor and hand down decisions that include equity for the oppressed on the earth. Finally, earth itself will be full of the knowledge of the Lord. As much as the waters cover the sea, this knowledge will cover everyone, no exceptions.

All these centuries later, did this knowledge come to earth? How does it get here? In John 16 we have an answer. There is a Spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit who will come to the disciples after Jesus returns to heaven. The Spirit will be their guide, and our guide, to the truth. Nice to see it is to “all” the truth. As we look around us, we don’t see a peaceful world at all – there are many wars, skirmishes, refugees from injustice, and people who need stable housing and food supplies. We need to take the time to listen, to pray, to really hear  the Spirit who will guide us. Then we can work to have righteous judges, justice for the oppressed as well as those well off,  and peace for all.

Giver of wisdom, you have promised your knowledge to us through the gift of you Spirit. Thank you for the peace that comes from knowing truth is found in you. Amidst the distractions of this world we turn to you for the answers we seek. Send your truth to us, so that it may guide us in the way of justice and peace for all your children. Amen

Chris Gabel