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Isaiah 26:1-12 (NIV)
A Song of Praise
26 In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: We have a strong city; God makes salvation its walls and ramparts. 2 Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter, the nation that keeps faith. 3 You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. 4 Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal. 5 He humbles those who dwell on high, he lays the lofty city low; he levels it to the ground and casts it down to the dust. 6 Feet trample it down— the feet of the oppressed, the footsteps of the poor. 7 The path of the righteous is level; you, the Upright One, make the way of the righteous smooth. 8 Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts. 9 My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you. When your judgments come upon the earth, the people of the world learn righteousness.10 But when grace is shown to the wicked, they do not learn righteousness; even in a land of uprightness they go on doing evil and do not regard the majesty of the Lord. 11 Lord, your hand is lifted high, but they do not see it. Let them see your zeal for your people and be put to shame; let the fire reserved for your enemies consume them. 12 Lord, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us.
The astonishing promise of peace in Isaiah 2:4 reverberates throughout this long book of prophecy. We see it again in chapter 26. This section is a poem that praises God for bringing peace. God brings peace by making us righteous (v. 2). The idea is when we humbly admit we are not good, and that we depend on Christ’s righteousness, trusting in God alone (v. 3); then our hearts are at peace, and we are no longer tempted to dominate others. God can be trusted to humble the mighty and arrogant, putting them down so that the poor literally trample on them (vv. 5-6). The second section of the poem expresses the joy of walking in God’s path (recalling Isaiah 2:5), and yearning to be in God’s presence (recalling Isaiah 2:3). Consider memorizing verse 26:12, and letting these words repeat in your heart throughout the day. Then reflect on how your attitude toward others changes, when you realize that “all that we have accomplished you have done for us”.