A Study in the Word – Isaiah 26:1-27:1

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In the remnant’s song of trust Jerusalem will be made a “strong city” (26:1), in contrast to the prideful “unassailable city” (26:5; 25:12). The faithful find a haven for the righteous (26:2). Their song of trust celebrates the fruition of God’s plan announced in 25:1 (26:3). God is the “Rock” who dwells on high (26:4-5), so people who trust in Him can “step up” from a helpless state to claim victory over their enemies (26:6).

Righteousness simply means what is acceptable to God and accords with His holy nature. A person is made righteous by faith in God and then expresses righteousness in right living. God “levels” the path of righteousness for those obedient to His judgments (26:7-8). The righteous “long for” and seek Him “diligently” (26:9a). His judgments are instructive and reformational, intended to correct or redirect behavior along the path (26:9b). The wicked see judgment only as punishment: “They keep doing wrong and take no notice of the LORD’s majesty” (26:10 NLT). God’s hand of judgment comes to everyone, but the wicked do not see any correctional purpose, so they fail to incorporate its lessons into faith or conduct.

In time the wicked may see how God protects His people, but it will only produce shame for them (26:11). That time, though, will produce peace for the remnant. Peace in the Bible (“shalom”) means peace in the community, in relationships, and in dealings with others (26:12). Yahweh is their praiseworthy Ruler, remembered by the remnant in their daily lives, but the memory of the wicked and their gods will disappear altogether (26:13-14).

Assyria reduced Judah to a province, but the day is coming when the borders of Israel will be restored (26:15). When Israel was under oppression due to their sin, some cried out to the Lord (26:16). They recognized their helpless state and recognized only God could help (26:17-18). In response, life will return as God intended it to be, a reference to resurrection (26:19; 25:8; Daniel 12:2).

Yet, for Judah’s present, waiting upon the Lord is the task of the faithful. Isaiah calls them to exercise patience filled with hope in the Lord “until indignation runs its course” (26:20). That day will come (26:21). Leviathan represents the most formidable enemies of the Lord (27:1). These rebels may be heavenly or earthly, but even they will be overcome by the God who is sovereign over all.

Dr. David Moore is a Baptist preacher in Pampa and an online instructor in Bible and theology for Taylor University and Nations University. Email: dm5867se@outlook.com

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