Devotional Thoughts Based on the Glory to God Hymnal
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. The cow and the bear shall graze, their young shall lie down together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den. They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the glory of God as the waters cover the sea.
Artist Edward Hicks was inspired by the words of Isaiah 11:6-9. He painted a picture that shows the Peaceable Kingdom having been achieved now. In his painting in the background we see native Americans and colonists, who invaded their land and took possession of it, enjoying a peaceful conversation. In the foreground we see “enemies of the animal world, resting comfortably in each other’s presence. A child pets a lion as if it were a pet, a kitten or a puppy. Animals known for being fierce are as docile as can be. Children play at the place where venomous snakes live and do not dense fear. Truly it is The Peaceable Kingdom!
And how we long for that kingdom to become a reality for us here and now. From periodic reports we learn that wild animals can severely injure or kill people. We lament the shootings that have become a source of reporting almost daily. We regret the conflict and unrest between the races. We are troubled by those who abuse and mistreat the young or the elderly. We empathize with those whose rights are violated by those who disrespect them. We know that peace is often short-lived between people with a long-standing history of skirmishes and fighting. Yes, we do long for the peaceable kingdom, but we know it will only be ushered in with Christ’s return to earth.
Then shall the wolf dwell with the lamb, nor shall the fierce devour the small; as beasts and cattle calmly graze, a little child shall lead them all. Then enemies shall learn to love, all creatures find their true accord, the hope of peace shall be fulfilled, for all the earth shall know the Lord.
Dear God, we pray, “Come, Lord Jesus,” knowing that with Christ’s return the peace we long for will be ushered in. Until that time, help us to be peacemakers. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.