Wisdom Wednesday: Wisdom and the Steadfast Mind

Wisdom Wednesday: Wisdom and the Steadfast Mind

Submitted by Debbie’s Dad

The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in You. Trust in the LORD forever, For in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock. (Isaiah 26:3-4 NASB)

The first verse is perhaps more well-known in the King James Version:  “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on thee: Because he trusteth in thee.”  In Psalm 11:8 and 112:8, the same Hebrew word translated here as “stayed” or “steadfast” is translated “upheld”. This is a mind that remains, rests, and is held up by God will be kept in perfect peace (shalom). Why is this? Because God is an everlasting rock—a solid footing to anchor our life.

The context of this citation was powerful for those familiar with the early chapters in Isaiah. Isaiah was writing about serious risks to Jews in Judah (the Southern Kingdom) especially Jerusalem, because of two threats:

  • The Northern kingdom of Israel had joined an alliance with the nation of Aram and posed a serious threat to Judah.
  • The emerging Assyrian nation to the west posed a major threat to both nations of the divided kingdom.

The people of Judah had good reason to fear the coming war, and they had threats on two fronts. Earlier, Isaiah said the hearts of the people shook as the trees of the forest shake with the wind (Isaiah 7:2) because of the Israel-Aram alliance.

So, in Chapter 8, Isaiah told the people of Judah that Assyria would sweep in like a river and destroy the Norther Kingdom, and even bring its flood waters “up to neck” of the southern, kingdom of Judah, but not destroy it.

[This happened, and Assyria swept across Israel, destroying the Northern Kingdom, and then attacked Judah in 701 B.C. bringing great destruction of many cities, even to Lachish, the second largest city. But the Lord saved Jerusalem, the capital of Judah. [See Isaiah 36-37]

In this context of fear, Isaiah wrote in Chapter 8:

 For thus the Lord spoke to me with mighty power and instructed me not to walk in the way of this people, saying, “You are not to say, ‘It is a conspiracy!’ In regard to all that this people call a conspiracy, And you are not to fear what they fear or be in dread of it. It is the Lord of hosts whom you should regard as holy. And He shall be your fear, And He shall be your dread. Then He shall become a sanctuary; But to both the houses of Israel, a stone to strike and a rock to stumble over, And a snare and a trap for the inhabitants of Jerusalem.” (Isa 8:11–14)

Isaiah was not to follow the way of the people that feared the conspiracy (Hebrew qesher, conspiracy, treason) of Northern Israel and Aram—rather, they should fear the Lord that would be their sanctuary from physical harm in the ravages of war.

By Chapter 26, Isaiah again reminded those in Judah to hold to the solid rock of God–keep their mind focused on Him, and they would remain in peace of mind. Fear rightly placed is in the Almighty God and He will bring peace.

Jesus explicitly made this point when he sent His disciples out and told them, “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28 NASB)

The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord – and it wise to hold fast our minds on Him and receive the peace that “surpasses all understanding” (Phil. 4:7 NASB)

1 thought on “Wisdom Wednesday: Wisdom and the Steadfast Mind”

  1. I had no idea that the word for stayed and steadfast is the same as upheld. For some reason it gives a different visual of the support God provides. Thanks for sharing!


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