In our recent studies in Isaiah, I have seen more clearly than ever before the physical nature of God’s promises concerning his coming rule on earth during the Day of the Lord. Mount Zion will be the capital of all the earth (Isa 24:33). It will be exalted above all the mountains (2:1), though now it is overshadowed by the Mount of Olives. Gentiles will bring their tribute over the sea in ships (60:9), and will offer sacrifices on God’s altar (60:7). Springs will rise out of the hilltops (30:25), and the barren land will be rejuvenated (35:1-2).
What shall we make of these promises? Should we expect their literal fulfillment when the Lord Jesus returns? Or are they figurative descriptions of God’s blessing on the church? I recently had an insight that helps me understand some of the disagreement among Christians on this point.