Tuesday, April 16, 2024

The Book Of Isaiah. Day 109, Perfect Peace

As we begin Chapter 26 it's important to recall that in the preceding chapter we found Isaiah speaking of the day in which the Lord will reign over all the earth. This is a day when there will be no more sin, for only the children of God will be here. This is a day when there will be no more death, for sin---which brings death---has been conquered forever. In Chapter 26 we find the prophet Isaiah rejoicing about the day when there will truly be peace on earth. At the same time, Isaiah provides us with a recipe for having peace in our hearts before that day arrives.

We know that the Messiah will reign over the earth from the throne of David in Jerusalem; Jerusalem will be the capital of the whole world. The people of Judah will rejoice over their city being the seat of the Messiah's government. "In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: We have a strong city; God makes salvation its walls and ramparts. Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter, the nation that keeps faith." (Isaiah 26:1-2)

In that day, all the people of the earth---God's children---will literally be "one nation under God". We will live in perfect harmony with our God and with each other and with the natural world. When we arrive at the book of Revelation we will learn that the gates of the world's capital city will never be shut day or night. There will never be any fear of invasion, for the Lord "makes salvation its walls and ramparts". There will be no need to lock gates or doors then. There will be no need for a military. There won't be anyone or anything that will be an enemy to us, not even death as we learned in our previous chapter. No longer will we have hospitals or funeral homes or cemeteries. It will be an eternity completely without fear. As someone who has always had a tendency to be anxious and high strung, what a relief it is to me to know that!

In the book of Revelation we will also find people from all over the world coming into the city. No gates will ever be shut against those who want to come see the Messiah face to face. Ambassadors from every nation will pour into the city bringing gifts and paying homage to the Redeemer. But until the day comes when there will be literal peace on earth, we can have peace in our hearts no matter what is going on around us. This next verse tells us how to have such peace.

Isaiah says to the Lord, "You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You." (Isaiah 26:3) Then the prophet makes this appeal to mankind, "Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord Himself, is the Rock eternal." (Isaiah 26:4)

Some translations of the Bible render verse 3 as, "You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is fixed on You." If our minds are fixed first and foremost on our Almighty God, the problems of this world seem small in comparison to His unlimited power. Is the God who created this world not in control of the world? Of course He is, and keeping our attention on Him more than on events in this world helps us to keep things in perspective. The more we focus on our problems, the bigger our problems appear to us. But the more we focus on our God, the smaller our problems begin to appear. 

God created the universe and everything in it. He created the world and everyone on it. Nothing that has ever happened or ever will happen is beyond His control. He is never taken by surprise. His plans are never changed by anything anyone does. He is never thrown off course. He is never confused or alarmed. If we keep our focus on Him, we will find ourselves confused and alarmed far less often. We have never needed this message more than we need it today, when sometimes it appears as if the world is falling down around us. But in actuality, things are falling into place. I personally don't believe the way of this world will continue much longer and I believe the eternal kingdom of the Messiah is not far in the future now. But whether our blessed eternity with Him is at hand or is still far off, we can have peace in our lives now. We don't have to wait for the day when peace reigns on the earth because it can reign in our hearts today by trusting that the Lord is in control of all things and that He has a plan and a purpose for all things. 

Our job is to trust in Him like a young child trusts in his good and loving parents. When I was a child I certainly didn't understand everything my parents were doing but I trusted in their love and I believed they wanted the absolute best for me and I counted on them to handle circumstances that were too big for me to handle. Our heavenly Father loves us more than any human parent ever could and He is more powerful than any human parent could ever be. How much more, then, should we trust Him to look out for us?

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