Isaiah 26, See also Luke 1:46-55
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.Verses 3 & 4
Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength:
These verses feel very similar to the ones found over in Proverbs 3:5-6, but the key of strength, and the promise of perfect peace, is awesome in these verses. It’s such a clear explanation of how to obtain peace: let your mind stay on Christ, because you trust him. Don’t loose your focus, always trust the Lord, and He will be your strength forever. This promise is real!
But as I re-read this on a second morning, there is more. It almost seems to be an exercise or a training of the mind to become centered on Christ. “Perfect peace” belongs to him or her who will train their mind to look to Christ in all things. “Perfect peace” belongs to those who learn to trust Him.
The following verse is an injunction to always trust the Lord, because His strength is everlasting!
I am moving on for today, but there is something very personal about the life path that I have chosen, that I find validated in the words of Isaiah here. (vs. 5 – 11) These words actually serve as a reminder.
There is an important parallel between the words of Isaiah here and Mary’s words recorded to Elizabeth, her cousin. It is the role reversal between the rich and the poor, and how it is the Lord who is able to take from the rich and raise up the poor. Mary is amazed at how someone such as herself in her very low station in life, could be exalted to such a place of preeminence, as had never been known before in the history of the world, by the hand of God.
I am sitting here contemplating these verse in both Isaiah and Luke, and sitting with the fact that God exalts the poor, and scatters the proud in the imaginations of their hearts. Part of me wonders if I wasn’t among the proud being scattered, for I have been a very prideful man over the course of my years.
I do feel like I was taken from Utah, and from a vibrant community of honest and good filmmakers and faithful members because of my pride. I was too blinded to see those in my midst doing great work. But alas, I was also guided to leave. I was proud and so sure of myself, without observing the decay in my children, those little plants sprouting up all around me.
These verses are so pivotal in understanding how God works with his children. The proud, He can do nothing with them. The poor that will acknowledge and follow God, these are his tools.
There is more in this chapter, which culminates in a witness of the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. I appreciate the acknowledgement found in verses 12 – 15 that though the people of faith have been subjected to other lords, in the end only the Lord their God will they praise and make mention of. (No one will be extolling the virtues of their land lords.)
Finally, verses 16-18 demonstrates that Isaiah understands well the pattern of discipleship, and relates it to the process of childbirth. What is more compelling to me is that this is again a proof that the Lord is able to do his own work: though we labor and strive to become more as He would have us to be, we look for the deliverance promised us and it are insignificant, and even just not there. Nothing seems to have changed. Yet in our obedience, the Lord is able to do His work, he brings forth his own fruit in due time.
It will be the Lord that destroys the wicked. It will be the Lord who preserves the righteous. Our own efforts, though absolutely required, will appear to have no effect upon the other party.