“In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah:
‘We have a strong city;
he sets up salvation
as walls and bulwarks.
Open the gates,
that the righteous nation that keeps faith may enter in.
You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.
For he has humbled
the inhabitants of the height,
the lofty city.
He lays it low, lays it low to the ground,
casts it to the dust.
The foot tramples it,
the feet of the poor,
the steps of the needy.’
The path of the righteous is level;
you make level the way of the righteous.
In the path of your judgments,
O Lord, we wait for you;
your name and remembrance
are the desire of our soul.
My soul yearns for you in the night;
my spirit within me earnestly seeks you.
For when your judgments are in the earth,
the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.” Isaiah 26:1-9
The Lord has done much to make straight and steady our way. He has won our salvation and provided us boundaries for life within His good will and word. He woos us in love, inspires our minds, and instills holy desire. For us, the choice is daily obedience and faithfulness to enter the gates He opens wide to fellowship with soul and spirit.
Yet much in this world jostles and upturns our path. There are many ways we make lofty our cities, adding exhausting inclines toward wealth and learning and status, and dangerous detours to alien affections. We complicate our devotion, or get distracted in and from it by insidious, ubiquitous technology that vies jealously for our attention. We grow restless and impatient with waiting on God, and our minds stray to strange allegiances and so flee from peace. When will we return to enter His gates, cling to Him as our rock, and realign with His level?
“I need thy presence every passing hour.
What but thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who like thyself my guide and strength can be?
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.” ~Henry Francis Lyte (1847)
Listen to the song, and sing along! We have a strong God-given city! Stay our mind on Jesus, and eagerly, willfully trust Him! Recall His name and remember His works, and delight to know more! Yearn, and seek, and when that is not our desire, ask that it may be! A spirit fixed in the heights with the Lord levels our path here on earth. He gives stability, clarity, and fortitude to keep on with Him, in His way.
“Fairest Lord Jesus,
ruler of all nature,
O thou of God and man the Son,
Thee will I cherish,
Thee will I honor,
thou, my soul’s glory, joy, and crown.” ~Anonymous, German (17th century)
Lord, worthy of being known, keep me earnestly seeking to know You better. Open wide Your gates and keep me walking by faith to enter and keep to the path You set before me. May I ever sing Your song in my land.