“My promise is true, and it will not be changed. I solemnly promise by all that I am: Everyone will come and kneel before me and vow to be loyal to me”.
Isa 45:23 GNB
How easy things would be if everyone in the world held the same religious faith! Think how all would agree and there would be perfect harmony, unity and purpose. There would be no more arguments about doctrine. Many of the buildings that serve tiny groups of people could be demolished because everyone would use the same buildings. There would be no more suspicion, rivalries or bitter disputes.
In passing on this promise Isaiah was probably being somewhat too hopeful. Superior as the Israelites’ God was, others were going to cling tenaciously to their positions. After all their gods demanded that they should!
Yet the Israelites nursed this hope – that Jerusalem would become the centre of the world, people of other faiths would come to them to learn about God, and we would all be one big happy family. It never happened, Isaiah’s faith in God notwithstanding. And today Jerusalem is a centre of three world faiths! It was a wonderful dream to cherish. Will it ever come true?
Paul picked up on this verse in his letter to the Philippians. “In honour of the name of Jesus all beings in heaven, on earth, and in the world below will fall on their knees, and all will openly proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2:10, 11 GNB). Despite the multiplicity of faiths and the growing number of divisions within the Christian community, this is the vision we should hold and the end towards which we should work and pray.
Lord, bring all people together in unity and love.