Day 19

The Song of Judah

from the Lent 2017: You Are Mine reading plan

Isaiah 26:1-21, Isaiah 27:1-13, Psalm 74:12-17, Philippians 4:4-7

BY Guest Writer

Text: Isaiah 26:1-21, Isaiah 27:1-13, Psalm 74:12-17, Philippians 4:4-7

I am writing this on Inauguration Day, the culmination of one of the most polarizing election years our country has ever seen. Even before my feet touched the floor this morning, I remembered the tension of our divided country and felt the fragility of my own heart. My mind was caught up in contemplating our limited human condition. I felt my earthiness and all the limitations of being human. Another way of saying this is that I felt temporal, the opposite of everlasting.

I write today of Isaiah chapter 26, which begins, “We have a strong city, he sets up salvation as walls and bulwarks” (v.1). Yet our country feels weak today, utterly broken. Weak not because of who our president is or was or will someday be, but because the transfer of power from one mere human being to another betrays our weakness in its very act of impermanence.

We cannot do any work eternally; we can only do eternal work. That is, our abilities are temporary and limited, but our work can be done for the “strong city” Isaiah speaks of—the city that is eternal. Today is constantly passing away, and our contributions here are, too. But Isaiah’s words cause me to remember what is true of our eternal God:

You will keep the mind that is dependent on you
in perfect peace,
for it is trusting in you.
– Isaiah 26:3

It is easy to look at the terra, the earth, and think our trust is born of blood, sweat, tears, dirt—the rise and fall of ideas and businesses and churches and politics. Each of us inhabits a kingdom, whether it be our home, our job, our family, or our community, and we are tempted to believe in its permanence. But we must be careful to remember that the King of our hearts is not our pastor, our president, our husband, our friend, or even ourselves.

The King of our hearts is made not from dust; He is not coming to ashes at the end. The King of our hearts is forever and ever and ever, without end.

Isaiah continues, “Trust in the Lord forever for the Lord God is an everlasting rock” (Isaiah 26:4). God, who made everything and will make it over again, will lose not a bit of Himself in the process.

The day is Yours, also the night;
You established the moon and the sun.
You set all the boundaries of the earth;
You made summer and winter.
– Psalm 74:16-17

There are moments of pure elation and joy when we forget what earthlings we are, made from dust to dust, ashes to ashes—we feel invincible. And then, in another moment, this world is just too much with us and we with it. The Lenten season reminds us of our fragility, our humanity, our humility, our humus, the Latin word for “earth.” From dust we have come and to dust we will return.

But Jesus is an everlasting rock. The King of our hearts, of this world and of the world to come, is our never-ending, all-knowing, all-seeing, and eternal God. The Kingdom belongs to Him alone, as does the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.


Lore Ferguson Wilbert is a writer, thinker, and learner. She blogs at Sayable, tweets @lorewilbert, and posts photos @loreferguson. She has a husband named Nate, a puppy named Harper Nelle, and too many books to read in one lifetime.

Post Comments (100)

100 thoughts on "The Song of Judah"

  1. Heather says:

    Oh Emma, I pray you know your immeasurable worth and the beauty that you are in your Father’s eyes. Bless you and thank you for sharing.

  2. Emma says:

    There was a week I thought things were going perfectly and had moments of pure joy but then one Tuesday on the 14th it was the opposite. I was hurt and hurt deeply, angry with myself that I didn’t see the point to be here anymore. I was completely overwhelmed with the world. I wanted to drive my car into oncoming traffic but wrestled with myself and continued to wrestle with myself at home for the next 4 1/2 hours. I didn’t want to be on this earth anymore. I didn’t see a point for living, I was a screw up, wasn’t good enough, people were angry with me, hurt by me and I was hurt by them. The thoughts were swimming around in my head with what people told me were lies but what I believed to be true. I believed people wouldn’t care if I was gone. What was I to them? A friend came over to my aid and took me to a hospital where I was evaluated and eventually released. The past couple days had been hard on me and it wasn’t until today’s reading that I realized I didn’t fully trust or believe in my God that he could take all that pain away and give me peace. If I had believed and truly trusted and believed, “God’s peace will stand guard over all my thoughts and feelings. His peace can do this far better than our human minds.” – Philippians 4:7
    I can’t do it, only God can. I need to continue to learn and fully trust in Him. Only He can give me the peace I need. God is trustworthy.

    1. Holly says:

      Thank you for sharing Emma. Praying for you.

    2. She Reads Truth says:

      Emma, thank you for being so brave as to share this. Praying for you in this time and asking for the Lord to continue to grant you peace. Grateful for you.

      – Stormye

    3. Terry says:

      I’m glad that today’s reading was such a help, Emma. Putting my complete trust in God is a work in progress; it’s so easy to get up in the drama that we create on this Earth for ourselves. Stay the path and fight the fight. With God, you are always accepted and loved for who you are. Grace is plentiful. My prayers are with you, Emma. Hugs…

    4. Erin says:

      You are hurting but still have incredible insight to know and trust in God. It is a challenge for me everyday to choose to let God lead and sometimes I fail. But I always know he is here for me as he is for you. Love and prayers to you.

    5. Tara says:

      Prayed for you, Emma! Thankful that the Lord reminded you of the peace only He can provide. Thanks for sharing this.

    6. peanut cheese says:

      feeling for you Emma. May God’s heavenly love be felt by you on this earth

    7. ~S~ says:

      Emma you are so courageous for sharing this with us. Praying that you keep trusting in the Lord xo

    8. Nancy Tuggle says:

      Praying for you Emma! You are so right, we can’t do this on our own, we have to be lead by his Spirit who lives within us. Greater is he who is in us, than he who is in the world! Life is hard, we are all broken messed up people who need a Savior. Praise God Jesus is that Savior! His grace is sufficient!

    9. Jackie says:

      Prayed for you, Emma. May you have peace and feel the love that Jesus has for you. You are precious to Him and He is working all things for His Glory. Hugs from afar!

  3. cj8of8 says:

    Funny. Up to this point I have been telling the Lord.. (yes, I struggle with pride).. I don’t see and why is this so gloomy and I get it, you have lots of wrath… darker..darker.. deep dark. Is that what the people then felt too?.. Lord, I know when I give into temptation I feel heavy.. burdened… dark.. in need of a savior. But God. Too be honest.. the heavy dark and deep teach me the most.. not only about my need for a savior but about the endless mercy of of God. The way He loves us… incomprehensible. How deep and wide.. yesterday I was having a bout of real Joy.. I know at the end of all this gloom… Hes coming!

  4. Zoe says:

    I accidentally posted this as a reply. Whoops.

    It is scary to trust in God. He is so different from the things of this world, and this world is what I know best. I will always be trying to know God better, until my dying day. It seems like life is an ongoing battle–between my worldly tendencies and my desire for Christ. I’m trying to rest in his grace. I will fix my eyes on Him–and I will start by memorizing scripture verses, I think.

    1. She Reads Truth says:

      Fixed that for you!

      – Stormye

      1. Zoe says:

        Thank you! ✝️

  5. Casey says:

    My eye also immediately caught Isaiah 26:3-4. After experiencing some pretty difficult situations over the past few years, my heart had slowly started turning away from trusting the Lord and trusting that He is GOOD. I was exhausted – emotionally, relationally and even physically, and I just couldn’t handle any more of God’s “hard but good” plans for me. So I stopped trusting Him. I decided it was time to try things my way. It’s scary how each small decision to not trust Him ends up with us one day realizing that we’ve really stopped trusting Him altogether. And to be honest, it really was a process of healing to come back to trusting Him. But the amazing thing about the Lord is that He can use our brokenness, our heartaches, our most difficult experiences and use them to strengthen us, to build empathy and even to increase our faith and trust in Him. And it doesn’t always happen in an “Ah-ha!” moment or in the middle of a quiet time. Sometimes the process is slow and tiresome and messy. I wish someone had told me that from the beginning so I wouldn’t have let my trust fade when the “spiritual breakthrough” didn’t happen Sunday after Sunday.

    1. Meg says:

      Thank you so much for sharing this Casey. I am blessed to read this because I have also been going through that messy process, but the Lord is so faithful and loving. Where you talk about God using our brokenness to strengthen us and increase our faith and trust in Him really encourages me. Praise the Lord for all He is doing in your life and for leading you to share this with us!

      1. J says:

        “I just couldn’t handle any more of God’s “hard but good” plans for me.”

        This. I absolutely have felt, and am still feeling this for more hours of the day than I’m not most days, I am sad to admit. Thank you for taking the time to write this, Casey. I really appreciate it and agree – the moments of returning to trust in the Lord are gradual, messy, and perfectly tailored to US. How He loves us each so perfectly.

    2. Alisa says:

      Beautifully expressed
      Thank you

  6. SarahMay says:

    This may have been posted already, but I found this overview video from The Bible Project on the YouVersion app. Check it out here:

    1. Micki says:

      This is awesome! Thank you for sharing. There is a part two that covers the rest of Isaiah as well!

  7. Caroline says:

    Thank you Jesus that you are not only our rock, but our everlasting rock! Thank you that YOU never change!

  8. Keri McCue says:

    “because the transfer of power from one mere human being to another betrays our weakness in its very act of impermanence.” Mic. Drop.

    “Eternal living/thinking” has been a theme in my life the past few weeks and it’s really convicting. It is allowing me to clean out my life so-to-say. It’s been a hard process but so very needed! I love when you said, “We cannot do any work eternally; we can only do eternal work.” So good!!

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