Another year opens. In the hearts of millions there will be hope that the conflicts and problems of this world will be reduced and that peace will reign where up to now there has been suffering. Many work and toil to achieve this end but, sad to say, little, indeed no, real progress is made. For Christians the Word of God gives the answer. There will come a day when this world will enjoy peace and safety which will be, not as a result of the work of the many who try, but rather due to the rule of the King, the Lord Jesus, who will from Jerusalem have authority over the whole earth.
Isaiah has much to say regarding His rule - far more than a single page could hold. Let us look at one short description of what He will do (Is 32.1-8). The opening verse tells us that "a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment". This is a quality of rule that never before has been experienced. Look at how Isaiah described a small part of it.
First, there will be the absence of adversity (v.2). This is described as being the work of "a man" who will be "as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land". The "man" is the Lord Himself and this is how He will lead His people and the government of the whole earth.
Second, there will be the restoration of faculties (vv.3-4). "Eyes…shall not be dim" as there will be clarity of vision; "the ears of them that hear shall hearken" as there will be no deafness; "The heart also of the rash shall understand knowledge", as there will be no lack of intelligence; "the tongue of the stammerers" will be ready to speak plainly, as there will be no impediment
Third, there will be the recognition of nobility (vv.5-8). "The liberal deviseth liberal things; and by liberal things shall he stand". The liberal or "noble" will be known by his conduct, and the "vile" person will be noted for what he is.
It will be seen that this world is under the control of Him who walked on the sea, who cured the ill, and who brought the dead back to life again. In that alone, and in many others ways, He had shown His right to rule. Turn your attention to Isaiah 60 and learn more of the glory that lies ahead for Israel.
Before these ideal conditions are in place there will be the rapture of the church and then the suffering of seven years of tribulation. After that the Lord will return in power and with glory. The cry, "thy light is come" (60.1), is the cry that is made to all Israel to come to Zion. There the One who will have conquered His enemies calls on the faithful of Israel, those who have believed that Jesus of Nazareth is indeed Messiah, to gather. The Gentiles will also come and their kings to see His rising glory. Gentiles and Jews will come together and the past will be put away from their hearts. How heartening will this be at Zion. What a scene is recorded. World government, that has never flourished as it ought to, will see now the entrance of the King whose sceptre will cover the whole earth. Jews and Gentiles will submit to Him. What a glorious day!
The question that may rise in the hearts of many is, "Where will we be at this time?". The rapture, as noted above, will have taken place at least seven years before, the marriage supper of the Lamb will be past, and the church will be seen to be His bride.
As we face another year with all its hopes and anxieties, let us remember that before this year is past all believers of the church age, whether dead or alive, may have been raptured home to be with Christ. The alive will be changed and the dead reunited with their bodies. This will be followed by the seven tribulation years and then the King will come and reign in righteousness. It is at that point that the promises noted in chapter 32 will take place. Let us face this year with the cry in our hearts, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus" (Rev 22.20).