At a nature center, I watched my friend’s rosy-cheeked toddler pat the side of a large glass box. Inside the box, a bull snake named Billy slithered slowly, eyeing the little girl. Billy’s body was as thick as my forearm and he sported brown and yellow markings. Although I knew Billy could not escape from his container, seeing a menacing-looking creature so close to a small child made me shudder.

The Bible speaks of a time in the future when fierce animals will fail to threaten each other or human beings. “The wolf . . . shall dwell with the lamb” and “the nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole” (Isa. 11:6,8). All the inhabitants of the world will experience total harmony and peace.

The Lord will establish this safe environment when He restores the world with His wisdom, might, and knowledge. At that time, He will judge the world with righteousness and justice (11:4). And everyone will acknowledge His greatness: “The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord” (11:9).

We live in a broken world. Unfairness and discord, fear and pain are a very real part of our daily lives. But one day God will change everything, and “the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings” (Mal. 4:2). Then Jesus will rule the world in righteousness.