"The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come. He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness" (Isaiah 57:1-2).
Isaiah 57 consists of a contrast between the righteous (as described in our text) and the ungodly, verses 3-13. "Against whom do ye sport yourselves? against whom make ye a wide mouth, and draw out the tongue? are ye not children of transgression, a seed of falsehood?" (v.4).
Compare this verse with the diatribes of evolutionists and professors at our state universities, who continually rail against Christians and make sport of ridiculing Christianity and the Lord God. "I will declare thy righteousness, and thy works; for they shall not profit thee" (v.12).
But even when Christians are persecuted, even when the enemy attempts to deny our rights and negate our influence, the Lord says: "He that putteth his trust in me shall possess the land, and shall inherit my holy mountain. . . . For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the heart of the contrite ones" (vv.13,15).
Even when the righteous perish (as discussed in the text), we have His Word that "I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners" (v.18).
The contrast between the righteous and ungodly even is extended into eternity, for we see that He declares "Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord; and I will heal him" (v.19).
But, "There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked" (v.21). JDM