People often travel to faraway places and visit the ruins of kingdoms and empires that once were. But imagine witnessing ancient Egypt during the age of the Pharaohs or walking through the city of ancient Babylon during the days of Nebuchadnezzar. Even more awe-inspiring would be attending the gladiatorial games at the Colosseum or the chariot races at the Circus Maximus. Or what could com-pare to witnessing the grandeur of Trajan’s Forum with its shops, vendors, library, law courts, and the temple? Yet, when one looks at Isaiah’s prophetic picture of the house of the Lord (Isa. 2:2-4), no citizenship of any kingdom could be more desired. Let’s consider six characteristics Isaiah highlights in his prophecy of the house of the Lord-the church.
Note first that the dominion of the Lord’s house is greater than all other kingdoms: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains” (Isa. 2:2a). The dominion of the Lord’s house is greater because of its boundaries (Lk. 1:33), blessings (Eph. 1:3), King (Acts 2:36; Rev. 17:14), and His sovereignty (Mt. 28:18). No dominion of man can be com-pared to the dominion of the house of the Lord.
Second, the exaltation of the Lord’s house is greater than any kingdom of men: “and shall be exalted above the hills” (Isa. 2:2b). Four great world empires represented in the book of Daniel as awe-inspiring and full of wonder: Babylon is pictured as a head of gold (2:38) and a lion with eagle’s wings (7:4); Persia is seen as silver (2:39) and a bear devouring much flesh (7:5); Greece is viewed as brass (2:39) and a four-winged leopard with four heads (7:6); Rome in its great strength is pictured as iron (2:40) and a beast that was dreadful and terrible (7:7). Yet, none of these compare great exaltation as of the house of the Lord. Phrases such as the “kingdom of heaven” (Mt. 3:2), “kingdom of God” (Lk. 8:1), “kingdom of Christ and of God” (Eph. 5:5), “kingdom of his dear son” (Col. 1:13), and the “kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (1 Pt. 1:11) far and away surpass any exaltation a kingdom of man will ever attain.
Third, Isaiah pictures the population of the house of the Lord: “and all nations shall flow unto it” (Isa. 2:2b). The house of the Lord is not limited to the landed gentry or the aristocracy. The poor, as well as the rich, are invited, the accomplished and the amateur are each accepted, the educated and the illiterate are welcome, the freed and the enslaved are equally received. There are no racial, gender, or ethnic biases. All who come to the Lord in humble obedience may dwell in His house.
Fourth, the instruction received in the Lord’s house is superior to the greatest academies and universities known to humanity: “And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem” (2:3). In the Lord’s house is found instruction in the righteous ways of God (Ps. 145:17). All who follow in the instructed paths of God’s light (Ps. 119:105) will be commended as wise servants (Mt. 7:24).
Fifth, the admonition in the Lord’s house is just and right: “And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people” (Isa. 2:4). The psalmist wrote, “Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face” (Ps. 89:14). Having exalted His only begotten Son to the throne (cf. Dan. 7:13, 14; Acts 2:36) we know that all ad-monition in the house of the Lord will be according to truth.
Sixth, the disposition of the Lord’s house is one of peace: “and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Isa. 2:4). From the most ancient times, man has strived against man (Gen. 4). The nations of men fight over boundaries, land, resources, and misspoken words; to gain what others have, men go to war. But in the Lord’s house, there is peace. Men will not seek war. Men will not desire war. Men will not prepare for war. In the house of the Lord, man will enjoy a “peace that passeth understanding” (Phil. 4:7).
There is no kingdom among men that com-pares to the Lord’s house which is the church of the living God (1 Tim. 3:15). Why not accept His invitation to come and “walk in the light of the Lord” (Isa. 2:5).