Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you scoffers,
who rule this people in Jerusalem!
Because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death,
and with Sheol we have an agreement,
when the overwhelming whip passes through
it will not come to us,
for we have made lies our refuge,
and in falsehood we have taken shelter”;
therefore thus says the Lord God,
“Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation in Zion,
a stone, a tested stone,
a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation:
‘Whoever believes will not be in haste.’
And I will make justice the line,
and righteousness the plumb line;
and hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
and waters will overwhelm the shelter.”
Then your covenant with death will be annulled,
and your agreement with Sheol will not stand;
when the overwhelming scourge passes through,
you will be beaten down by it. Isaiah 28:14-18 ESV
As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture:
“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone,
a cornerstone chosen and precious,
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” I Peter 2:4-6 ESV
There’s an old story about a man named Dr. Faust, who was unhappy with his life and wished he had more. He was a scholar, and he wanted to have unlimited knowledge, and he also wanted all the pleasure that there was in the world. So Dr. Faust did a very foolish thing. He made a deal with the devil! The devil agreed to give Dr. Faust everything he wanted, but in exchange, Dr. Faust agreed to give the devil his soul. The devil sent his servant, named Mephistopheles, to Dr. Faust to use his magical powers to give the doctor whatever he asked for, and the agreement was that after 24 years Dr. Faust would be taken to hell.
This is only a story, but the prophet Isaiah talks about the people of Jerusalem making a foolish deal with Sheol, or death. They thought, because of the bargain they had made, they could be safe from the death that the Assyrians were threatening them with. The leaders of Jerusalem didn’t actually make a deal with death or the devil, but they did something just as foolish. They made a deal with Egypt, and thought that Egypt would protect them from the Assyrian armies. It was foolish of them to trust another nation like that, but the most foolish thing about it was that they trusted in Egypt instead of trusting in the Lord. God told them through Isaiah that their deal with Egypt wouldn’t help them, but that he would give them a cornerstone of justice and righteousness that they could trust in, no matter what happened.
Jesus is our precious cornerstone, and whoever trusts in him will never have to run away in haste or be put to shame in front of the enemy. Jesus is like the strong foundation of a house, and everyone who believes in him is like a stone in that house. Jesus is building us into a house with straight and strong walls, a house of righteousness and justice. It is a place we can take shelter and not worry about anything evil that could hurt us. The house Jesus is building is his church, and everyone who believes in him is part of it. Jesus defeated all our enemies, sin and death and the devil, and because of that we are safe now and forever.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for Jesus, our precious cornerstone and our Savior. In His Name, Amen.