16“See, it is I who created the blacksmith
who fans the coals into flame
and forges a weapon fit for its work.
And it is I who have created the destroyer to wreak havoc;
17no weapon forged against you will prevail,
and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
and this is their vindication from me,”
declares the Lord. (Isaiah 54:16, 17)
Isaiah 54:17 is an often quoted verse: “no weapon forged against you will prevail.” While this is a great verse to commit to memory and helps build your confidence in our God, it is taken out of context from the paragraph where it is derived. Look at verse 16, the prophet Isaiah states that God points out that He created the blacksmith, who forges the weapons of war. And Isaiah writes that God declares it is God who “created the destroyer to wreak havoc.” Well in 2020, the “destroyer” was COVID-19, so according to the Prophet Isaiah, God created COVID to wreak havoc, which I am perfectly okay with. Seeing how evil and misguided our world has become, I fully support the thought that God created COVID to remind us of our own mortality. I mean, I had written a fictional version of the same truth back in 2012 when I published The Savannah Syndrome. So if God creates the blacksmith and the destroyer, the “weapon forged against you” is the weapon forged by God. So what is verse 17 really saying?
Well, taking these two verses for their face value, the Prophet is stating that “the servants of the Lord” will be protected in the midst of chaos and the brutalities of life. When Isaiah first wrote his prophecies, the “heritage” referenced is the lineage of the Israelites, but as I pointed out a few days ago, that heritage was meant for all mankind. When Jesus came to set all mankind free, Jesus brought the truth that even the most faithful will have great troubles in this world, but to not lose heart because Jesus has overcome the world (John 17:33). Luckily for us Christians, we take our teachings and cues from the New Testament, and from the teachings of the only prophet that truly, truly matters: our Rabbi, Jesus Christ. So yes, no weapon forged against you, whether forged by mankind or God, will prevail when you keep Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Our struggles on Earth are just a small blip in the pursuit of eternal glory.
Catching COVID this week was a much needed reminder that I need to be a much better servant of Christ. Donating money, tithing, volunteering once a week, that’s all great, but this world is falling further and further into chaos. I have a long way to go before I can confidently claim my heritage as a servant of the Lord. Never stop working for your salvation. Salvation is earned through faith and works, not just faith alone. I believe with all my soul that if you don’t put your faith to work, you really do not have faith. True faith propels you to do good work within this world. Put on the full armor of God and put in the work.
Sorry to bring the heaviness on Sunday, but my heart is heavy today, which I will explain in due time. We’ll be watching church remotely today due to our recommended isolation guidelines. I’m sure I will have some great sermons to share with you starting tomorrow. For today, here is one song that continues to lift our spirits in the house of COVID.
Reading plan: Philippians 4:1-9
Deeper reading plan: Isaiah 52, 53, 54