Scripture focus: Isaiah 26:1-4
[Isaiah 26:1b ESV] We have a strong city; he sets up salvation as walls and bulwarks.
The old city of Jerusalem was surrounded by large walls for protection. But there have been several times in their history that the walls were torn down. Their defense crushed and their people led out of the city captive.
For the righteous that is not so. God has built our city without hands. (2Cor 5:1; Heb 11:10). He has established salvation to be the very walls of this city. Therefore, salvation can never be defeated or destroyed. This is the testimony from God given to all the righteous (by faith in grace).
[Isaiah 26:2 ESV] Open the gates, that the righteous nation that keeps faith may enter in.
The righteous who keep to their faith may enter in. Our faith is important. Without it we are a people who have a strong city, but have not entered in. Many Christians think and exist as if the walls of salvation are penetrable. Their experience with worry, fear, depression, sickness, lusts, etc. give the impression that God’s salvation is not strong at all. Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. [Rom 3:4a NKJV] It is the righteous nation (believers) that keep faith who enter in.
“Open the gates” in the Hebrew language is written in the imperative mood. The voice used here is one of a command. I envision God saying, “Do not resist them the privilege and authority to enter into the strong city of salvation which is given to them”. The carnal person would see this only from the perspective of an asylum for the weak and needy. From God’s perspective it is their inheritance and honor. It is their reward for keeping faith. Many claim to have faith, but the evidence of the reward for true faith is not apparent. According to Hebrews chapter 4, the promise still remains for all to enter His rest.
[Isaiah 26:3 ESV] You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
It’s interesting that the verse doesn’t say that He keeps us in perfect situations. The verse does imply that we can have perfect peace in the midst of imperfect circumstances. And according to faith, that would be on the way to seeing God’s perfect salvation working for and around those who are granted authority and power over adversity. (Luke 10:19; Psalm 91:13; Colossians 1:3; 2 Peter 1:3; Mark 16:18; Romans 16:20)
The weak spirit that is quick to say, “I’m just going through”, doesn’t really mean that. What their heart is really saying is, “I was limping through and got tired of all the resistance. Now I am just sitting down in this and dealing with it because it must be God’s will.” That’s not the same spirit that the Lord blessed us with in the new birth.
[2Timothy 1:7 NKJV] For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
A sound (disciplined) mind would speak like David in Psalm 23.
[Psalm 23:4-6 ESV] 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
That is the mind that is kept in perfect peace. It declares from the heart with cooperation of the mouth that the current circumstances are a mere shadow and thus, passing. And with that in mind, I have nothing to fear because I am protected by Jehovah’s salvation.
In the end, it all becomes a matter of trust. In whom and in what are you putting your confidence? By default, those without God’s Spirit have confidence in themselves, in the natural and in demonic influences propagated through media, education, entertainment, business, governments, religions, and contemporary culture. But for the true saint, who’s no longer a sinner, now that we are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 5:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:5; 1 Peter 2:10; Ephesians 2:1-20) our confidence is positioned in a more secure and solid foundation.
[Isaiah 26:4 ESV] Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.
[1 Thessalonians 5:9 ESV] For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.