How to remain positive when all the surrounding forecasts are negative? When prophet Isaiah prophesied this prayer nothing yet had come to pass. He had spoken and prophesied groom and doomsday to the people of God (as described in my previous blog on chapter 22 – Valley of Vision) because their spiritual defense was down. Isaiah saw the future. He received messages from God. From his prophecies we can see that God does not speak a warning without giving a positive encouragement of hope for the future. Like the prophets we read and receive God’s messages of stern warnings. Like the prophets we also read and receive His messages of hope. Today’s prayer is a message of hope.
Notes: we are strong and in perfect peace as a city because we are surrounded by the walls of God’s salvation. Which physical geographical city on earth can claim invincibility? Look at the familiar but essential words: salvation, righteous, faithful, trust in God, thoughts fixed on God, humble, obey His laws, glorify His name, earnestly seek Him, pray, stay in the light of His life-giving presence.
Isaiah 26 New Living Translation (NLT)
A Song of Praise to the Lord
26 In that day, everyone in the land of Judah will sing this song:
Our city is strong!
We are surrounded by the walls of God’s salvation.
2 Open the gates to all who are righteous;
allow the faithful to enter.
3 You will keep in perfect peace
all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
4 Trust in the Lord always,
for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.
5 He humbles the proud
and brings down the arrogant city.
He brings it down to the dust.
6 The poor and oppressed trample it underfoot,
and the needy walk all over it.
7 But for those who are righteous,
the way is not steep and rough.
You are a God who does what is right,
and you smooth out the path ahead of them.
8 Lord, we show our trust in you by obeying your laws;
our heart’s desire is to glorify your name.
9 In the night I search for you;
in the morning[a] I earnestly seek you.
For only when you come to judge the earth
will people learn what is right.
10 Your kindness to the wicked
does not make them do good.
Although others do right, the wicked keep doing wrong
and take no notice of the Lord’s majesty.
11 O Lord, they pay no attention to your upraised fist.
Show them your eagerness to defend your people.
Then they will be ashamed.
Let your fire consume your enemies.
12 Lord, you will grant us peace;
all we have accomplished is really from you.
13 O Lord our God, others have ruled us,
but you alone are the one we worship.
14 Those we served before are dead and gone.
Their departed spirits will never return!
You attacked them and destroyed them,
and they are long forgotten.
15 O Lord, you have made our nation great;
yes, you have made us great.
You have extended our borders,
and we give you the glory!
16 Lord, in distress we searched for you.
We prayed beneath the burden of your discipline.
17 Just as a pregnant woman
writhes and cries out in pain as she gives birth,
so were we in your presence, Lord.
18 We, too, writhe in agony,
but nothing comes of our suffering.
We have not given salvation to the earth,
nor brought life into the world.
19 But those who die in the Lord will live;
their bodies will rise again!
Those who sleep in the earth
will rise up and sing for joy!
For your life-giving light will fall like dew
on your people in the place of the dead!
Restoration for Israel
20 Go home, my people,
and lock your doors!
Hide yourselves for a little while
until the Lord’s anger has passed.
21 Look! The Lord is coming from heaven
to punish the people of the earth for their sins.
The earth will no longer hide those who have been killed.
They will be brought out for all to see.
26:9 Hebrew within me.