Even in the world of wolves Christ’s lambs are secure. The gates of Hades do not prevail so it bears explaining that we are concerned about weapons formed against us. Many books we read twist and warp the glorious gospel and we do not notice that we have drifted. Someone in your/my circle will betray you/me. Is that Isaiah 54:17 saying a genuine boast by the church in the face of obvious debility and death or is it the quiet and humble confidence of the individual?
Heritage and RighteousnessIsaiah 54:17
No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.
From barren to fertileIsaiah 54:1
Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the Lord.
What the future looks likeIsaiah 54:12
And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones.
A promise of invincibility or invulnerability is inconsistent with individual Christian faith. Every day has evil or adverse conditions that affect us.
Persecution and Opposition
That there is both persecution and opposition aimed at believers and sometimes at specific groups is not debatable. The promise of 54:17 is that the weapons formed do not prosper. Between the extremes of birth and burial death and a host of setbacks haunt us. Is prosperity freedom from illness, a life of wealth, or is it that in spite of life’s common difficulties that God does not allow them to overcome us?
If there were documentation and not just casual witnesses to miracles like raising the dead, healing of fatal diseases, or of financial rescue we would find that doctrinal purity was not causal. Miracles in the Bible occur whether or not people have the correct views of the kingdom of God. The failure of weapons formed to hurt us depends on God’s grace.
We ignore a host of realities that are essential to the understanding of 54:17.
Reality is bigger than the pipe dream
Isaiah 54:11Isaiah 54:11
O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires.
The entity addressed is neither invulnerable nor invincible. The experience of this lady included being called the following.
- The barren (vs. 1)
- The forsaken (vs. 6 )
- The spiritually grieved (vs. 6)
- The comfortless (vs. 11)
- The afflicted (vs. 11)
- The tempest-tossed (vs. 11)
Did the founding fathers of the United States cross the ocean in cowardice and were there believers left in their homelands?
When the books mislead and the familiar betrays we must affirm God’s love and stand boldly as “more than conqueror”. Tracking weapons will be tiring. Their effect cannot be denied. In fact if God opens our eyes to the conflict around us we will be shocked to see how many weapons there are and amazed when we realize how often we refuse the protection of his wings.