Isaiah 26:1-2 (ESV)
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.
This is a song of hope. It is a song of expectation and anticipation. It is a song of grace and mercy. It is a song of redemption and restoration. It is a song about “that day.” That day is coming when God’s people will experience his salvation. That day is coming when righteousness will be the norm instead of the exception. In that day, “your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy” (Isaiah 26:19)! In that day, “the LORD is coming out from his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity, and the earth will disclose the blood shed on it, and will no more cover its slain” (Isaiah 26:21). In that day all things will be set right.
How does one live in a broken and scary world until that day? Every day the paper records an assault, a school shooting, a bombing somewhere, or an attack against Christians in some part of the world. Every day the news records another threat to humanity, an act of injustice or violence, or a natural disaster that devastates lives. Every day someone is angry, someone is hurt, someone loses a loved one, or someone gives up hope. How does one live in a broken and scary world until that day?
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.
Perhaps these verses hold the key. The truth is, our minds are stayed on us. Our eyes our fixed on our broken world. Our attention is given to the threats and dangers of our world. We are looking at the threat. The one experiencing peace is looking at the savior. We experience God’s shalom, his peace and wholeness, when our minds are stayed on him.
The word “stayed” means to lean, lay, or rest. Think of John at the Last Supper leaning back on Jesus, resting in him. He is our peace as we learn to rest in him. He is our wholeness as we learn to trust him in the darkest moments. He is our shalom as we turn from the danger, pain, and threats of life to be fully taken by him.
Think of a little child lost in a crowd of unfamiliar feet and legs. She is surrounded by people she doesn’t know. She doesn’t recognize the faces looming around her. Fear grips her soul, and then she sees Daddy. All the fear dissipates and the world is again safe. She is not alone. He is the one who wipes away all the tears. He is the one that makes the scary things retreat. He is the one she clings to. As long as she can see him she has peace.
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you” (Is 26:3). Where are you looking today? Where are you resting? On what are you leaning as you face an uncertain day? “Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock” (Is 26:4). One day will be “that day” when all things are set right. Until then, trust him.