Where does God preserve his people? He keeps them in the Church, a body of faith in the true God. Isaiah 26 speaks of this special kingdom of God.
Luther, Martin, edited by Jaroslav Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, translated by Herbert J.A. Bowman) Luther’s Works, Vol. 16, Lectures on Isaiah Chapters 1-39. St. Louis: Concordia, 1969. Logos Electronic Edition.
“Isaiah Chapter 26” pp. 200-210.
Isaiah 26 is a song of God’s kingdom. Luther notes the strength of the city in verse one, the access the righteous have in verse two, the counsel and peace of verse three. He concludes that God’s kingdom being described is the Church (LW 16, 200). Peace in the world and the church comes through faith. In prosperity or affliction, God is our everlasting hope. He even guards against the attacks of the devil (LW 16, 201). Verse seven points to a kingdom which will take the place of Jerusalem. Again, Luther considers this as the Church (LW 16, 202). Verse eight emphasizes the centrality of God’s Word in our faithful lives. Verse nine says to consider God’s word as the priority at all times (LW 16, 203) God’s Word then goes out to all the nations through faithful preaching. This is the great and necessary treasure which the Church can give (LW 16, 204). Luther grants that the Church always has ungodly people. It is impossible to remove ungodliness. This is an attack on the Church. Even as it is under attack, God preserves his people, giving them his riches (LW 16, 205). Verse 12 shows that God is the one working in the church (LW 16, 206). Despite the tyranny of rulers in our world (vv. 12-14), God is the true leader of his people (LW 16, 207). Especially when in distress the people of God flourish. This is how they learn trust (LW 16, 208). The result of trials is God’s call for His people to come to him (LW 16, 209).
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