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Isaiah’s Gospel Song
Isaiah 26 is a song of praise to God for all that he has done for his elect, his church, his Israel. It looks beyond the physical nation of Israel, her physical troubles, and her physical deliverances. This is a song that Isaiah said would be sung in this Gospel Day. ― “In that day shall this song be sung” (v. 1). Everything in this chapter, while historically applicable to the Old Testament nation of Israel, finds its fullest meaning in the experience of God’s church today. This, too, was “written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4).
The first part of this song is a declaration of security and peace (vv. 1-4). The second part of the song is an encouragement to faith and confidence (vv. 5-11). The last part of this song is a celebration of God’s wonderful works (vv. 12-21). As we read the last verses in this chapter, let us remind ourselves once more of God’s great goodness to us. In verses 12-18 Isaiah speaks for us about us, and we have verified his words in our experience. In verses 19-20 the church encourages herself with the promise of Christ. And in verse 21 the church again speaks to the praise of God and for the encouragement of faith.
“Lord, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us.” ― Whatever trouble we may experience on this earth, believers may comfort themselves with this fact. — God will ordain peace for us in the end. Every creature and every event, every experience and everything that comes to pass in the lives of God’s elect he will make to work for our peace. Even those things that seem to be altogether against us, he will cause to work for us, for our everlasting peace.
“Thou hast wrought all our works in us.” ― We are all debtors to the grace of God. We are not what we should be. We are not what we want to be. We are not what we shall be. But, blessed be God, we are not what we once were. And we are what we are by the grace of God. Whatever good work may be wrought by us, it is the result of God’s good work of grace wrought in us.
We are head over heels in debt to Christ; and our debt increases every second of every hour of every day. Only being acted upon do we act. ― “For it is God which worketh in (us) both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). Every grace that we exercise is the fruit of his Spirit and the gift of his grace (Galatians 5:22-24).
In our warfare within, that relentless warfare between flesh and spirit, in our constant warfare without, contending with the powers of darkness assailing our souls, and in every effort by which we seek to serve our God and his people, we prove with every breath that we live, and move, and have our being in and with Christ only by the grace of God. Without his grace working in us and for us, our best efforts are only breaking wind (v. 18).