Let’s Talk: PEACE
Isaiah 26:3 “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”
This verse was prominently featured at my son’s school last year. I hope it is still there this year because it is quite relevant to the troubles of the day.
When the prophet Isaiah penned his book, the rebellious, northern 10 tribes of Israel were in turmoil. Shalmaneser was king of Assyria, the lone superpower at that time. He turned his eye toward conquering Canaan and destroying any nation that sought to resist him. Thus, Israel was in his crosshairs. Cultural chaos was reigning.
In this midst of this societal decay, God sent his prophet to Israel with a message of hope. Isaiah’s message was contrary to the popular preachers of his day because Isaiah’s message was a call to repentance. It was a call to return to the worship of the One true God, not the counterfeits of the culture. Here is our verse of promise in its context. Isaiah 26:1-4 says,
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.
While Isaiah was a prophet to the land of Israel (the rebellious northern 10 tribes) his hope is found where true worship happens – in Jerusalem in Judea (the faithful southern 2 tribes), at the place where God has made His name known, His holy temple.
Our culture is full of counterfeits. Anything and everything except Jesus Christ are worshipped and adored. Meaning and purpose in life are sought everywhere except God’s Word. People define their worth and their value upon the nebulous concept of social justice. Yet the one, true, Triune God of Scripture is ignored. Should a country expect mercy and deliverance from someone who is shunned?
It might seem like fear is the natural response to the societal decay. It might seem like worry is the right response to the cancel culture movement. But David wrote in Psalm 34:4, “I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.”
This is the same truth that Isaiah promised. God will keep him in perfect peace. The phrase for ‘perfect peace’ in the original language of Hebrew is ‘shalom shalom.’ Shalom means “completeness” — things are as they should be. Since the word is used twice, back to back, think of this as PEACE2, peace multiplied by peace. There is no better condition for life than this!
And who does God keep in perfect peace? The one who trusts the Lord. The one who builds his life on the Rock Jesus Christ.
Notice that Isaiah says the gates are open. This is an invitation. Jesus said in John 6:37 that “whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” The essence of faith is not so much in the mere acknowledgement of truth statements as it is in the trusting of the Person of those truth statement. Peace is promised to Him whose mind is stayed on the LORD because his faith is in the LORD.
This is precisely the difficulty we are facing in the culture. Who can we trust? Who do we look to and trust to take care of us? The government cannot live up to this. God did not design government to be a provider or a care taker, but rather a protector. Families, while charged by God to provide and care for the physical well-being of the members, are limited by the circumstances and resources of life. We need Someone who is more powerful than government and who has more resources than any family could provide. There is no one other than Jesus Christ that can do this!
Jesus Christ alone is the Rock upon which we can build our life. He alone is strong enough to withstand the storms of life. He alone controls all the resources of this world. This is why Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” This verse doesn’t promise good to everyone. It promises good, — or the best possible outcome according to God’s eternally perfect, ordained plan – only to those who love God and are called according to His purposes.
Trust in Christ cannot be separated from love to Christ. And what is love? We have the perfect explanation of love in John 4:9-10, “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (The word ‘propitiation’ means to satisfy wrath.)
Do you love Jesus and trust Him with your life and your eternity? He is where true peace is found.
Questions? Let’s talk.