- Sermon Notes
Those He Keeps in Perfect Peace
Intro: A Wall.
This morning we open to the book of Isaiah chapter 26, where we find some powerful verses that give a description of those God keeps in not just any peace, but perfect peace. These two verses will provide us with “what to do,” and “who to look to” in order to be kept in perfect peace.
These verses have been and continue to be quite powerful in my life. The Lord first placed these verses on my heart through my wife at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, and they are verses I have held onto in the weeks, months, and now years since. There are verses you know, and then through the seasons and circumstances in your life, you understand them in an entirely new and personal way. I pray that as we cover these verses this morning, they will meet you in a personal and powerful way and as you apply these verses to your life, and as you place your trust in God, you we be one of those described in Isaiah 26 who He keeps in perfect peace.
Read: Isaiah 26:3-4
Verses 3 and 4 of Isaiah, like all of Scripture, come with a context. In Isaiah chapters 24 to 27 we are given prophetic insights into a future time. These chapters in Isaiah are known by scholars as “Isaiah’s Little Apocalypse.” It is where Isaiah wrote about the future kingdom age; after the rapture, and the 7-year tribulation when Jesus comes to rule and reign in Jerusalem. The prophets in the Old Testament would often write about events going on around them, and then point to future fulfillments to a greater extent. So, the context is the future fulfillment of Christ’s return, when He will rule and reign on earth and there will be perfectly administrated righteousness, and true peace on earth.
Chapter 26 is noted as a song that is going to be sung in those days. The song is sung by those who are living under the rule and authority of Jesus and understand the assurance of salvation.
Isaiah 26:1-2, Our city is strong! We are surrounded by the walls of God’s salvation. Open the gates to all who are righteous; allow the faithful to enter.
The song being sung details a city with the salvation of God for walls, and instead of closed gates in fear of attack, the gates are open to those who have received Christ and have been given the righteousness of God in Christ. And for those in Christ, the song that will be sung and the promises put forth are those which we too can apply in and over our lives. The walls of salvation certainly surround those in Christ!
In verses three and four of Isaiah 26, we understand that those living under the rule and authority of Christ are being given verses of promise and pursuit, that transcend situation, circumstance, culture, historical context, or world conflict. They are verses that promise a supply to our need of peace and point us to what is true of those God keeps in perfect peace.
- Seek Perfect Peace from the Proper Source
- I want to begin by looking at the word “peace” because most will define peace as the absence of trouble. The dictionary defines peace as: the normal, nonwarring condition of a nation, group of nations, or the world.
- I find it interesting that the definition of peace calls the “non-warring condition” of nations and the world as “the normal.”
Illus. NY Times, “The Why’s of War.”
- For the Christian, however, peace can be “the normal,” because in Scripture, the word “peace” is not applied situationally, but rather personally and is given despite what is going on around us, or in our world.
Quote: Peace is not the absence of trouble, it’s the presence of God. – J Oswald Sanders,
- It is the peace that is associated with God’s presence in the midst of trouble, in the currents of conflict, and can be known not matter what is going on.
- Isaiah points us to the picture of the one who is kept in perfect peace and place of that peace.
Isaiah 26:3, The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You.
- The above translation is what is written in the NASB translation, however, the way I learned it and will quote it as later is…
Isaiah 26:3, You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. (NKJV)
- Isaiah here speaks about the promise of perfect peace, and the source of that promise. “You” he says, speaking to God. You will keep the steadfast of mind, those whose mind is stayed on you, in perfect peace.
- The word peace in Hebrew is “shalom.” It carries the definition of completeness, soundness, welfare, safety, peace.
- It can refer to a stone that has a perfect shape with no cracks, or a completed stone wall with no gaps or missing bricks.
- It refers to something that is complex with many pieces and is in a state of completeness, or wholeness.
- We know that life is full of many parts and pieces, it is complex, there are situations, circumstances, relationships, and moving parts.
- When any of these are out of place, out of alignment, or missing, your “shalom,” your peace, can break down and needs restoration.
- Shalom, when used as a verb, has a meaning that is powerful, to bring shalom means to “make complete” or to “restore.”
- Isaiah 9:6 calls Jesus the “Prince of Shalom.” He was at that point the One who was to come, there would be no end to the increase of His shalom!
- In the Greek, which is the original language of the New Testemant, the word for peace, is “Eirene” (eye-ray-nay), which carries the same meaning of wholeness, with all essential parts together.
- As the angels announced Jesus’ birth in Luke 2:14, His birth is noted as arrival of Eirene, or our English word, peace.
Romans 5:1, We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
- This means through Jesus…a broken relationship with God can been restored to wholeness…The two aspects of peace are peace with God, and peace of or from God…
- Peace with God is the first objective. It is a peace one may or may not feel, it is a transactional peace that is brought about when a person accepts Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. It is at that point that one’s sins are forgiven, and a person has peace with God through Jesus Christ and forgiveness of sin. Sin separates, but Jesus justified, makes a person righteous, through Him, we have peace.
Ephesians 2:14, He Himself is our peace…
- After a person has peace with God, then comes the peace of God. This is a sense, an experience, and a reality one can know both personally and situationally.
John 14:27, Peace I leave you, My peace I give you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, nor fearful.
- Jesus said My peace I give to you…Not as the world gives. The world says “no peace if there is trouble,” Jesus says “my peace comes in the midst of trouble, so do not let your hearts be troubled!”
- We need to pursue the proper source for peace, because trying to find it through any other source or solution will leave us empty, and ultimately lacking peace.
- The source of our peace is the Lord. And Jesus Himself has left His peace. Not as the world gives, which is the absence of trouble, but He gives peace, completeness and wholeness in the midst of trouble.
John 16:33, I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
Illus. Peace for the disciples on the sea, Mark 4:35-41.
- In the midst of trouble, we can be reminded that Jesus has given His peace, and He Himself is our peace.
- This means that He is the source of our peace and in Isaiah 26, we are told that the Lord is not only the source of peace, but perfect peace.
- In the original language, the word for perfect is the same word for peace. In Hebrew then, it essentially says, “you will keep them in peace, peace”
- You will keep him in shalom shalom. It’s the same word. And when this is done in the Hebrew language it is intentional, it places the term in a form of completeness and perfection.
Illus. Check your source.
- Isaiah is speaking of peace, which is wholeness and completeness in its perfected state, is where you will be kept by God.
- Have Minds Stayed on Him
- The word for “Stayed” according to Strong’s Greek Dictionary is to prop, to lean, lay, rest, support, rest self, or set oneself.
- Isaiah spells out the conditions of this perfect peace.
- Perfect peace is related specifically to your mind and where it is “stayed.”
- When your mind is propped up by, leaning and laying upon God, you will be kept in perfect peace.
- This means we are looking to the Lord, trusting in Him, our minds are fixed upon Him.
- Those who “stay” their minds on God, will be kept in perfect peace.
- To be kept is to be guarded, watched over, preserved, kept close.
Psalm 112:1; 6-7, Praise the Lord! Blessed is a person who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commandments… For he will never be shaken; the righteous will be remembered forever. He will not fear bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. His heart is firm, he will not fear…
Illus. Cushion of the sea.
Philippians 4:6-7, Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
- We are to be anxious about nothing, pray about everything, be thankful despite “everything.”
- And the peace of God, the Eirene of God, the shalom that restored and makes whole, that peace that is beyond understanding, will guard your heart and your mind.
- So then, you can set your mind on God, and He will give perfect peace, and as you give to God in prayer the things that could make for anxiety in your life currently, He gives peace and the peace will guard your heart and guard your mind!!
Philippians 4:8-9, Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, think about these things. As for the things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Illus. Every thought?
- We must be careful about the input we allow into our lives. What we allow ourselves to see, hear, or think and take those thoughts captive.
2 Corinthians 10:5, … We are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
III. Trust in the Lord for Today and Forever
Isaiah 26:3, You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.
- At the end of verse 3, Isaiah gives the reason why a person keep’s their mind “stayed” on God. Because they trust in Him. And they trust in Him because He is trustworthy! As they trust in God, He is providing peace.
- God has designed us to be dependent upon Him. And you will depend upon those you trust. If you go back to the beginning of the Bible, it came down to trust.
- Genesis 3:3, the serpent says, “Did God really say?”
- And the separation of sin came at the conclusion of man’s desire and determination for independence from God.
- You probably know the next verse by heart…And its a famous one…not only should we know it by heart, but we should take it to heart!
Proverbs 3:5-6, Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
- Trust is tied to direction, when we trust God, he determines our direction, and we are on the pathway of peace, both peace with God, and the peace of God.
Isaiah 26:4, Trust in the Lord forever, for in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock.
Illus. Rock of Ages