Focus Day 15 Walking With Wisdom: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

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The Questions

1) “The Day” is a common phrase in the bible. What is “that day” referring to in this passage (verse 1)?

2) Who can experience perfect peace and how is it sustained?

3) What are the lofty places (“an inaccessible city”) and who lives there (verse 5)?

4) What path were the Israelites singing about and how do we find and remain on the level and straight path?

Isaiah 26:1-9

“1 On that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: We have a strong city. Salvation is established as walls and ramparts. 2 Open the gates so a righteous nation can come in—one that remains faithful.
3 You will keep the mind that is dependent on you in perfect peace, for it is trusting in you.
4 Trust in the Lord forever, because in the Lord, the Lord himself, is an everlasting rock!
5 For he has humbled those who live in lofty places—an inaccessible city. He brings it down; he brings it down to the ground; he throws it to the dust. 6 Feet trample it, the feet of the humble, the steps of the poor. 7 The path of the righteous is level; you clear a straight path for the righteous.
8 Yes, Lord, we wait for you in the path of your judgments. Our desire is for your name and renown. 9 I long for you in the night; yes, my spirit within me diligently seeks you for when your judgments are in the land, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.”

Original Intent

1) “The Day” is a common phrase in the bible. What is “that day” referring to in this passage (verse1)?
Bible commentators explain that chapters 24-27 of Isaiah are part of a single literary unit placed within the series of judgments of the prophet Isaiah. To best understand these verses (1-9), we would do well to read all four chapters. Context is essential to properly understanding the Bible! This section of Scripture is known among some Bible scholars as “Isaiah’s Apocalypse”. Many believe this portion of Isaiah deals with what will happen at the end of time. That is, time as we now know it in which we exist day to day. As there often is with Bible prophecy dealing with the “last days”, we find a plethora of interpretations (most conservative bible teachers are referring to the days before heaven comes to earth forever (Deuteronomy 4:29-31,  Ezekiel 38:19-23,  Daniel 12:4-9,  Hosea 3:3). One thing is Scripturally clear: there will be A DAY that will fully come to pass when God’s rule will be supreme. Once that Day finally arrives, judgment will be sure for those who haven’t received God’s grace, and peace will never end for those who have. (Isaiah 25:9, Zephaniah 3:14-17)

2) Who can experience perfect peace and how is it sustained?
On that day” Israel would sing to God, professing peace found only in Him alone. The peace mentioned here was specific to them, but includes everyone who calls on the Lord Jesus Christ. The Hebrew language here is emphatic in nature. In English, we would communicate the phrase perfect peace” by repetition of the word: Peace, much peace. Considering this emphasis, the clear meaning is a kind of peace which is “undisturbed.” The person whose mind has confidence in God is not “agitated by the trials to which it shall be subject; by persecution, poverty, sickness, want, or bereavement.” (Barnes,  The singers in this passage were familiar with being exiles and strangers in a far land. They had faced accusation and abuse, and had been were robbed and humiliated. (Psalm 137) But they would trust in God and His deliverance. His peace would become real and lasting. Maybe Paul sang this song and rehearsed the promises the prophet Isaiah declared, because we find this very same sentiment in his writing. Thirteen times, he begins his letters with “grace and peace.”  And, like the words in the song of Isaiah, (verse 3), Paul reminded the Philippians that Godward thinking is the way to peace. (Philippians 4:6-8)

3) What are the lofty places (“an inaccessible city”) and who lives there (verse 5)?
Within the context, it becomes clear that Isaiah is not speaking of the height of a place, but of power and arrogance. The people would possibly have thought of proud Babylon, or another powerful city which had oppressed them. Tim Keller offers a great description of this lofty place/city: “The lofty city is a human social order based on pride (verse 5), not humility; and based on self-salvation (verse 1), not God-salvation. A city based on self-salvation is a city based on the idea that you can create your self—self-creation, self-definition, and self-justification through performance and accomplishment.”. This characteristic of humankind goes way back. In Genesis 11, we see it didn’t take long from the time the earth was destroyed by a flood (Genesis 9:28) for people to think much of themselves again. When people filled with pride unify around their self-importance, they’ll stop at nothing to elevate themselves. (Genesis 11:2-4) Wicked, domineering cities arise from this kind of haughtiness. But God will not overlook the weak! “No doubt the Jews, who in subsequent times traveled to the site of Babylon for purposes of traffic, would trample indignantly on the remains of the city where their fathers were captives for seventy years.” (Albert Barnes,

4) What path were the Israelites singing about and how do we find and remain on the level and straight path?
The Hebrew meaning of this thought, “level and straight path” most likely means God would make the way smooth for Israel as they sought and obeyed Him. ( Even more hopeful to them would be that, in His time, He would make their pathway perfectly level. This would have been especially meaningful to those who had been in captivity under arrogant enemies.  In their future, God would remove all obstacles that kept His people from experiencing justice, peace and stability. Isaiah reminded the people they would sing of God’s favor in the future, and that the scales of justice would weigh in favor of the righteous. All of this would be from God’s hand and they would recognize and desire His glory. “Our desire is for Your name and renown.” Chapter 25 helps us tie it all together as the prophet declares their waiting will produce abundance and joy. (Isaiah 25:6-12) Years after Isaiah, the disciple John reiterated this certain worship. (Revelation 15:3-4)

Everyday Application

1) “The Day” is a common phrase in the bible. What is “that day” referring to in this passage (verse 1)?
Theologian, Brian Bell says, “the context points to the day of the Messiah’s ultimate triumph, the day when the Messiah reigns over Israel, and over all the world. In that day, there will be a lot of joyful singing.” If we have placed our faith in Jesus Christ, one day we will join with the ransomed of all the ages in a glorious, never-ending song about the faithfulness and salvation of God.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.’” (Revelation 21:1-3) Isaiah declared the good news to the Jews, and now to all those Gentiles grafted in to God’s chosen family (Roman 11), that one day there will be no fortress necessary. In that day, God will be our fortress and our salvation through Christ. (Psalm 91:14-16, 1 John 5:1-5)

2) Who can experience perfect peace and how is it sustained?
The prophet Isaiah wrote a song inspired by God that will be sung by all the redeemed when Christ the Lord establishes His forever kingdom. One day there will be nothing but peace! The scriptures teach that as we wait, peace is ours even now through Jesus. Not only does He provide peace, He IS our peace. (Eph 2:13-20 ) If these verses were put into lyrics today, they may resemble the words in this hymn:
I fear no foe with thee at hand to bless.
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me
. (Abide with Me, Henry Lyte)
Jesus, the Prince of peace, offers to everyone a life of peace that passes all human understanding. (John 14:27 )

3) What are the lofty places (“an inaccessible city”) and who lives there (verse 5)?
The first instance on record of humanity’s united pride was demonstrated at the tower of Babel (Genesis 11).  From then until now, the world sells the message: You are enough, so be your own savior! Well-intentioned people believe the lie that humanity is wise enough, strong enough and good enough to make the world a better place. Few have perpetrated the false belief in ourselves better than John Lennon:
Imagine there’s no heaven, it’s easy if you try
No hell below us; above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today
Imagine there’s no countries, it isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for and no religion, too
Imagine all the people living life in peace
You may say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us and the world will be as one …

The lofty place is a city built on self-salvation and supremacy, not on God’s salvation and sovereignty. Sadly, it’s nothing but a sandcastle. (Matthew 7:24-27)

4) What path were the Israelites singing about and how do we find and remain on the level and straight path?
The Jews sang songs of future deliverance. They recognized the spiritual safety of being on the path of righteousness. We have the same future, and God will preserve our paths. A maintained path isn’t always void of stray rocks or unexpected curves, but typically it is much more level than those not cared for. Until that day, the one where everything sad will come untrue (Tolkien), we have a good Shepherd on our path of life. (Psalm 23) He is the One who goes before us, walks beside us, and carries us when needed. And when it’s dark, the good Shepherd lights the way as we look forward to what’s to come. (Psalm 37) There are many references in the Bible about God’s paths, but possibly my favorite thought is found in Proverbs. “The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, shining brighter and brighter until midday.” (Proverbs 4:18) The righteous are walking the path of life at dawn, but the brightness of Noonday is approaching and will surely arrive! (Matthew 13:43)
All of creation, all of the earth
make straight a highway – a path for the Lord.
Jesus is coming soon!
Call back the sinner, wake up the saint.
Let every nation shout of Your fame.
Jesus is coming soon.
So we wait for You!
(Lord, We Wait for You – Chris Tomlin)

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Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

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Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

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