Bible Reading: Isaiah 26.1-10
I wanted to take this first week of the New Year and share with you verses that have stirred my mind and hearts for years and have impacted my life greatly. Jerry
In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: “We have a strong city; He sets up walls and ramparts for security. “Open the gates, that the righteous nation may enter, The one that remains faithful. “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in You. “Trust in the Lord forever, For in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock. “For He has brought low those who dwell on high, the unassailable city; He lays it low, He lays it low to the ground, He casts it to the dust. “The foot will trample it, The feet of the afflicted, the steps of the helpless.” The way of the righteous is smooth; O Upright One, make the path of the righteous level. Indeed, while following the way of Your judgments, O Lord, We have waited for You eagerly; Your name, even Your memory, is the desire of our souls. At night my soul longs for You, Indeed, my spirit within me seeks You diligently; For when the earth experiences Your judgments The inhabitants of the world learn righteousness. Though the wicked is shown favor, He does not learn righteousness; He deals unjustly in the land of uprightness, And does not perceive the majesty of the Lord. Isaiah 26.1-10
Back in 1998, I came face to face with Isaiah 26.8 at a Passion Conference in Austin, Texas and it struck me and has been important to me ever since. Isaiah is looking forward to when Christ comes and establishes the millennial kingdom. He pictures himself with a remnant standing in the redeemed land singing a song of praise to God. But this song is not just something they will sing in the future. God has risen up a generation in Isaiah’s day who trusts in God and they have this passionate cry.
As we look at this passionate cry I want to zero in on Isaiah 26.8, Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your truth, we eagerly wait for You; for Your name, and renown are the desires of our hearts. We should never say, No, Lord, nor should we ever say, Maybe, Lord. Our answer to the Lord should always be yes. There is a story that I love to refer to often about a pastor who began his sermon by saying, Yes, Lord. He kept saying these two words. Eventually he began to sing those two words and even sang them from sitting and playing at the piano. The congregation also began to sing, Yes, Lord with him. Then he went to the podium and said, Lord, you have heard our answer. Now tell us what you want us to do.
I love this story. It tells us that our answer should always be yes to the Lord even before we know what the Lord wants us to do. But too often this is not the case. We often have many reasons built up on why we cannot do something. Our yes is what the Lord desires. This is obedience.
Walking in the Way of Your Truth
Jesus praying to the Father in John 17.17 prayed, Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. The Word of God is the truth we should walk in and follow. As disciples may we never lose our love for the Scriptures. The Psalmist says, O how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day (Psalm 119.97). How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth! From Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path (119.103-105). God’s Word helps us walk in purity. How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word (119.9). Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You (119.11). Oh that we would never lose the desire to be taught by the Lord the Word. The Psalmist prays often, Teach me, O Lord (Psalm 119.12, 26, 33, 64, 66, 68, 108, 124, 135, 171).
We Wait Eagerly for You
We greatly desire for the Lord to come. This speaks of hope. We look forward to His coming again as He says lastly to the church, Yes, I coming quickly (Revelation 22.20). We look forward to being with the Lord, we look forward to one day bearing a glorified body like Jesus, seeing Him and being like Him, in the new heavens and the new earth. For as the Apostle Paul says, we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body (Romans 8.23). Just as the disciples in Acts 1 waited in Jerusalem for the coming of the Spirit, devoting themselves to prayer, we with perseverance wait eagerly for the trumpet to blow.
Your Name and Renown Are the Desire of Our Souls
God is passionate about His name and glory. He says in Isaiah 42.8, I am the Lord, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, nor My praise to graven images. Do we share the same desire that God has? Is God’s glory and the faming of His name the passion of our life? The apostle Paul says, Whatever you do, whether, we eat or drink, may we do it all for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10.31). May displaying the glory of God be the great passion of our heart and soul in whatever we are doing.
I pray we would share the cry of this beautiful remnant in Isaiah’s day.