Isaiah 2:1 & 2
"This is what Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem: In the last days the mountain of the Lord's temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills and all nations will stream to it." NIV translation
Isaiah introduces himself again and begins to describe the vision he was given by God concerning the last days of this age. He describes how God's temple and mountain will be lifted above all others and all nations will come to it. Today, there are all sorts of religions and beliefs but this passage tells us that it will not be that way forever. The vision tells us of a time when the one true God will be obvious and all of the religions and idols will be brought down.
"Many peoples will come and say, 'Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways so that we may walk in his paths.' The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem." NIV translation
During this time, since it is obvious who the real God is, people will abandon their false beliefs. They will seek the truth from the Lord and God's word will be shared with the nations.
"He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore." NIV translation
Isaiah continues to describe his vision of the world when God is acknowledged as the right ruler. The previous verse tells of the individual response of people while this verse tells of the effects on nations. Isaiah tells of a time when men will not have to settle their problems by force but will seek God's wisdom and He will settle the matters. No longer will resources be wasted on war and the preparation for war but instead they will be spent on growing and nurturing life.
"Come, O house of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the Lord." NIV translation
In this verse, Isaiah appeals to the people of Israel to live in obedience to God. He is encouraging them to make their actions match the word of God. We too, have received this same appeal as Jesus himself said, in Matthew 5:14, "You are the light of the world." We are called to be an example of God's Word in action.
"You have abandoned your people, the house of Jacob. They are full of superstitions from the East; they practice divination like the Philistines and clasp hands with pagans." NIV translation
Isaiah tells us that God left the people to their false gods. He explains how the people started to do the things of the people around them instead of holding to the teachings of God. The "divination" that the verse talks about was the practice of attempting to gain secret knowledge of the future from false gods.
The act of clasping hands symbolizes the agreement to do something as in this case the people started participating in the idolatry of the people that did not know God.
The same holds true today in that, if we start pursuing the ways of the world around us (idolatry), God will not be a part of it. Jesus wants to be the Lord of our lives and that means that he is in control. If we choose to try going in the way of the world, we can no longer be walking with Jesus but, if we repent and turn back to God, he is waiting there to "clasp hands" with us again.
Isaiah 2:7 & 8
"Their land is full of silver and gold; there is no end to their treasures. Their land is full of horses; there is no end to their chariots. Their land is full of idols; they bow down to the work of their hands, to what their fingers have made." NIV translation
Isaiah continue to list the reasons that God has abandoned the people. He explains that the people and their land has prospered thanks to God but now the people worship the things created instead of the Creator. Material objects have become a god to them and God does not share his divinity.
This passage could describe much of the world today as we have become so proud of the things we possess. The "full of silver and gold" is much the same as our retirement accounts and other bank accounts. The reference to "chariots" is much like the cars we possess where, in most cases in the USA, families own more than one and treat them as their pride and joy.
"So man will be brought low and mankind humbled- do not forgive them." NIV translation
This verse seems kind of harsh as if Isaiah is disgusted. He says that, because of their idolatry, they will be humbled but it is as if he is asking God to not forgive them. At first glance, we may judge Isaiah harshly but have you ever got so frustrated that you are just disgusted with someone? Isaiah has the burden of seeing what things could be like, if the people turned back to God, and at the same time seeing the reality of a people that do not see a need for repentance. Do you know someone who is content in their sin? That is the situation Isaiah is dealing with and it can be very frustrating.
"Go into the rocks, hide in the ground from dread of the Lord and the splendor of his majesty!" NIV translation
Although Isaiah knows that it is impossible, he now tells the people to try to hide from the coming judgment of the Lord. What is also interesting about this verse is that it describes what is going to happen on the day of the Lord. In Revelation 6:15 & 16, John tells of this happening on that day.
"The eyes of the arrogant man will be humbled and the pride of men brought low; the Lord alone will be exalted in that day. The Lord Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted (and they will be humbled), for all the cedars of Lebanon, tall and lofty, and all the oaks of Bashan, for all the towering mountains and all the high hills, for every lofty tower and every fortified wall, for every trading ship and every stately vessel. The arrogance of man will be brought low and the pride of men humbled; the Lord alone will be exalted in that day, and the idols will totally disappear." NIV translation
Isaiah is telling the people that all the material things around them that they take pride in are going to be destroyed. He is once again asking the people to humble themselves willingly. This passage seems even more relevant to our world today as we have all the marvelous things that people have made and we take pride in owning them. From fancy cars to homes to even the latest mobile phone, these things too shall pass away as Isaiah says. Mankind must stop the worship of man made objects and turn back to God (humble ourselves) because, on that day, the Creator is going to be exalted and not the creation.
"Men will flee to caves in the rocks and to holes in the ground from dread of the Lord and the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to shake the earth." NIV translation
Isaiah is telling the people of the day that Jesus returns to the earth. Those that denied him will now see the power and splendor of the Lord. It will no longer be possible to deny the truth of God and so they will be terrified as they realize that judgment has come. John says, in Revelation, that they will be so terrified that they will beg to die.
"In that day men will throw away to the rodents and bats their idols of silver and idols of gold, which they made to worship." NIV translation
Isaiah goes on to explain that on that glorious day of the coming of the Lord, all the idols will be cast down. Mankind will realize that all of their machines, buildings, etc. will mean nothing when the Creator of the universe shows up. Nothing can hide or protect them from the coming judgment.
Isaiah 2:21 & 22
"They will flee to caverns in the rocks and to the overhanging crags from dread of the Lord and the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to shake the earth. Stop trusting in man, who has but a breath in his nostrils. Of what account is he?" NIV translation
Isaiah repeats that, on the judgment day, the people will attempt to flee from the Lord. He is almost begging the people to stop trusting in men and put their faith in God. He concludes with a question to try to get them to see that it does not make sense to trust in men and the things of their hands. This same plea should be ours as Christians as we try to show others the hope that we have in Jesus Christ. But first, we must examine ourselves to make sure that we have put God first in our lives (anything less is the same kind of idolatry that Isaiah was speaking of).