For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating; for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy, and its people as a delight. I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and delight in my people; no more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it, or the cry of distress. No more shall there be in it an infant that lives but a few days, or an old person who does not live out a lifetime; for one who dies at a hundred years will be considered a youth, and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered accursed. They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be, and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain, or bear children for calamity; for they shall be offspring blessed by the LORD—and their descendants as well. Before they call I will answer, while they are yet speaking I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox; but the serpent—its food shall be dust! They shall not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain, says the LORD. (Isaiah 65:17-25, NRSV)

Do a search of Isaiah 65:17-25 and look at images. When I did one on a search engine that isn’t Google one of the first images I saw was of a lion lying with a lamb, but the text does not say that. It actually doesn’t say that the lamb will lie down with any of its predators. Isaiah 65 says the lamb shall feed with the wolf. But even a Google search shows a lion with a lamb early on in the search. And this is an image we know. But I searched the NRSV for the phrase “The lion lie down with the lamb” and the one verse it found was Isaiah 11:6 “The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.” Nowhere in the NRSV Bible does the lion lie with the lamb.

But this is the image we have and people tell sus when there is peace, in the new creation, the lion will lie with the lamb. We need not be worried about the details of how God will create peace and the new creation, having a lion with a lamb or a wolf with a lamb, but we need to trust in the promise of the new creation and all of it existing in harmony.

So talk about His promise, not our understanding of it.

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Comments
  1. kwallyz says:

    I’m behind again, I know.

    Actually I think the much more interesting image is “I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and delight in my people; no more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it, or the cry of distress. No more shall there be in it an infant that lives but a few days, or an old person who does not live out a lifetime; for one who dies at a hundred years will be considered a youth, and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered accursed. They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be, and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain, or bear children for calamity; for they shall be offspring blessed by the LORD—and their descendants as well.”

    Live long and prosper!

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