Devotion for 15 August, Sat
In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: “We have a strong city; God will appoint salvation for walls and bulwarks. Open the gates, That the righteous nation which keeps the truth may enter in. You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, For in YAH, the Lord , is everlasting strength. (Isaiah 26:1-4)
We have heard of the term 'perfect storm'. Here Isaiah speaks of the opposite, 'perfect peace.' The Hebrew word for "peace" (shalom) means more than a cessation of war. It includes blessings such as wholeness, health, quietness of soul, preservation, and completeness. "What is your peace?" is the way Jews often greet one another, and Isaiah's reply would be, "My peace is from the Lord for I trust wholly in him!" (Warren W. Wiersbe)
Indeed the first step to perfect peace is trusting God. It comes from an intimate relationship with God, that we know Him. Isaiah speaks not just knowing that God is strong but that He is everlasting strength. Can you imagine what it is like? Strength, so powerful that we get a glimpse in the creation of the universe out of nothing. And strength that never runs out, not in a billion years, not forever. I found this article on how long a strong man can last:
"From October 12-15, 2005, Karnazes ran 350 miles across Northern California without stopping. He didn't stop to sleep or to eat, or – in the most stupefying accomplishment of all – he did not even slow down to sample a Sonoma Valley chilled chardonnay. All told, he ran for 80 hours, 44 minutes without a break."
This man was strong. Imagine God's everlasting strength. We witnessed Paul and Silas' perfect peace while in prison (Acts 16). It comes from trusting God who is everlasting strength.
Paul and Silas had a second reason for the perfect peace, in the words of Isaiah, "That the righteous nation which keeps the truth may enter in." Perfect peace comes with righteousness through the finished work of Christ on the cross, where we know all my sins have been forgiven and I am His son / daughter and He is my Father.
The perfect picture of perfect peace is Jesus himself, sleeping on the boat caught in the storm ... on the cross, He prayed loudly (victoriously) "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit."
Reflection: Do you have peace? What does it depend on? How does your peace get stolen? More importantly, do I know God?
Prayer: Perfect peace, you give, Lord. This precious gift comes with the Giver. May I discover this perfect peace is in me because you have invited me to you. I worship you. I trust you and I stand before you in your righteousness. In the Name of the One who gives perfect peace. Amen
Devotion for 15 August, Sat