The Wolf Shall Dwell With The Lamb

If the Lord God takes personal interest in our lives and is most concerned with our eternal salvation, then what positive news can Isaiah 11:6 have for us?

The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf, and the young lion, and fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.

This scenario presents us with a beautiful image of peace. Here, both gentle and ferocious animals alike come together and, like household pets, allow themselves to be led by a small child. Does this mean we can take comfort that a time will come when wolves, leopards, and lions will lose their appetite for fresh meat?

Or is something deeper being expressed here? Wouldn’t this biblical passage have greater relevancy if God were using it as a lesson for acquiring that same wonderful state of peace in our own lives?

The Lord states that we must become like little children to enter heaven. We usually associate childhood with a state of INNOCENCE. The idea of adults becoming like a small child can, therefore, easily be interpreted as a return to innocence.

The quality of innocence certainly makes sense as a requirement for heaven.

So are the words of Isaiah telling us that a return to innocence will actually allow us to lead wolves, lambs, leopards, kids, calves and lions to live in peaceful coexistence? That wouldn’t make sense, at least not literally. We would we be putting our lives in terrible danger for trying such a stunt with wild animals, innocence or not.

If a child represents innocence (and not an actual child) then maybe all these opposing creatures are also to be interpreted as representing qualities of our inner nature – like the opposing and conflicting desires and intentions of our heart. With a little introspection it can be easily seen how our negative emotions can prey upon, rip apart, and devour our more gentle dispositions.

This is why when humans act unkindly or treat others with cruelty, they are often referred to as acting like “animals” and “beasts.” God is simply using this same metaphor in Isaiah.

Returning to innocence requires that we adjust our anger, temper our tempers, and remove hurtful intentions. The effort and practice of gaining control over our “inner world” is what leads to our emotional balance, which ultimately leads to inner peace.

Religion was given to humankind as God’s wise strategy for helping us achieve that inner balance and promote our return to innocence. When we follow God’s tenets and commandments our “wildness” is tamed and a heaven forms within us.

It has been a major theme in many of my posts that God’s Holy Word contains deeper meanings. When we are able to unlock these meanings everything becomes instantly more relevant to our lives. I have offered Isaiah 11:6 as one simple demonstration.

One of the main criticisms of the post-modern world is the belief that many passages in Scripture have no relevance in today’s complicated world.

Certainly an all-wise God would have foreseen such an outcome and engineered the Holy Word to be able to respond to all challenges of its authority and eternal relevance.

Heaven is not someplace you go to. It is something you become.

Website: http://www.provinggod.com

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About thegodguy

EDWARD F. SYLVIA, M.T.S. Philosopher/Theologian Edward F. Sylvia attended the School of Visual Arts in New York and received his Master of Theological Studies at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA and a Certificate of Swedenborgian Studies from the Swedenborgian House of Studies. He is a member of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (C.T.N.S.) and the Swedenborg Scientific Association (S.S.A.). Award-winning author of "Sermon From the Compost Pile: Seven Steps Toward Creating An Inner Garden" and "Proving God," which fulfills a continuing vision that God’s fingerprints of love can be found everywhere in the manifest universe. His most recent book, "Swedenborg & Gurdjieff: The Missing Links" is an edgy collection of anti-intuitive essays for personal transformation that challenges and inspires. He has been a student of the ideas of both Emanuel Swedenborg and George I. Gurdjieff for over thirty years. Read more about TheGodGuy, his books and his ideas at http://www.staircasepress.com
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6 Responses to The Wolf Shall Dwell With The Lamb

  1. Glenn says:

    Dear Godguy,
    Good stuff! I was thinking that the two animals note first, the wolf and the lamb represent the false teachers and the true followers. Like the parable of the Wheat and Tares, I think today’s traditional churches suffer under the leadership of these vicious wolves. Here’s an article that explains that “Today’s Weak Churches”

    http://thebigpictureministry.htohananet.com/blog/_archives/2008/1/15/3467347.html

  2. thegodguy says:

    Dear Glenn,

    Thanks for the positive response.

    I would not label all the leadership in today’s traditional churches as “wolves.” They simply lack the BIG PICTURE.

    The big picture can only become the property of those who understand that God’s Holy Word is a multidimensional document containing higher levels of meaning within its literal sense. The symbolic language of its deeper levels is not arbitrary or “guessed at,” but represents the SCIENCE OF CORRESPONDENCES. Correspondences are lawfully obtained by finding the psycho-spiritual equivalent of the physical meaning of the literal words.

    Anyone can grasp the idea that when the Lord brought “light” into the world this is meant to signify “truth.”

    However, when God created “light” on the first day of creation, most people fail to see that the same symbolism is being used.

    These higher symbolic meanings are now being made available to those in the world who seek such things. This new REVELATION from God represents nothing less then the SECOND COMING. This is why Scripture tells us that the Lord will “come with the clouds.” Clouds symbolize mental obscurity in doctrinal matters. The Lord wants to pierce through this mental cloud and fog with more dynamic information!

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

  3. Glenn says:

    Dear GodGuy,
    Thanks for your encouraging words. I wrote an article that seems to mesh well with your correspondences concept: Seeing Straight, Seeing With Spiritual Eyes. If we look at things with worldly eyes we miss the spiritual.

    http://thebigpictureministry.htohananet.com/blog/_archives/2008/8/11/3834601.html

    I’m also wondering if you think that we are already in the millenial reign? I’ve been trying to understand Daniel and Revelations… and propose that the 6 day war in 1967 was the war at the end of revelations 19 – beginning of 20.

    The Tribulation – Past History
    http://thebigpictureministry.htohananet.com/blog/_archives/2009/2/23/4102957.html

    May God Bless You and Your Ministry!
    Glenn

  4. thegodguy says:

    Dear Glenn,

    The idea of correspondences is not my idea. The concept that the Lord God’s Holy Word is a multidimensional document containing higher levels of meaning comes from the scientist/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg.

    Seeing the Bible’s narratives with “spiritual eyes” is in fact the secret behind the Lord’s Second Coming and His making all things “anew.”

    I recommend you order copies of Swedenborg’s “Apocalypse Revealed” from the SWEDENBORG FOUNDATION. In terms of gaining a deeper understanding of the symbolic language used in Daniel and Revelations Swedenborg has done all the hard work for you!

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

  5. Patricia says:

    You’re digging too deep. This passage refers to actual animals during the millennial reign of Christ on earth after the tribulation.

  6. thegodguy says:

    Dear Patricia,

    You are not digging deep enough!

    Even some traditional Christian thinkers are willing to concede that Revelation is full of symbolic language. According to Emanuel Swedenborg, this symbolic language is based on the “science of correspondences.”

    The Holy Word is a multi-dimensional document consisting of a literal level, a spiritual level, and a Divine level. Please keep in mind that the Holy Word comes to us from heaven – which is beyond the constraints of space and time. Therefore, Scripture must have its original (Divine) language in higher meanings that are removed from physical qualities and descriptions.

    Animals REPRESENT various human emotions when interpreted SPIRITUALLY. It is not an actual wolf or lamb that must live in harmony during Christ’s “return,” it is finding INNER peace within ourselves between our predatory and gentle inclinations.

    The passage does not refer to actual animals but to positive changes which are to take place during a person’s salvation and spiritual rebirth.

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

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