Some thoughts on Isaiah 26
This chapter is part of a series of chapters, which have their final fulfilment in Christ’s coming when the earth will be judged, but have partial fulfilment in any time of trouble in the world. So it speaks to us.
God’s city (v1-4)
Image of the people of God. We are a city of safety unlike the world around. We are the sign in the earth of God’s salvation. Today, those who come to Christ come in through Him – the gate, the door for the sheep – and enter into the people of God.
So, let’s pray for opportunities and for His kingdom to be extended.
We are the city of safety because of Who is with us, whose city it is. He is the One who keeps His people in perfect peace. He is the Lord – the great I AM. He is the everlasting Rock. He is worthy of our trust.
A people who seek the Lord (v7-9a)
Look at the language – we wait… the desire of our soul… my soul yearns… my spirit… earnestly seeks. To pray for:
The world to see the Lord’s hand (v9b-11)
For people to see the hand of the Lord, to learn righteousness (v9b). God has a purpose in trouble for the wider world.
“If favour is shown…” (v10). When things are easy, people see no reason to turn to the Lord. But this is an opportunity.
A church that is purified (v12-15)
This is an opportunity for the church to repent. Look:
Even that which we have done is because of His grace (v12)
We have loved things other than Him (v13). In the context this is talking about when Israel was ruled by foreign kings (who are only men, v14). But we in the church can get distracted by people, possessions, pride – all kinds of things. Let’s ask the Lord to search our own hearts.
But God is a God who blesses His people (v15) – enlarged. Pray that this would be a season where we are enlarged as God’s people.
A church that recognises its own impotence (v16-19)
But how is it possible that anything will change? It is not down to us. The people of Israel called out in their distress (v16). They themselves had no power to accomplish any deliverance (v17-18).
But the Lord is the one who raises the dead (v19).
All our methods are nothing – we have no option but to be on our knees before the Lord. Have mercy, O Lord. Save us, save our nation, save the nations, gather people to yourself.
A church that takes refuge in Him (v20-21)
A closing invitation. Come, hide yourself until the judgement is passed.
Every believer is shielded by God’s power. Exodus: only those who sheltered under the sign of the blood were kept safe. Praise God we have that eternal shelter in Christ.
As Christians, we can also receive this as an invitation to turn aside to the Lord in prayer: “Come, my people, enter your rooms, and shut your doors behind you…” and seek God’s face.
Pointers for prayer
- Praise God for His salvation
- Ask Him for help to trust Him
- Pray that the church would be a light in the darkness and a safe place for the broken
- Pray that your nation and the world around would see the Lord’s hand (v11). Pray for repentance and faith and for many to be saved.