Isaiah 26:1-6 ESV
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.
Trust in the Lord forever,
for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.
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.”
In That Day
“That day” is a reference both to a time of judgment and a time of salvation. There is a time of judgment which will come at the end of time in which God will decide who gets in his heaven and who does not, but that is not what this is referring to.
There will also be a time of judgment near the end of time, called the Tribulation, which could be a literal seven years, or it could be figurative, as numbers in Revelation are not all literal. And, this could be a reference to that time.
Yet, God judges nations and peoples and his church throughout our time on this earth when such judgment is necessary in order to stop the wicked or to revive his people, or to turn people’s hearts to the Lord.
I believe God is in the process of judging many nations at this time, and through this time of judgment people’s hearts are being turned to the Lord Jesus, and the church, in some locations, is being revived.
And, I do believe this is coming to America, and that when it comes, that many will turn their hearts to faith in Jesus Christ, and the church here will be revived, too.
So, when God pours out his judgments, we who are in Christ Jesus, by faith in him, should not be shaken by it. For, we were forewarned that these days would come. But, we should look to our Lord to be our strength and our support in times of trouble and distress.
For, our salvation is our protection against evil, and our Lord will carry us through every difficulty that will come our way. And, he will keep in perfect peace those of us who keep our minds steadfast on him and on his Word.
Isaiah 26:7-15 ESV
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.
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.
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.
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.
O Lord, you will ordain peace for us,
for you have indeed done for us all our works.
O Lord our God,
other lords besides you have ruled over us,
but your name alone we bring to remembrance.
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.
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.
Path of the Righteous
Jesus Christ promised us that if we follow him with our lives that we will be hated, persecuted, mistreated, falsely accused and even put to death for our faith in him and for our testimonies for his salvation from sin. So, it should not surprise us when these things take place, but we should rejoice that we are counted worthy to suffer for the sake of His Name.
We are also promised in scripture that we will go through hardships, difficulties, and distresses, for God uses these in our lives to mature us in him, to prune us, and to purify us and make us holy, and to conform us to his likeness. He said that those he loves he disciplines (rebukes, chastises) in order that we may share in his holiness and bear spiritual fruit of righteousness for his eternal kingdom.
He takes us through trials and tribulations which try our faith, so that our faith may be proved genuine, and so that we will walk righteously before him. For, when we go through these tough times it moves us to call on him in faith, and to turn from our sins, and to walk in obedience to his commands. Hard times or persecutions often move us to yearn for God and to earnestly seek him, and to desire him above all else, too.
We, who are committed to our Lord, learn righteousness through the things which we suffer. But, many who have life too easy, and who have not had to suffer much, may not see their need of the Lord, and so they think in their hearts that God does not see, or that he does not care, or that he will do nothing, and so they continue in their wicked ways. But, one day it will catch up with them. One day they will face judgment.
So, we should be in prayer for those whose ways are not upright, and this is not speaking just of those who make no profession of faith in Jesus Christ. For, there are many who profess the name of Jesus, and who call themselves Christians, who are dealing corruptly, and who are walking in the ways of unrighteousness and impurity. So, we should pray for them, too, that their eyes will be open, that they will be ashamed of their evil deeds, and that they will turn their hearts to Jesus.
At one time we all followed the way of the flesh and we allowed other things or people to be our gods instead of God being our only Lord. But, when Jesus set us free from our slavery to sin, he freed us from the power of Satan and from our idolatry, too, so that we could serve him as our only Lord. We just have to walk in the freedom which he has given to us.
Isaiah 26:20-21 ESV
Come, my people, enter your chambers,
and shut your doors behind you;
hide yourselves for a little while
until the fury has passed by.
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.
Enter Your Chambers
When we trust Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, his Holy Spirit comes to live within us (God within us). We then become the temple of God, his body, his church. No longer do we have to go to a physical building on a particular day in the week in order to worship our Lord or to be in fellowship with him and his body. No longer is the sanctuary of God in a physical building, but we are that building, made up of living stones.
So, to enter our chambers is to enter into fellowship with our Lord through prayer, Bible study, praise and worship of him in our quiet times with him. This can be done individually or collectively, i.e. we can meet with and fellowship with and minister within the body of Christ any day of the week at any location at any hour of the day or night, whether in person or on the internet. I find great fellowship with the body of Christ on the internet.
So, when these tough times comes, which they have, and which they will, we need to enter into those times of fellowship with Jesus Christ and with his body, and be strengthened and encouraged in the Lord Jesus to fight the good fight of faith, and to be strong and courageous, and to persevere, and to put on that armor of God with which to fight off Satan’s evil schemes (tricks) against us.
During these times when God pours out his judgments, many of us will lose income, homes, and possessions. Many have already gone through this. But, love of possessions should not be our hallmark.
It is not wrong to have possessions, though, for God does often bless his people with worldly goods to be used for his purposes and for his glory, and in order to meet their needs. But, we should not worship the provisions, but we should worship the God who provides, and say with Job, “He gives and he takes away. Blessed by the name of the Lord!”
For, Jesus Christ should be our prized possession, as should be his salvation. And, our hope, joy, faith, and security should be in him, and in him alone.
More Precious Than Silver
Lord, You are more precious than silver.
Lord, You are more costly than gold.
Lord, You are more beautiful than diamonds,
And nothing I desire compares to You.
Monday, August 27, 2018 – Thank You, Jesus, for this wonderful lesson from your word. I pray that all of us will take this to heart and that we will guard our hearts against the things of this world being our gods, but that we should make you our only God, and the one who satisfies our deep longings.