Check this out. I've highlighted some verses of what I like to call “optimistic prophecy.” Many times, God’s prophets did not have good news, because God was angry about sin in much the same way as a parent is flustrated (that is not a misprint, it's a combo of flustered and frustrated) with their kid b/c they've told them and told them, but the kid just doesn't listen. But when those same bullhorns of God (that is, prophets) announced good news, it was good news indeed! In an effort to remind ourselves of what wrongs exist in this world, we remember the call of the prophets of what life will be like when that sin is gone. We see a beautiful picture when we imagine a better life – one without the aftereffects of sin. The neat thing about this is that it is said positively. If I can say that I love peace, then aren't I also saying the converse -- that I hate war?
After God judges sin and sets things aright, it will look like this:
Isaiah 11:6 - 9 (NKJV, emphasis mine) “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”
(Imagine a life with no fear. For students, no fear of bullies, no fear of rejection, no fear of being hurt. For adults, no fear of any bodily harm, no fear for your family’s safety. That sounds like a life that everybody would long for. How exactly does knowledge of the Lord translate into this lack of fear?)
Isaiah 2:4 (NKJV, emphasis mine) “He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; 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 anymore.”
(No war. World peace. I can hear the sighs of relief from the beauty pageant contestants now... .)
Isaiah 60:18 - 20 (NKJV, emphasis mine) “Violence shall no longer be heard in your land, neither wasting nor destruction within your borders; but you shall call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise. The sun shall no longer be your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you; but the Lord will be to you an everlasting light, and your God your glory. Your sun shall no longer go down, nor shall your moon withdraw itself; for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be ended.
(Sweet! The Son will be the sun. That was pun-ny, huh? You thought that was funny, huh? Get it? "The Son will be the sun." It's a play on words. Get it? It's hilarious, right? You're laughing, right? Well, I thought it was cool.)
Isaiah 65:17 - 19 (NKJV, emphasis mine) “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, and her people a joy. I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people; the voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her, nor the voice of crying.
(No more tears. That'll put Kleenex out of business!)
Joel 3:18 (NKJV, emphasis mine) And it will come to pass in that day that the mountains shall drip with new wine, the hills shall flow with milk, and all the brooks of Judah shall be flooded with water; a fountain shall flow from the house of the Lord and water the Valley of Acacias.
(Wine and milk in the mountains and hills sounds a little weird, but I get it. Abundance. Sounds like the American dream to me.)
That's the funny thing about Christianity. We say some of the same things that sane, loving people say, but we are labeled as lunatics for believing in something bigger than ourselves. But that is talked about in the Bible, too. The world is hostile to God. I just can't wait for that day when that will no longer be so!