2In days to come the mountain of the Lordâ€™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.Â 3Many peoples shall come and say, â€œCome, let us go up to the mountain of theÂ Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.â€ For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of theÂ Lord from Jerusalem.Â 4He 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. Isaiah 2:2-4
My word: Instruction
Here’s something I wrote in 2018 as part of my Advent word-a-day exercise:
Do you know what I never read? The instructions. I loathe reading instructions when itâ€™s time to put something together or get a new electronic device going. I usually just dive in and figure it out and most of the time, I can do it without reading.
One exception to my no instructions rule: board games.
I read all the instructions for board games.
I want to know how to play the game correctly, ya know? And I will fight you if you try to lead us in the wrong direction because you didnâ€™t read the instructions and you donâ€™t know what you are talking about.
Regardless of whether I like them or not, the instructions are available for a reason. Very often, taking the time to read them makes assembly, set-up, or play of game easier, faster, and less frustrating.
The Word of God, as it comes to us in scripture, is different than board game instructions, of course. Itâ€™s a little more nuanced, requires a bit more interpretation, was written in ancient languages, has a complicated and important context, often has layers of meaning, and hopefully is inspired in a way that board game directions usually are not.
And yet, as we read the words of scripture, noticing what they say and donâ€™t say, interpreting their meaning well, learning how we might apply them to our current context and lives, we very often find gracious guidance and inspired instruction for living and loving.