Friday 17 April 2020

Bible Book:

Trust in the Lord forever, for in the Lord God you have an everlasting rock. (v. 4)

Isaiah 26:1-19 Friday 17 April 2020

Psalm: Psalm 100


This section of Isaiah’s prophetic work is likely to be post Exilic. Israelites from Judah are returning to Jerusalem from captivity in Babylon and expecting a glorious restoration, but instead find many challenges. These verses are a communal prayer to call upon God to help Judah overcome their enemies. They sing about how this future will look like, what it will be like to return to Jerusalem.

Verses 1-6 – On these days of return from exile, Judah’s song of victory will celebrate God returning our glorious city of Jerusalem and vindicating our righteousness and our faith in God.

Verse 4 – The Temple was built on rock; the imagery is used as a metaphor to denote how trustworthy is God.

Verses 5-6 – The high and mighty Babylonians who have captured Jerusalem, and destroyed the Temple, are themselves brought low. Trampled on by the poor and needy themselves, the righteous Israelites, who have been trampled on by the Babylonians.

Verse 7 – The way of righteousness ‘good, responsible living’ as outlined in the commandments is a steady path. The name ‘Just One’ is only found here in the Bible and resonates with Jewish belief that God is supremely just, even if this justice is not much in evidence in the present corrupt world. In the end times the cosmos will be destroyed and replaced by a new creation, where God’s justice will be evident.

Verses 8-9 – Waiting upon God’s justice is our soul’s desire.

Verse 10 – If the unrighteous get away with things, they don’t learn the better ways of Israel’s just God.

Verse 11 – Punish them God!

Verse 12 – Give us peace for all we have done, and all you have done for us!

Verse 13 – Others (Assyria and Babylon) have ruled over us, but we are faithful only to you.

Verses 14-15 – Our enemy rulers are now dead, but you have increased our size.

Verses 16-19 – In exile, in distress we called out to you, like a woman in labour, but we gave birth to nothing. But God your dead Israel shall live, will awake with joy. An image of the birth and resurrection of the Israelite community after the disaster of the exile.


To Ponder:

  • Can you think of a context in which you wrestle with a desire for the coming of God’s justice, and imagine what it will be like when you can see that justice?
  • The everlasting rock on which the Temple was built was a visible symbol of the unshakeable reliability of God, which Israelites could remember even in exile. Do you have a visible symbol which reminds you of God near you through thick and thin? Describe it.
  • In what ways do you or don’t you have a problem with the Israelites seeing themselves as righteous and their oppressors as the unrighteous?
  • What qualities grow in us through adversity, such as for example, our present global crisis and what qualities through good times? How do both teach us about trusting in God?
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