By Sally Lombardo
’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. You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.’” (Isaiah 26:1-3).
Enhance today’s devotional by reading Isaiah 26.
Isaiah’s tone changes to that of a herald of restoration and peace. We see the repeated phrase ‘in that day’ again and know it means there is a day of hope and joy when a song will ring out about God’s victory. There will be a day when we don’t have illness, relationship struggles, heartache, or pain. Future verses in Isaiah assure us God will bind up our wounds and bring healing. Until this day arrives, we also have the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee and access to hope.
Why all the battle imagery here? What was most important in ancient Israel were the city walls that kept inhabitants safe. We have walls too, and they protect us from danger. A rampart in the ancient world was a fortification or a defensive barricade. The city depended on them. Here, Isaiah proclaims the salvation of God is also a protective wall. It provides guardrails, wisdom, and instruction. As we try to walk in the way of disciples in this life, our knowledge of God acts as a protective wall to keep us focused on the right things—like loving others.
The final verse is one of my favorites, and I love how it connects here. God keeps our minds and hearts at peace when we turn to him in our fear and sorrow. He teaches us as we try and understand what it means to be steadfast. Images like strong walls, secure ramparts, and standing on the faith we have learned and practiced are ways to visualize steadfast lives. When we look for peace, we need only look so far as our minds and how and where we focus them.
“As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him” (Psalm 18:30 NIV).
What do you believe about salvation and God’s protection? How does your walk with God guard you against the enemies in life? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
In our six-week small group Bible study on the book of 1 John, you are invited to live and celebrate true life in Christ. Throughout his first letter, John wrestles with the assurance of salvation. How do we know that we are genuine Christians, and how can we recognize authentic faith in others? The Apostle John taught that you can enjoy full assurance through believing in the incarnate Son of God, walking in the light of obedience, and loving God and his children. Embark on this study with us today!
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