2110.) Isaiah 26

Isaiah 26   (ESV)

You Keep Him in Perfect Peace

Having seen the future of all the surrounding nations that were, in Isaiah’s day, occupying land promised to Abraham, Isaiah lifts his prophetic eyes to the far flung future and the end of days just prior to and into Messiah’s reign on the earth. Isaiah 24 tells us how the days of a great and terrible tribulation will see the deaths of the majority of the world’s population. Of the survivors there will be a remnant of believers, mostly Jews. The majority of the survivors will be anti-God, anti-Semitic and anti-anything that even whiffs of godliness and righteousness. The believing survivors will see the advent of Messiah and His earthly kingdom centered in Jerusalem, and they will be singing the song, and rejoicing in the joy that Isaiah 26 here expresses.

–Keith Lannon

In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah:

“We have a strong city;
he sets up salvation
as walls and bulwarks.
Open the gates,
that the righteous nation that keeps faith may enter in.
You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.

In Hebrew, the term perfect peace is actually shalom shalom. In Hebrew, repetition communicates intensity. It isn’t just shalom; it is shalom shalom, perfect peace.

–David Guzik

I26 mind

Matthew 22:37  (NIV)

Jesus replied:  ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

Romans 12:2   (NIV)

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

1 Corinthians 2:16  (NIV)

 for,

“Who has known the mind of the Lord
    so as to instruct him?”

But we have the mind of Christ.

Colossians 3:2   (NIV)

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

Trust in the Lord forever,
for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.

I26 rock

from This Day with the Master
by Dennis F. Kinlaw

THE DUNGEON

On the coast of Scotland stands an old castle that contains a remarkable dungeon. It was cut down into solid rock and is called a bottle dungeon. The neck is a vertical shaft six feet deep and wide enough to drop a man through. Below the shaft is the dungeon, cut out in the shape of a triangle. It is perhaps ten feet across at the top, and the dungeon’s circular wall is slanted inward to a point at the bottom. The bottle is too deep for a person ever to reach the neck. The result is that no one escaped after being dropped into it.

The masters of the castle found that all prisoners placed in this dungeon quickly went insane. Except one. That one prisoner was able to retain his sanity even though he was incarcerated there for several weeks. His captors drew him out and sought to discover his secret. To their surprise they learned that it lay in six pebbles he had in one of his pockets.

The prisoner explained that the circular dungeon and the total darkness left him with no unchanging point of reference. When he felt his mental powers threatened, he would count his pebbles by moving them one at a time from one pocket to the other. There were always six. With that unchangeable point of reference outside himself, he was able to keep from losing his mind. When his existence seemed an unending, unrelenting nightmare, there was one point of order external to himself, and his sanity rested on that.

Contrary to much of modern thought, the key to the self is not in the self. Without an external point of reference that will not move, we simply wander and lose our touch with reality. This is yet another evidence that we are made to relate to an Other. That Other is the God who made us.  Perhaps that is why Israel loved to call their God their Rock. Isaiah spoke of that Rock and of the perfect peace of the one whose mind is stayed on him. We need an unmoving center. We have one in Christ if we will accept him as such.

For he has humbled
the inhabitants of the height,
the lofty city.
He lays it low, lays it low to the ground,
casts it to the dust.
The foot tramples it,
the feet of the poor,
the steps of the needy.”

The path of the righteous is level;
you make level the way of the righteous.
In the path of your judgments,
O Lord, we wait for you;
your name and remembrance
are the desire of our soul.

 I26 love heart

“We wait for you, Lord — you are the desire of our soul.”

Lord, may that be the cry of my heart.

My soul yearns for you in the night;
my spirit within me earnestly seeks you.
For when your judgments are in the earth,
the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.
10 If favor is shown to the wicked,
he does not learn righteousness;
in the land of uprightness he deals corruptly
and does not see the majesty of the Lord.
11 O Lord, your hand is lifted up,
but they do not see it.
Let them see your zeal for your people, and be ashamed.
Let the fire for your adversaries consume them.
12 O Lord, you will ordain peace for us,
for you have indeed done for us all our works.

I26 peace
13 O Lord our God,
other lords besides you have ruled over us,
but your name alone we bring to remembrance.
14 They are dead, they will not live;
they are shades, they will not arise;
to that end you have visited them with destruction
and wiped out all remembrance of them.
15 But you have increased the nation, O Lord,
you have increased the nation; you are glorified;
you have enlarged all the borders of the land.

16 O Lord, in distress they sought you;
they poured out a whispered prayer
when your discipline was upon them.
17 Like a pregnant woman
who writhes and cries out in her pangs
when she is near to giving birth,
so were we because of you, O Lord;
18     we were pregnant, we writhed,
but we have given birth to wind.

I26 apart from me

The metaphor:  A pregnant woman would have the pain of labor, yet not have the joy of a living child. 

The meaning:  It is futile to work apart from the purposes and assistance and blessing of God.

We have accomplished no deliverance in the earth,
and the inhabitants of the world have not fallen.
19 Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise.
You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy!
For your dew is a dew of light,
and the earth will give birth to the dead.

20 Come, my people, enter your chambers,
and shut your doors behind you;
hide yourselves for a little while
until the fury has passed by.
21 For behold, the Lord is coming out from his place
to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity,
and the earth will disclose the blood shed on it,
and will no more cover its slain.

“But God’s justice stands forever against the sinner in utter severity. The vague and tenuous hope that God is too kind to punish the ungodly has become a deadly opiate for the consciences of millions. It hushes their fears and allows them to practice all pleasant forms of iniquity while death draws every day nearer and the command to repent goes unregarded. As responsible moral beings we dare not so trifle with our eternal future.”

A. W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy

_________________________

Music:

Our God is a rock — “Rock of Ages”  sung by Fernando Ortega.  Click  HERE.


And the words to an old gospel song —

1 The Lord’s our Rock; in Him we hide,
A Shelter in the time of storm;
Secure whatever ill betide,
A Shelter in the time of storm.

Refrain:
O Jesus is a Rock in a weary land,
A weary land, a weary land;
O Jesus is a Rock in a weary land –
A Shelter in the time of storm.

2 A Shade by day, Defense by night,
A Shelter in the time of storm;
No fears alarm, no foes affright,
A Shelter in the time of storm. [Refrain]

3 The raging storms may round us beat,
A Shelter in the time of storm;
We’ll never leave our safe retreat,
A Shelter in the time of storm. [Refrain]

4 O Rock Divine, O Refuge dear,
A Shelter in the time of storm;
Be Thou our Helper ever near,
A Shelter in the time of storm. [Refrain]

_________________________

English Standard Version (ESV)   The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
Images courtesy of:
in perfect peace.   https://missionventureministries.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/1-isaiah-26-3.jpg
mind.   http://thirdeyeactivation.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/spirit-mind.jpg
My Lord is my rock.    http://www.thatnoneshouldperish.org/sitebuilder/images/God_is_my_rock_psalm18_1-2-480×488.jpg
I love you.    http://www.punjabigraphics.com/images/137/Hearts-On-Heart-Shape-Balloon-Today-Tomorrow-And-Forever-I-Love-You-Image.jpg
our peace.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/januarypostcardwithborder.jpg
Apart from me.    http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m0e9i88LOl1qzkfujo1_500.png
Jesus is a rock.   http://www.ourredeemerelca.org/uploads/1/3/6/5/13652488/8003877_orig.jpg
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