Beat their swords into plowshares, spears into pruning hooks? Kidding, right? Maybe Isaiah should look for other work. We have learned war very well, thank you. Again and again and again we learn war.
We work hard to keep our children safe from harm: "Drive carefully." "Dress warm." "Take care of yourself now, you hear me?" Then we send them off to war, band playing, flag waving, tears flowing, so proud. Finally they come home, some with scars, some in boxes. Flag still waving, band still playing, tears still flowing. We have learned well how to do war.
Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969), 34th president and five-star general, stated: "I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity."
But perhaps a prophet is more a preacher than a predictor of the future. And here the preacher is telling us that God is weary of war. I am too. I am guessing so are you.
Creator God, who first breathed into us the breath of life, who made us in your image and gave us responsibility for your creation and for one another: Forgive us for our violent ways, ever since Cain killed his brother Abel. Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Amen.
Isaiah 2:1-5 (NRSV)
1 The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
2 In days to come the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; all the nations shall stream to it.
3 Many peoples shall come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths." For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
4 He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; 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.
5 O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord!