"He will be the sure foundation for your times,
a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge;
the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure." (NIV)
The word in Hebrew for "salvation" is yeshuw'ah--Jesus' name.
The King James translates this verse like this:
"And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the Lord is his treasure."
"Sure foundation" and "stability of thy times." Wow: This so speaks to us today.
Right now, it's Trump This and Hillary That. Who will do what. We are hoping, deep down inside, that the Right President will turn this country around. For some, that means go deeper into a left-wing vision, of open borders, a place for refugees, free health care, limited to no ownership of guns, low-cost education and America getting out of the way of world affairs. For others that means a wall, vetted refugees, repeal of Obamacare, 2nd Amendment rights, and America returning to being a world leader.
I am truly not trying to be nasty as I summarize what I believe each candidate stands for--these are my impressions from the speeches they have given. But when elected, presidents tend to forget the speeches and do what they intended to do all along. In other words, in an election years, presidential promises are pie-crust promises: easily made and easily broken.
But notice the list of what has been said (again, my impression, not a condemnation) versus Isaiah's vision. He, too, is looking at Someone to provide stability and certainty in the current (then and now) times. But, Isaiah, unlike today's politicos, sees the real issue. First, and foremost: We need saving. We don't need yet another program, plan, promise or priority. We need to have our hearts changed, and our standing before our God changed. Why?
Yup, the s-word: SIN. We are blinded, broad-sided and collided with sin. It's in us, controlling us and making us blind to our deepest need: Him.
Our salvation in Him provides a "rich store." Unstable times deplete our store. Our resources. Our hope. We throw up our hands in numb despair and say, "What are we to do?" But, Isaiah says that in yeshuw'ah/Yeshua comes "wisdom" and "knowledge."
Wisdom in Isaiah is not just a desirable and much needed quality in troubled times: It's a Person. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1:30: "It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God--that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption."
God's plan all along was for us to seek wisdom from Him and Him alone. But, by Adam munching on the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, he no longer sought God. He sought wisdom now from within. That "within," now having been corrupted by sin, meant that wisdom and knowledge would be anything but.
God's reclamation of Adam's children meant giving us not only a new heart (otherwise it would be putting godly lipstick on a sinful pig) but also returning us to the real source of true wisdom: Jesus Christ. That is why we are no longer in Adam, but in Christ: "So it is written: 'The first man Adam became a living being'; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit." (1 Cor. 15:45) Jesus, as the last Adam, came to bring us back to the Garden, so to speak. We are now able to walk in the newness of life and perfect fellowship with God because of Jesus' death on the cross.
The debt was paid and now we are saved.
With Jesus, now as our very Wisdom from God, we ask Him for guidance and knowledge on how to navigate in these troubled times. Our respect for God, ("fear" in the verses from Isaiah) is our "treasure": precious and of the utmost value. That respect means following the One that God sent:"Jesus answered and said unto him, 'If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.'" (John 14:23)
So, where do I stand in troubled times? On the Rock.
Is that synonymous with voting for Trump? Being a right-winger? No. It means shutting my mouth and doing a heart check:
Am I seeking His will for how I am to participate as a citizen? "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it." (John 14:12-14)
Presidents come and go. Yes, we are citizens of this world, but we must keep the eternal perspective.
Before election day and on the day, I will be praying. I will not fear, become angry or bad-mouth what is going on. Standing on the Rock gives me confidence to face the storms, pure and simple.