Isaiah stakes a claim upon what he calls the “heritage of the servants of the Lord.”
That means: this lifestyle is what we have a right to expect; this is our due. If we belong to Father God, then we bear His name, walk in His authority and covering, and enjoy His presence. That’s our heritage. It’s like the size of our bank account or credit facility. We are permitted to draw upon it because it’s ours.
So what is the claim? What is the size of Isaiah’s withdrawal upon this account?
It is this: “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is from Me,” Says the LORD.” (Isaiah 54:17).
The last clause is highly significant. “Their righteousness is from me, says the Lord” means that this is sheer gift. God has granted an inheritance of protection which we have done nothing to deserve.
Here’s a modern paraphrase:
“No weapon that can hurt you has ever been forged.
Any accuser who takes you to court
will be dismissed as a liar.
This is what God’s servants can expect.
I’ll see to it that everything works out for the best.
In Hebrew, “weapon” means any tool or utensil of “thing” used against a person. A weapon is anything that could be used against you for evil intent.
Words, influence, reputation, media slander, money… anything that can be picked up and slung at you will have no effect whatsoever. Nothing built, sharpened, aimed at, or fired against you, your family, your church family, God’s kingdom, or God’s people will succeed. Though your enemies may seem to win for a while—a job may be downgraded, a child may wander far, a life may even be lost—in the end, even these tragedies will be enfolded in God’s agenda for prospering those who are truly His.
The key verse is Romans 8:28: “Every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.”
Why is this true? The reason “no weapon formed against you shall prosper” is not because you are a fierce warrior, but because He is. “One man of you puts to flight a thousand, since it is the LORD your God who fights for you, just as he promised you” (Joshua 23:10). Could you single-handedly chase away a thousand soldiers? No, but God can—and it is He who fights for you.
He is the Defender of His people. He looks after His own.
Isaiah assures us our enemies’ weapons will not prosper. That word is translated succeed in ESV and prevail in NIV, and the concept gives us hope. No assault will be final. Even if it appears to be prospering, it’s not done yet. Even if it wins the battle, it won’t win the war.
God takes it very seriously when someone opposes or attacks the ones He loves.
The classic illustration of such an attack is the life of Joseph. How can you say that God looks after His own when you think of all he went through in the pit, through slavery, false accusation, and prison? And yet it was Joseph’s own testimony that “God meant it for good.” The point is made a few times in the Old Testament. Look at the statement of the principle in Psalm 105:
“He allowed no one to oppress them;
for their sake he rebuked kings:
15 ‘Do not touch my anointed ones;
do my prophets no harm.’ “
And then, immediately following, the Psalmist gives his life-application:
“He sent a man before them –
Joseph, sold as a slave.
18 They bruised his feet with shackles,
his neck was put in irons,
19 till what he foretold came to pass,
till the word of the Lord proved him true.”
We are never promised a trouble-free life, as 2 Timothy 3:12 notes, “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” But our verse is still gloriously true because of one simple fact:God always wins! Romans 16:20 previews the final round: “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.”
But when, Lord? Does God’s definition of “soon” match ours? “Soon” implies sooner than we think—especially from an eternal perspective. Before long we will be in eternity, astonished by how fast life on earth raced by. This story will soon be in its last, glorious chapter, and Jesus Christ the Lord will be forever victorious.
Spoiler alert: at the end of the Book, God wins.
And because He wins, so will you. You get to share in His victories. “This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD.” As you face the weapons and words of your enemies, as you engage in the battles of life, set your heart and hope on the final outcome. It’s going to end well for you.
You make good on everything You say.
You are a Warrior, and You will win.
Your purposes are always accomplished.
Your enemies are always defeated.
Your faithful followers are always rewarded.
By faith I claim these truths and set my hope on You. When my enemies attack, remind me their weapons will not prevail.
Be my Righteousness, my Defender, my Saviour. Thank You for Your unwavering care for me. I entrust myself to Your Son, in whose name I pray.