A look around us at the state of the world and where it’s going can produce panic. That’s how the Israelites felt as the Assyrian empire threatened to obliterate them. (Read in Isaiah, particularly in 28:14-16, 30:1-7, and elsewhere.)
When they weren’t in denial, they devised strategies. Their confidence was in bribing their enemies, making deals with potential allies (e.g. Egypt), and trying to build up their defenses (e.g. horses). God compares this kind of security to a “foundation made of lies” which will be swept away in the flood, or “a bed too short to lie on” with “blankets too narrow to cover” the sleeper! (28:17-20).
Instead, their confidence should have been in the “foundation stone…a firm, tested and precious cornerstone that is safe to build on.” (28:16) Safety and security in their own land would be assured if only they would obey God. But would they?
As 2012 begins, I want to keep in mind some of these words from Isaiah 26:
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you…
You are a God of justice…
Our heart’s desire is to glorify your name.
All night long I search for you…Only when you come to judge the earth will people turn from wickedness and do what is right.
We have this assurance: those who belong to God will live; their bodies will rise again…and sing for joy!