Lesson 8
Isaiah 26

Henry Mahan

(Vs. 1) "In that day" is the last days, when the Christ shall come to redeem His church. "That day" is from His coming to redeem until His coming to raise them from the grave. "The land of Judah" is His church, His kingdom, which is often signified by the titles of Judah, Jerusalem, and Zion. His church is a strong city (the gates of hell shall not prevail against it); for He founded it, established it, and defends it. But its strength and security are not in walls, moats, and towers. Salvation in Christ Jesus—His blood and righteousness, His love and peace, His will and covenant—is their bulwark and wall against Satan, sin, death, and judgment.

(Vs. 2) "Open ye the gates;" this is talking about CHRIST, THE DOOR, without which no one can enter into God's kingdom, presence, nor glory (Jn. 10:1, 9). This word is addressed to all concerned—angels, law, justice, ministers. Let it be known that there is ONE WAY, ONE DOOR into His presence; and that way is NOT for, all the world, but for "the righteous nation" (Jew and Gentile), made righteous by the righteousness of Christ imputed to them—sanctified by His Spirit and justified by His blood. These "keep the truth" in that they hear His gospel, believe His gospel, embrace and continue in His gospel (Col.. 1: 19-23; Psa. 24:7-10).

(Vs. 3) Those who are redeemed and righteous in Christ have access into His grace. They "ascend into the hill of the Lord and stand in His Holy place" (Psa. 24:3-5); and they are kept in true, real,and perfect peace in Him. Faith in Christ is not a passing fad with the believer; but his mind and heart are "stayed on Christ," fixed on Christ, rooted and grounded and firmly persuaded of His salvation, and cannot be separated from Him (Rom. 8:29-35). This peace is HIS peace and comes from a confidence in His promises, His person, His power, and His covenant (II Sam. 23:5).

(Vs. 4) Christ is the Lord JEHOVAH, which is and was and is forever (Micah 5:2). He is "The Rock of Ages." In Him is "everlasting strength," a sure refuge for all who trust in Him'. "Enter ye into the ROCK" (Isa. 2:10; Exo.33:21-22). Our eternal Lord is the refuge of His people (Isa. 32:1-2), and His promise is that "they shall never perish nor shall any pluck them out of His hand" (Jn. 10:27-29).

(Vs. 5-6) These verses speak of another city which He calls "the lofty city." "He lifteth the poor and needy sinners out of the dust to set them among princes;" but He will bring down the proud and haughty, who trust in themselves that they are righteous and need no mercy (I Sam. 2:6-10). God will make the enemies of Christ to be His footstool and one day shall vindicate His persecuted church by putting the proud under the feet of His despised people (Mal. 4:2-3).

(Vs. 7) Having spoken of God's wrath and judgments against the proud unbeliever, Isaiah returns his thoughts to the church. Their way, walk, and tenor of life are in the Spirit, unto the Lord, and "the way of uprightness," because "THOU, MOST RIGHTEOUS" appointed their way. "HE LEADETH ME in paths of righteousness for His name's sake" (Psa. 23; Eph. 2:8-10).

(Vs. 8) This can be said of all the Old Testament believers who had some understanding of "the way of God's judgment" and holiness—"we have waited for the Messiah" (Heb. 11:13-15). The desire of our souls is to Thy name (Isa. 9:6); TO GOD HIMSELF, in His perfection and covenant; TO CHRIST, whose name is Emmanuel; TO HIS GOSPEL, which is our hope. "Now unto Him..." (Jude 24-25).

(Vs. 9) "With my soul (sincerely, deeply, and affectionately) have I (and the prophet speaks for all of God's people) desired Thee in the night" (in time of trouble and affliction, which is often called night or darkness). "Yea (night and day), with my spirit within me will I seek Thee." I will continue to seek Thee with intenseness and eagerness of spirit, for Thou art the fountain of all mercy (Psa.130:5-8; Is-a. 45:20-22). When His judgments (present or future) are in the earth, believers learn better what a righteous God He is and how wicked man is; and all the inhabitants of the world will see His holiness and justice and learn of His righteousness.

(Vs. 10) Judgment and affliction will not bring wicked men to repentance, and neither will the good things of this life bring them to faith in Christ. Sometimes the most evil people seem to be favored providentially, yet they do not learn the gospel of righteousness and go on dealing unjustly with others. They will not behold nor bow to the majesty of God from whom comes all goodness (Rom. 1:19-22).

(Vs. 11) "Though your hand is lifted high to strike them, Lord, they do not see it. But they shall see one day your love for your people and be ashamed for their evil toward Thy people."

(Vs. 12) Thou hast ordained peace for us, for all your works are for us and in US.

(Vs. 13) Other masters once ruled us, but now we acknowledge only your name.

(Vs. 14) The former idols are dead; you have destroyed them and made us forget them.

(Vs. 15) You have increased the nation a number no man can number, and YOU ARE GLORIFIED.

(Vs. 16-18) We have met with troubles and sought Thee at the throne of grace.

(Vs. 19) Your dead shall live, O Lord; the saints shall be rewarded.

(Vs. 20-21) Come, the Lord's people, enter into the secret place, the ROCK; abide in Him until the storm passes by (Isa. 4:6; 25:4-5).

Henry Mahan
Ashland, Ky.