ESOCS Devotional 18 November 2023 – Focus on God
MEMORY VERSE: “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee” Isaiah KJV
TEXT: ISAIAH 26:1-19 (KJV)
In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks.
2 Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in.
3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
4 Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength:
5 For he bringeth down them that dwell on high; the lofty city, he layeth it low; he layeth it low, even to the ground; he bringeth it even to the dust.
6 The foot shall tread it down, even the feet of the poor, and the steps of the needy.
7 The way of the just is uprightness: thou, most upright, dost weigh the path of the just.
8 Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O Lord, have we waited for thee; the desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee.
9 With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.
10 Let favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the Lord.
11 Lord, when thy hand is lifted up, they will not see: but they shall see, and be ashamed for their envy at the people; yea, the fire of thine enemies shall devour them.
12 Lord, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us.
13 O Lord our God, other lords beside thee have had dominion over us: but by thee only will we make mention of thy name.
14 They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise: therefore hast thou visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish.
15 Thou hast increased the nation, O Lord, thou hast increased the nation: thou art glorified: thou hadst removed it far unto all the ends of the earth.
16 Lord, in trouble have they visited thee, they poured out a prayer when thy chastening was upon them.
17 Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been in thy sight, O Lord.
18 We have been with child, we have been in pain, we have as it were brought forth wind; we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen.
19 Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.
Isaiah chapter 26 was Israel’s kingdom song- “in that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah…” (v 1). The people were focused. The result was peace, strength and salvation of the Lord.
We have peace of mind only when we understand that it is God who protects us. Our focus and trust must therefore be on God. As for strength, the joy that we know Him and that He is in us, is our strength [Nehemiah 8:10]. Salvation is of the Lord; in Him through His son Jesus Christ, is salvation (John 3:16).
Difficult times can make some people to lose focus. No matter how difficult times may be, we have hope only when we focus on God and keep our trust in Him. Only those who fix their eyes on God can effectively negotiate the right pace of life. Focus on Him till the end so that you can sing with the saints forever in paradise.
FURTHER READING: Psalm 121; Isaiah 16:1-19; Romans 15:23-end; Hebrews 12:2;
ESOCS Devotional 18 November 2023