The wolf and the Lamb: on Earth as in Heaven

The wolf and the Lamb: on Earth as in Heaven

“The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.” Isaiah 11:6.

If we want to understand this verse literally, there needs to be a physical change in the wolf or leopard and lion. These animals are carnivores and extract their nutrition from the meat of other animals. For them to lay with the same animals that they get the nutritious meat from without eating them, a drastic change in their biological system needs to happen.

If this is understood as a radical change of the resurrected body, then it may include the possibility. However, I think this is not talking about that, but talking about the kingdom of God on earth as in heaven. Therefore, this idea is metaphorical rather than literal. The wolf represents the wealthy, majority and the oppressor, and the lamb represents the poor the marginalised, and the oppressed. When the Kingdom of God comes, and not the eschatological, but the kingdom of God that the church needs to bring through its life to the world, then these things can happen. The oppressor and the oppressed will live together. The murderer, and the victim, or the victim’s family shall lie together. This is a concept that has become so unacceptable today that we don’t even want to think of the possibilities.
A young man in his 20’s who killed a teenager was sentenced to 4 years of jail. The idea of jail itself being isolation from society, with no rehabilitation possibilities, is in itself, or should be, unacceptable. The response of the teenagers family was that this sentence was a joke. They have lost their son because of this man. The murderer has pled guilty to avoid life imprisonment. A commentator asked the question “how would you feel if you were the family or the friend of the murderer?” His expected answer was ashamed. Most people would have the same response. But what would the real family and friends of this murderer think? They were the ones who testified to the character of the man and appealed to the judges conscience. The family of the teenager, having lost their son, wanted to inflict the maximum punishment on the murderer. Because they have lost, another should also lose. How can this be justice? Is this not revenge?

In the kingdom of God, where the wolf and the lamb live together, how would this translate? Let us consider that the man who murdered the teenager is the wolf. Although the teenagers family may also be seen as the wolf, the results would not be too different. For the wolf and the lamb to live together without the relationship of devouring and fear, the murderer should be able to live with the teenagers family in harmony, without threats, without fear, without problems.

If this is the kingdom of God, and the mission of the church is to live that kingdom on earth, how is the church doing this? What could the church do in such situations?

Another story of a teenager’s death in a similar manner encouraged his parents to start a foundation (or something) that educates teenagers and parents about the dangers. But this story did not find it way into the news as strongly as the other.


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