LOOK forward to the RIGHTEOUS RULE of our REDEEMER-KING: "Behold, a king will reign in righteousness, and princes will rule with justice...Then justice will dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field. The work of righteousness will be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever." (Isaiah 32:1, 16-17)
In the above passage, God speaks through His prophet Isaiah about a time coming in the distant future when He will send a King who will “reign in righteousness” (see 9:1–7; 11:1–5). Through this eschatological revelation, God allows the Israelites to look beyond their immediate defeat by the Assyrians. Obviously, the king mentioned here is the Messiah, who is none other than our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and this describes the current reign of Jesus Christ in the spiritual dimension and His future physical reign during the Millennium (see Rev. 20:1-6).
This revelation of this true King is contrasted to the drunken and crooked leaders depicted in the previous chapters of this book. Just like Jesus Christ is the anticipated “King of righteousness”, the princes who will “rule with justice” will be the godly leaders who will rule under Him. These princes could be the twelve apostles of Christ (see Matt. 19:28) or, they could be the Christian martyrs who will "live and reign with Christ for a thousand years" (Rev. 20:4).
In God’s kingdom people will be known for what they are, and no longer will the wicked be praised and the righteous be called fools. There will be peace and harmony of the godly leadership of the Messiah who would be “a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, and a shade from the heat" (25:4). Isaiah’s vision of justice in the wilderness (v. 16) would through be the presence of the Spirit (v. 15; Joel 2:28). However, the Spirit would not impose God’s peace on unwilling people; but rather, peace would be the fruit of seeds sown in righteousness (v. 17) upon people who are both obedient and willing.
In fact, the life of fruitfulness will only result from our reliance upon God’s Spirit (see Gal. 5:22–25). The work of the Spirit of God would be profoundly ethical: justice and righteousness will result in peace! So, social justice and righteousness will permeate every part of life, resulting in peace, quietness, safety, and confidence. This adequately describes the peace and prosperity of the future Messianic Kingdom. There can be no lasting peace without righteousness, and this peace is possible only under the reign of Jesus Christ, who is both our “King of righteousness” and our “King of peace” (Heb. 7:1–3).
Isaiah’s vision of God’s peace is instructive for our current lives as well. As we sow the seeds of righteousness in our communities, we give the Holy Spirit an opportunity to bring a blessing upon us and upon your neighbors as well. These “seeds” may involve feeding the hungry, shutting down a business based on immorality, or simply praying for our ungodly civic leaders. Whatever action we take, let us be aware that the Holy Spirit can multiply our efforts many times: “The fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace” (James 3:18).