June 15, 2022 Southshore Bible Church

Isaiah 26

Isaiah 26

Isaiah is an amazing, if perhaps daunting book of the Bible. At first glance you probably noticed that it is long (6th longest book of the Bible), and as a prophetic book, lacks a narrative structure to aid our reading. Yet it is filled with incredible promises of God, long treasured by his people.

 

Through our reading of Isaiah 26 today, we will seek to make Isaiah easier to read and understand, and to rightly understand some of God’s amazing promises.

 

The first rule when reading prophecy, is to follow the rules you may have already learned about effective and helpful Bible reading! So, as with reading any part of the Bible:

 

1. Consider Literary Context


This is a complicated way of saying “read more than one verse at a time.” It is always better to read a whole paragraph, chapter, or book of the Bible, than a single verse on its own. We can get ourselves into trouble when we don’t interpret a verse within its literary context.

 

There are of course other helpful and important principles for Bible reading, but this one gives you a good place to start, no matter where you are in the Bible, including Isaiah 26.


To that rule, we can add one more, specific to prophetic books:

 

2. Prophetic Fulfillment


Understanding whether Biblical prophecy has been fulfilled or not will help us understand it. Has this happened already? Where? How? Or is it yet to come?

 

With those things in mind, we can consider Isaiah 26, and see how these tools can help us.

 

1. Consider Literary Context

 

What is happening around our text? The prophecies of Isaiah go back and forth between judgement and hope throughout the book. This chapter contains both hopeful prophecy (Ch. 25-26:6), and judgement (26:7 and following).

So we should read this section of hope and promise all together, and consider how our understanding changes, when we hear these promises in light of coming judgement.

 

2. Prophetic Fulfillment

 

Has this prophecy been fulfilled? If you read back to Isaiah 24 you will see a whole chapter prophesying a coming judgement on the whole world – which is yet to come. Chapter 25 contains a prophecy of a “Feast of the Nations” on the mountain of the Lord, a beautiful promise that is also yet to be fulfilled. Our chapter is a departure from both judgement and future promise, and mostly considers how we ought to live before these things come to pass.

 

In short, we live by faith. Biblical prophecy calls us to look back on the many fulfilled promises of God, as we trust in him to fulfill his promises to us. God is faithful, he has kept his promises, and he will keep his promises!

 

When we embrace this in faith, we will learn to “trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock” (26:4). When our mind is stayed on him, because we trust in Him, he will keep us in perfect peace, through the difficulty and tumult of life on this earth.

 

Prayer

 

Lord would you help us to trust in you – to lean on the promises you have fulfilled, as we trust in you for your many great and precious promises that are yet to come. We pray that as we grow in faith and trust of you, that you will bring us peace, despite any and every difficulty, trial, and struggle of this life. Amen.

                                                                

Peter Brown