Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee … Trust ye in the Lord forever for in the Lord Jehovah is a rock of agesIsaiah 26:3, 4
When Isaiah penned these words, it was:
A time of change – cities and nations tumbling. The world seemed to be shaking. Nations come and go but God remains. The tides ebb and flow; waves of crisis and change can suddenly arise and overwhelm.
A time of challenges – we are facing an unprecedented challenge as the very fabric and routine of our lives is being challenged and canceled
What Isaiah said we can do:
- The Confidence we can Enjoy – Thou will
- The Condition Established – Whose mind stops at God; no other explanation required
- Problems to which we have no answers
- Trials which seem to have no Discernible Purpose
- Tragedies which Bankrupt our emotional tank
- Difficulties which have no expiration date
- This is where Abraham commenced. This is where Job ended – just knowing God in His greatness. This is where Paul lived – in the full confidence that God was in control of all.
- The Calm we can Experience – “Peace peace” is the literal translation – double portion. The fullness of, repleteness. Concept of peace in O. T., the “shalom” is more than the absence of fear or perplexity. It involves the enjoyment of all God intends for His people.
- Asaph had peace amidst the perplexity of life – Ps 73
- David in his Psalms knew peace amidst the pressures of life
- Paul knew peace amidst the problems of service
- The control of our minds amidst trial (Phil 4:6-9 ) – Do not get overwhelmed with the “what if” but “whatsoever things are true,” should guard our thinking. The peace of God will garrison and the God of Peace will be our guest. This is not a mind-game or positive thinking, it has its basis in the character of God.
Whom Isaiah says we can depend upon:
- The direction of our trust – Trust ye in the Lord; not in nations or armaments, treaties or tact
- The duration – forever; no longer any fear
- The dependability – The Lord Jehovah; over 6,000 times in the O. T. LORD is actually Jehovah. But the name is only used 4x in the O. T. (Ex 6:3; Ps 83:18; Isa 12:2). For the trials which Moses faced; for the threatening of the nations to cut off Israel which the Psalmist faced; for the trust amidst fear that Isaiah 12 speaks of. Now for the end times of which Isa 26 speaks.
- The description – everlasting strength or “a rock of Ages” – this is the only place in the O. T. these two words are brought together, although each is found elsewhere hundreds of times. As the “Rock” there can be unshakeable security; as the “eternal” there can be unbroken confidence. We have a God Who is outside of time and to Whom past, present, and future, merge into an eternal “now.” The future about which we worry is all known to Him and not out of His control. No 911 calls or emergency plans; no plan B for your life.
Walter Winchell was a famous radio news commentator during World War II. On Feb 15th, 1942, after a particularly dark week during which the Japanese army overwhelmed the British forces and captured the port of Singapore, he closed his broadcast with this sentence: “Singapore has fallen, but the Rock of Ages stands.” *
We can rest with confidence in God Who is in control. That does not mean we act foolishly and recklessly. But we should not allow fear to grip our hearts and uncertainty to cloud our enjoyment of God.
*Illustration courtesy of E. R. Higgins