He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. (Isa. 2:4)
The heater at the preschool had broken down. The children were cold. Parents were concerned, so the director called her heating and air man. The heating unit was shot and a city permit would have to be pulled to replace it. The director wanted the repair done immediately. Keeping the kids warm was the top priority. But the repair man was adamant: No repair would be made until the permit was granted. They were at an impasse. Tempers flared. The director eventually got somebody else to do the fix and parted company with the HVAC man.
Isaiah lived in an angry age. The Assyrians were on a rampage. The Northern Kingdom was next on the list. Judah was surrounded by hostile powers. Yet in the midst of all the trouble, the prophet knew God would resolve and reconcile the warring parties to such a degree that warfare would end. He knew God’s promise would prevail and swords would be remade into plows.
Nobody wants conflict, but we experience it anyway. For many of us, the last year has had its share of disputes: disagreements between nations, between neighbors, inside families, on the job, in the traffic. Disputes are inevitable. But we can look at our circumstances through the eyes of Isaiah and trust that our personal disputes will be settled. We can initiate peace talks, but let God be our mediator.
Focus your energy on settling disputes, not creating them.
Frank Robinson is a retired Wesleyan pastor with thirty-five years of service in the Pacific Southwest District. He lives in Cornville, Arizona with his wife, Thelma.
© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.