“The Source of Peace”
In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks.
2 Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in.
3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
4 Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:
5 For he bringeth down them that dwell on high; the lofty city, he layeth it low; he layeth it low, even to the ground; he bringeth it even to the dust.
by Chelsea Gurney
“The Source of Peace”, Isaiah 26:1-5
Hello, ladies! It’s been too long. We miss you all, and we’re glad you found us on the new church website. We’ll be posting virtual meetings here until we’re able to meet again. Though physically we’re apart, our prayers follow every one of you; and for those who are believers, know that the fellowship we have through the Holy Spirit is no more bound by time and distance than God Himself. God is still working and speaking in the lives of His children, and we’re never alone.
We want to keep our time together as conversational as possible, so just below you’ll find our contact information. Please contact any of us for prayer, counsel, or to respond to the lessons. We love hearing from you all. You can also participate using the chat features on the church website.
Chelsea Gurney, 765-720-8499
At the earliest opportunity I’ll be recording our lessons, but in the meantime what you’ll be seeing are essentially the notes I use to teach every meeting. You can use your journals right alongside these notes, just as you would in our class. Write or draw your reactions and questions, and then share them online or in a text if you’d like.
Once you’re done here, scroll around the church website. And if you would like more resources during the stay-at-home order, a good source is intouch.org, the website for Dr. Charles Stanley’s In Touch ministry. The website offers free daily devotionals, a magazine, and sermons. You can also check out Discovery Series at discoveryseries.org.
- How are we all coping with the coronavirus panic?
Empty Meditation & Opening Prayer
- Use a clock or the stop watch on your phone, and give yourself one full minute to focus only on your breathing. I often have to count the breaths; “inhale…exhale…one…inhale….”. Breathe as deeply and slowly as you can.
- Now pray, asking God to bless your time in His Word. This is your time to get to know Him more, so ask Him to reveal Himself to you. If there’s honestly something else you’d rather be doing (but your sense of duty has taken you this far), be open with Him about your feelings, and ask Him to give you a heart that seeks to know Him. He knows anyway, loves you anyway, and wants you to love Him anyway.
Last Week’s Devotions
- For those of you who haven’t read it, we’ve been reading “Overcoming Worry” for our weekly devotions. These are little pamphlets that can be found in the church foyer, but you can also find a version online at “discoveryseries.org overcoming worry“.
Review Last Week
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
- Rather than worry, we are to bring both our problems and praises to God in prayer, which is a form of worship that should include our gratitude.
- There are two kinds of peace: God’s and the world’s.
- The world’s peace means that circumstances are good; health, wealth, no war.
- God’s peace does not depend on circumstances. You can be sick, poor, and at war; and still experience God’s peace.
- As Jesus said in John 14:27
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
- The original word for peace in the Bible means well-being, rest, quietness, wholeness.
- The world would call this “inner peace”; but they are referring to self-esteem and feeling calm, which they achieve through positive self-talk, exercise, and breathing techniques. They don’t have any reasons to feel good about themselves or to be calm, other than they want to.
- God’s peace gives you a reason to love yourself and your neighbor. It gives you a reason to love Him with all that you are. And in the process, it will bring not only calm, but lasting peace that the world cannot touch or offer.
- God’s peace does not depend on circumstances because God does not depend on circumstances. He is the Self-Existent and Eternal God who chose from the beginning of time to send His Son to save us not only from sin, but from its consequences (fear, anxiety among them). If God is so good and loving; and you are His child, what is there to fear?
- God’s peace protects our hearts and minds.
- Isaiah 26:1-5, verse 3
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”
- Isaiah was a prophet in a time when God was punishing Israel for turning from Him. He sent Isaiah to call the people to repentance before His final judgment, which would be captivity in Babylon. The people lived in a time of constant war and poverty, but in the midst of it God offered peace. As Christians in 2020, we see similarities betwen our time and Isaiah’s; and we also recognize God’s promise as being not only for our day, but even for the future.
- Last week we looked deeper into how and why God’s peace protects our hearts and minds, and that’s what we will be doing again this week.
This Week’s Scripture & Meditation
“In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks.
“Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in.
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
“Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JE-HOVAH is everlasting strength:
“For he bringeth down them that dwell on high; the lofty city, he layeth it low; he layeth it low, even to the ground; he bringeth it even to the dust.”
Break It Down
- “In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah;…”
- What day?
- In the previous chapters, Isaiah has been talking about God’s plans to destroy the earth; to punish the proud and the wicked; and to deliver His people. In Isaiah’s time, the prophecy referred to the destruction of Israel and the surrounding nations, from which only the faithful “remnant” would be saved or return from captivity.
- But what is special about this prophecy and many others Isaiah makes? It also predicts:
- The moment of salvation when a sinner repents, believes, and calls upon the name of Jesus Christ.
- If you have trusted Jesus Christ to save you from your sin, this song is for you. You can and should sing it. Singing praise and talking about God’s goodness is one way we can share Christ.
- Psalms 107:8, “Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!”
- If you have not trusted in Christ, this song can be yours too if you will recognize your sinfulness and ask Him for forgiveness.
- Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
- The prophecy also predicts the last day, when Jesus will receive His Bride, the Church, which is every believer; and God will create a new heaven and a new earth.
- Revelation 19:1-9
- Revelation 21:1-9, 22-27
- If you are part of the Church, you will sing this song and live in this city.
- “…We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks….”
- “strong” = (5797) forceful, secure, majestic, praise-worthy > bold, loud, mighty, powerful
- “city” = (5892) a place guarded by sentinels
- < (5782) = awake
- Psalms 121, especially verses 3, 4, and 7
- “salvation” = (3444) saved > deliverance > aid, victory, prosperity > health, help, welfare
- < (3467) = open, wide, free > safe, help > avenging, defending, delivering, preserving, rescuing, give victory
- “God” = (430) Eloheem, the Almighty God, the Supreme Authority
- “appoint” = (7896) place
- “walls” = (2346) to join; a wall of protection
- “bulwarks” = (2426) rampart, a wall wider than the rest, used for shooting at the enemy
*(The numbers mark where the word’s definitions appear in a Strong’s concordance. If you’d like to do some word studies yourself, you can find one online at biblehub.com)
Put It Together
- We have a (secure, powerful, majestic place guarded by wakeful sentinels) strong city; (deliverance, help, victory, prosperity, health, welfare, freedom, vengeance, defense, rescue) salvation will (Eloheem, the Almighty God, the Supreme Authority) God (place as protection) appoint for walls and bulwarks.
- God, who is fully aware and able, will defend us. God’s salvation is a secure place of freedom, power, victory, and prosperity both now on Earth and for eternity. Salvation is a defense.
- The city described in Revelation is certainly a safe, prosperous, majestic, and praise-worthy place.
Next Week’s Scripture
- Sounds good, doesn’t it? That’s definitely a city we want to be in. So let’s read verse 2: “Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in.”
- Good news!: There’s a gate, there’s a way in! But there are qualifications for entering: “the righteous nation which keepeth the truth”; righteousness and keeping the truth (whatever that means) are required.
- Next week we will explore this gate, and learn how we can become righteous, and what it means to keep the truth.
- Please remember our regular prayer list:
- Certainly one to add in this time: our nation, that the peace of God would overcome our fear
- You can share any new requests in the comments or through text message.