Isaiah 54:17 says, “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.”
The above verse carries hope. It projects the portrayal of a life shielded from anything bad. Every formed weapon is somehow stripped of its ability to harm or cause damage. Every judging tongue will be silenced as the once victim is vindicated, and condemnation is executed on those judging. All of this is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, right? Well, that’s how we read Isaiah 54:17, but is that what Isaiah 54:17 says?
Like me, how many of you have thought this verse said nothing bad would ever happen to you, nothing traumatic or hateful would come against you? I dare say, many. Yet, it wasn’t until a recent overnight visit with a friend that I realized that Isaiah 54:17 did not say what I thought it said.
Ms. Helen Duplates is a woman of wisdom and strong faith. Her husband of over 50 years moved to heaven in December 2021. I recently had the opportunity to spend the night in her home, and the evening's conversation took us to this Scripture as we discussed her new and unexpected set of circumstances.
Like me, Helen said she had considered the verse a blockade, a barrier from anything bad that might attack her life, but when John died, adjustment was mandated. Helen shared telling the Lord, “This Scripture says that bad things won’t happen to me.” She confessed that she argued with Him, but He caused her to see her misaligned perspective with what Isaiah 54:17 said.
“It doesn’t say nothing bad will happen to you. It says no weapon formed against you will prosper,” the Lord gently reminded her. Helen elaborated how the Lord drew her attention to the point that the weapon was formed; it did come but didn’t prosper. The weapon of her husband’s death had come, but it had not crushed her faith, drowned her trust, nor hardened her heart. It had not succeeded in its design.
In the passage, the word prosper is defined to push forward, break out, go over, be profitable, and cause to prosper. In other words, the weapon wasn’t profitable. Profitable for whom? The one who designed it. It didn’t work as the enemy planned. He couldn’t make forward advances. Why? Because his judgment was condemned or “declare wrong, disturb, violate, make trouble, vex.
Isaiah 54:17 is an overarching promise. Yes, bad things will come, BUT the promise applies to the weapon not being profitable for the enemy. He’s trying to push us backward, frustrate or delay us, and keep us from fulfilling God's purpose. However, when we refuse to be moved or swayed, refuse to lay down our weapons, cave in, and quit, the circumstance may hurt our feelings, but we draw out the sword of the Word and begin to swing with precision and power. It may be difficult to stand when it seems all of hell is bombarding us, but the overarching promise and the promise keeper are for us.
May I encourage you today? Hold on to your faith. Refuse to throw in the towel and know that the overarching promise of God is designed to get you to where you are supposed to be. Furthermore, that promise is far greater than whatever the enemy can toss at it. Even a death sentence is no match for the overarching promise in Isaiah 54:17 if we will determine to stand until total victory manifests and we end up where we were supposed to be.