Scripture Focus: Isaiah 26.3
3 You will keep in perfect peace
those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in you.
2 …Sing about a fruitful vineyard:
3 I, the Lord, watch over it;
I water it continually.
I guard it day and night
so that no one may harm it.
4 I am not angry.
If only there were briers and thorns confronting me!
I would march against them in battle;
I would set them all on fire.
5 Or else let them come to me for refuge;
let them make peace with me,
yes, let them make peace with me.”
6 In days to come Jacob will take root,
Israel will bud and blossom
and fill all the world with fruit.
Reflection: Knowing Promises in Part
By John Tillman
In many of Isaiah’s writings three things are being described at the same time—the destruction of Israel in the immediate future, the return from exile in the near future, and the reconstruction of Israel in the far future.
Perhaps one of the most often quoted bits of Isaiah that we remove from its context is the promise to “keep in perfect peace” those who trust in God. (Isaiah 26.3)
Isaiah’s audience may have misread this promise as an assurance of earthly political peace and the absence of suffering or conflict. Many modern readers make this same mistake. It is not invalid for us to pray this verse and long for peace. However, we should understand that earthly peace we can experience now is partial and temporary and only foreshadows the peace to come.
Throughout the scriptures, God gives his people previsualizations of ultimate reality. These are intermediary places or persons or events that stand as a picture of the promises of God.
The Tabernacle and the Temple of Jerusalem are previsualizations of Heaven and the City of God, where people can approach God, see his glory, and understand his holiness.
Joseph, Moses, and David are previsualizations of a suffering servant, a liberating savior, and a reigning king that are fulfilled in Jesus.
The enslavement in Egypt with eventual liberation and exodus, and the exile to Babylon with eventual return and rebuilding are previsualizations of our current state and our ultimate eternal destiny. We live now as exiles and foreigners in a world enslaved and ruled by sin, but one day we will be ultimately freed and the world we are meant to live in will be rebuilt.
In this context we will experience the ultimate fulfillment of the peace promised in Isaiah 26:3. This passage is part of a section (Isaiah 25-27) that refers to the coming of God’s eternal city to Earth, also described in Revelation. (Isaiah 25.6-8; Revelation 21.1-7). This banquet is for all the peoples of the world and every face will be covered in tears, yet God himself will wipe those tears away.
As we take refuge in him and make peace with him, he will wipe every tear from our eyes and we will bear the fruit that we were always intended to bear. (Isaiah 27.5-6) This promise we may know and fulfill now in part, but then, we will know fully and be fully known. (1 Corinthians 13.12)
Divine Hours Prayer: The Greeting
I will thank you, O Lord my God, with all my heart, and glorify your Name forevermore. — Psalm 86.12
– Divine Hours prayers from The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime by Phyllis Tickle
Isaiah 27 (Listen – 2:16)
1 John 5 (Listen – 3:00)
Read more about The House God Desires
When we make room for God in our hearts and lives, he will enter.
And when our lives are over, we will awake in the house of God.
Read more about Praise from a Stump
We, in Christ, can see ourselves in both the unworthy and shamed stump, and in the new supernatural growth of the remnant.