Something is not right in this world. What is normal is not what ought to be. There is a reason that sin and suffering are saddening, shocking and grieving to God’s image-bearers. This reflects our innate knowledge that something is wrong here in God’s creation. Of course, it was not always this way. There was a day when God’s image-bearers delighted in Him, found their reason for existence in Him, and enjoyed deep fellowship with Him. All of that changed when Adam and Eve tried to find their delight by living life independently of God.

God promised this would happen if they did so:

The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely;  17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17)

Everything changed in a moment when Adam and Eve tried to live to the exclusion of the true knowledge of God: Death entered creation, sin abounded, their relationship with God was irreparably fractured, their relationship with one another became strained, and the good gifts that God had given from creation of family and work would now be laced with the effects of living life apart from Him.

This treason by our head Adam continues to loom large because Adam was the head or representative of our race:

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned– (Romans 5:12)

And yet, in God’s good grace He has been carrying out His plan of redemption. As devastating as the first Adam’s actions were, a second Adam came to open up the possibility of being delivered from the representation of Adam. Jesus, the second Adam, can represent us before God and restore in us His marred image:

So also it is written, “The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. (1 Corinthians 15:45).

So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.(Romans 5:18)

Isaiah 11 speaks of a day when everything will be made right again. There will be a righteous judge in that day (4-5), the effects of sin that became so apparent after the fall of Adam will be reversed (6-8), and all of this will be a direct result of the ministry of “the last Adam.”

Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, And a branch from his roots will bear fruit.  2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him, The spirit of wisdom and understanding, The spirit of counsel and strength, The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.  3 And He will delight in the fear of the LORD, And He will not judge by what His eyes see, Nor make a decision by what His ears hear (Isaiah 11:1-3)

The setting of Isaiah 11 is the future millennial kingdom when Christ will reign for 1,000 years on this earth (See Revelation 20). It is nice to know that such conditions are coming, but what possible bearing could this have on us now in a world that remains full of sin and suffering?

God is saving individuals now and reigning in their hearts now. There is coming a day when the rule of God will be over all of creation once again as Jesus the Christ reigns here on this earth. But right now God is carrying out a plan of redemption that mirrors this future reality. When someone acknowledges the rule of God, by acknowledging their sin, by trusting in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross and by calling upon Him the resurrected Savior as Lord, then this is what happens:

He rescues such people “from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son (Colossians 1:13).”

And though this does not rectify all the problems of the world, it does rightly orient the soul of that believing sinner back toward God and His rightful rule in their life. With that being the case God graciously has taken the veil off our face and we behold “as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18).

All of this brings us to the very practical point that Isaiah 11 has for us now even though it speaks to a future day when this world will be ruled over by Christ for 1,000 years. Verse 9 says this:

They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD As the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:9).

We would all agree that a world without hurt or destruction is desirable. Why is it that “they will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain?” For “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD As the waters cover the sea.” In other words, the knowledge of God has everything to do with a changed world.

If the knowledge of God has everything to do with a changed world, what does a right knowledge of God do for us as individuals, families, churches, communities, or nations? Here is where living out the future in the present comes into play.

During the future millennial reign of Christ all the provisions (physical and spiritual) of the New Covenant that God has made with Israel will be fulfilled (See Jeremiah 31:27-41). Here are the spiritual provisions of that New Covenant:

“But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.  34 “They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the LORD, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more” (Jeremiah 31:33-34).

Astoundingly all those who have trusted in Christ now have been graciously included in the spiritual provisions of this New Covenant now (See 2 Corinthians 3, Hebrews 8:6-13). In other words, the Spirit of God enables us to know God through Jesus.

Remember the connection between things being made right in this world and knowing God? In the future 1,000 year reign of Christ on this earth, things will be right again because “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.”

We live in a world full of suffering and sin. And yet, if you know God through Jesus Christ then you are growing in your knowledge of Him every day and you are applying that knowledge to your life more and more each day. By His grace, as you grow in that knowledge and apply it more and more then you can be living out the future in the present in a small but wonderful way. You can be living a life that is remarkably different than what would be expected in a world that is under the curse of sin. Will it take away all the effects of the Fall of Adam? No. But if you are in Christ then your relationship with God has been repaired, you have the ability to glorify God in your marriage, expect God’s grace to triumph in your family, and even delight in God as you value the gift of work.

We live in a sin cursed world. But if we are in Christ, God is already doing in our lives on miniature scale what He will do in the entire world one day. If you have been transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of Jesus God’s beloved Son then you can live out the future in the present.

They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD As the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:9).