Isaiah 26:1-12

Trusting in God forever

1 On that day, this song will be sung in the land of Judah: Ours is a strong city! God makes salvation its walls and ramparts.
2 Open the gates and let a righteous nation enter, a nation that keeps faith.
3 Those with sound thoughts you will keep in peace, in peace because they trust in you.
4 Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD is a rock for all ages.
5 He has thrown down those living on high, and he will level the lofty town, leveling it down to the earth; he will bring it down to dust.
6 The feet trample it, the feet of the poor, the steps of the needy.
7 The way of the righteous is level; you clear a path for the righteous.
8 In the path of your justice, LORD, we wait for you; with all our being, we long for your name and your acclaim.
9 At night I long for you with my whole being; my spirit within me watches for you. When your judgments are at work in the earth, those living in the world learn righteousness.
10 When the wicked are favored, they don't learn righteousness; even among those who do right they do wrong, and they fail to see the LORD's majesty.
11 LORD, your hand is lifted up, but they don't see. Let them see and shrink back because of your zeal for your people; your burning anger that consumes your enemies.
12 LORD, grant us peace, because all that we have done has been your doing.

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Isaiah 26:1-12 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO ISAIAH 26

This chapter contains a song of praise for the safety and prosperity of the church, and the destruction of its enemies. The church is represented as a strong city, whose walls and bulwarks are salvation, Isa 26:1 it is said to have gates which are to be opened to a righteous nation, Isa 26:2 its inhabitants, being such who trust in the Lord, are promised perfect peace, Isa 26:3 hence the saints are exhorted to trust in him, Isa 26:4 then follows an account of another city, described as lofty, and its inhabitants as dwelling on high, who are brought down, and trampled on, by the feet of the poor and needy, Isa 26:5,6 when the prophet returns to the righteous, and asserts their way to be uprightness, because their path is weighed or levelled by God the most upright, Isa 26:7 and in the name of the church declares that they had waited for the Lord in the way of his judgments; and that the desire of their souls was to his name, and the remembrance of it; and that they continued, and would continue, to desire him, and seek after him, seeing righteousness was to be learned by his judgments, Isa 26:8,9 and though the wicked would not be brought to repentance and reformation by the goodness of God, nor take notice of his hand, yet they should see and be ashamed, and destroyed at last, Isa 26:10,11 but notwithstanding these judgments of God in the earth, the church professes her faith in the Lord, that he would give her peace and prosperity, from the consideration of what he had wrought for her, and in her, Isa 26:12 and rejects all other lords but him, Isa 26:13 who were dead, and should not live again, but were visited and destroyed, and their memory made to perish, Isa 26:14 but the righteous nation should be increased, though they should meet with trouble, which would cause them to go to the throne of grace, and there pour out their complaints, express their pain and distresses, and the disappointments they had met with, Isa 26:15-18 to which an answer is returned, promising a glorious resurrection, Isa 26:19 and calling upon the people of God to retire to their chambers for protection in the mean while, until the punishment to be inflicted on the inhabitants of the earth for their sins was over, Isa 26:20,21.

Isaiah 26:1-12 In-Context

1 On that day, this song will be sung in the land of Judah: Ours is a strong city! God makes salvation its walls and ramparts.
2 Open the gates and let a righteous nation enter, a nation that keeps faith.
3 Those with sound thoughts you will keep in peace, in peace because they trust in you.
4 Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD is a rock for all ages.
5 He has thrown down those living on high, and he will level the lofty town, leveling it down to the earth; he will bring it down to dust.
6 The feet trample it, the feet of the poor, the steps of the needy.
7 The way of the righteous is level; you clear a path for the righteous.
8 In the path of your justice, LORD, we wait for you; with all our being, we long for your name and your acclaim.
9 At night I long for you with my whole being; my spirit within me watches for you. When your judgments are at work in the earth, those living in the world learn righteousness.
10 When the wicked are favored, they don't learn righteousness; even among those who do right they do wrong, and they fail to see the LORD's majesty.
11 LORD, your hand is lifted up, but they don't see. Let them see and shrink back because of your zeal for your people; your burning anger that consumes your enemies.
12 LORD, grant us peace, because all that we have done has been your doing.
13 LORD our God, other masters besides you have ruled us, but we will profess your name alone.
14 The dead don't live; ghosts don't rise. Indeed, you have punished and destroyed them, and abolished all memory of them.
15 You've enlarged the nation, LORD. You've enlarged the nation; you are glorified. You've expanded all the land's boundaries.
16 LORD, in distress they sought you out; they poured out prayers to you when you disciplined them.