Daily D – Isaiah 26:3-4
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the LORD always, for the LORD GOD is the eternal Rock. ISAIAH 26:3-4 (NLT)
One local radio host likes to say, “We live in incredibly stupid times.” There is plenty of evidence to affirm his claim. Paul Harvey used to say, “In times like these, it is good to remember there have always been times like these.” Nearly three thousand years ago, Solomon said, “There is nothing new under the sun.”
I remember sitting in history class and hearing my peers complain, “Why do we have to learn history?” We learn history because ideas have consequences. Good ideas have good consequences. Bad ideas have bad consequences. Dangerous ideas have dangerous consequences. People will continue trying on for size bad and dangerous ideas again and again if they do not learn the lessons of history.
One of the reasons generations of Western Europeans, the British, and the Early Americans studied Ancient Greece and Rome so closely was to learn the lessons of their successes and failures. They learned how people thrive when they are free and how they rebel when governments attempt to control every area of life. They learned democracy is good right up until people realized they can avail themselves of other people’s money.
They learned how a powerful central government can accomplish many worthy gains. They also learned how those powerful central governments often devolve into requiring more and more in exchange for less and less of true and lasting value. They learned how one all-powerful man making right decisions is a good thing. They also learned that all-powerful men (and they were almost always men) are dangers to themselves, their countries, and to the whole world.
They learned how beginning in austerity and discipline accompanied by hard and noble work builds nations. They learned how bureaucracies form, bloat, and require an endless supply to keep them functioning and people dependent upon them.
One of the most important lessons of history is how God allows us to keep making the same mistakes over and over again. When our experiments ultimately fail, some wise souls say something like, “Trust GOD from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for GOD’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track,” (Prov. 3:5, 6 The Message).
When we continue making the same mistakes the people made in Genesis and keep trying to force different outcomes from those mistakes, we prove to every observer that we are not as smart as we think we are. In dark and difficult times of our collective making, we are reminded of the truth that only one foundation is never shaken, only one ruler never fails, only one source of truth stands the tests of time.
Days were dark and growing darker when Isaiah spoke. God showed him where things were headed. It was not good. It was bad, terribly, awfully, dangerously bad. Once again government leaders would try to prove their power only to fail and fall and take their nations with them. Once again people would understand the one thing they could count on is God, our eternal rock. Everyone who trusts in him lives at peace. They know he alone is unshaken by our bad ideas, bad consequences, and bad outcomes. They know he will pick us up and help us begin again more intelligently.
We live in incredibly stupid times, but we do not have to join the incredibly stupid crowd. We live in times like those repeated again and again since the beginning of time. There really is nothing new under the sun. There is also nothing new beyond the sun. The everlasting God does not change. Those who know him, experience him, and depend on him live at peace even in incredibly stupid times.
Where will you fix your thoughts today? Fix your thoughts on the political process and you may develop an ulcer. Fix your thoughts on our Father in heaven and you will live in perfect peace as you trust him for a future no government can give or take away. Isaiah said, “Trust in the LORD always, for the LORD GOD is the eternal Rock.” How firm a foundation!
I will trust God from the bottom of my heart.
Our Father, remind us as often as necessary that the only way to have perfect peace in these troubled times is to know you, experience you, and trust you from the bottom of our hearts. We will fix our thoughts on you. Fill our minds with your directions and instructions for these days. Amen.
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6 Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm:
7 “Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.
8 “Would you discredit my justice?
Would you condemn me to justify yourself?
9 Do you have an arm like God’s,
and can your voice thunder like his?
10 Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor,
and clothe yourself in honor and majesty.
11 Unleash the fury of your wrath,
look at all who are proud and bring them low,
12 look at all who are proud and humble them,
crush the wicked where they stand.
13 Bury them all in the dust together;
shroud their faces in the grave.
14 Then I myself will admit to you
that your own right hand can save you
The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Job 40:6–14.
Job 29:21-25 21 “People listened to me expectantly,
waiting in silence for my counsel.
22 After I had spoken, they spoke no more;
my words fell gently on their ears.
23 They waited for me as for showers
and drank in my words as the spring rain.
24 When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it;
the light of my face was precious to them.
25 I chose the way for them and sat as their chief;
I dwelt as a king among his troops;
I was like one who comforts mourners.