The Bible says in Isaiah 54:17 “No weapon that is formed against you will prosper.” Many preachers, gospel singers and Bible teachers have emphasized this text to us. We all know about the enemies that assail us. So we sing this in our songs. We rejoice at what seems to be a guarantee that weapons will not overthrow us.


What Does This Mean?

However in the midst of our shouting, some of us must ask the simple question, “what does this mean?” Some of us answer by saying that our enemies weapons cannot hurt the true child of God. That sounds good. In that world the righteous are a bit like Superman. The wicked shoot guns at the righteous but the bullets simply bounce off of their chest. Knives don’t cut the child of God and the weapons of evil doers are rendered useless in their presence. But this does not seem like what we see in the real world. It doesn’t seem to make sense when we look at the history of the martyrs and it doesn’t make sense in light of the Bible which lets us know that we will suffer persecution. (2 Timothy 3:12) In fact, it doesn’t make sense when we look at what has happened to us in our own lives.

Well then, what does it mean then? I mean the “no weapon” statement is in our Bible is it now? What does it mean? Some would say, well, it means that we may be hit with bullets, but we will not face the full pain that those who are not in the Lord will face. This is certainly a nice idea, but it does fall a bit short of “no weapon shall prosper.”

Others fall into the trap of blaming the victim. They would argue that if the weapons have killed you it is proof that you didn’t have real faith. A real faith in God’s word. A real faith that the weapon will not kill us. If you had true faith then the weapon would have been rendered useless against you as the Bible said, they would argue. What you need is faith. But the reality of human living remind us that doubt can and does creep into all of our experience. John the Baptist questioned whether Jesus was truly the messiah (Matthew 11:3), Elijah the prophet ran away from Jezebel in fear for his life (1 Kings 19:1-14), and even Jesus Christ himself yelled “My God My God, Why hast thou forsaken me (Matthew 27:46). No it is not that we don’t face the fear in light of the uncertainty that being human brings. We do have fear when standing in front of the weapon of our enemy.

God’s Future Vision

Simply put, the writer of our text seems to be giving a vision of another time. The writer is speaking of the future when God’s kingdom will be fully realized. And the writer is using imagery that simply says that our weapons of today will not prosper against you. The same chapter says “Afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted, I will rebuild you.” (Isaiah 54:11) When God’s city is rebuilt, then no weapon formed against you shall prosper. In that day “Tyranny will be far from you; you will have nothing to fear. Terror will be far removed; it will not come near you.” (Isaiah 54:14)

Yes today weapons may overtake us. Yes today weapons may hurt us. Yes today you are hurt. And Lord help us, even killed by weapons. But this vision of the future lets us know that that is not God’s ultimate intention. This text lets us know that a day is coming when the “wicked shall cease from troubling and the weary shall be at rest.” And when God’s ultimate intention is fully realized, “we will study war no more.”

God’s Gonna Turn It Around

In short, the day is coming when weapons will not prosper against us. And now we can take comfort in the fact that even though I may have to face what these weapons can do to my mortal body, ultimately God will destroy their power. And as the Bible writer says in 1 Corinthians, death itself is subdued and killed by the mighty power of our God. (1 Corinthians 15:55)

So yes, a weapon may kill you, but God will reverse that. This is not removing the fact that you were killed, it is just making it so that you have overcome it. We look forward to that day when these weapons will fall useless in the hands of any who attempt to use them against the child of God.

16 thoughts on “Has The Formed Weapon Prospered Against You?

  1. Tyrone Leonard says:

    I love when the Word of God is made plain, keep teaching and expounding the Word of God.

  2. Ed Hightower says:

    Thank you for your excellent treatment of this statement, or should I say miss application of this text. The way this text and others are brandished about for affect is appalling. What’s even more of a travesty is the fact that no one is really helped by this kind of misuse. This is part of the “feel good” gospel that we are hearing at every turn in our day; along with the “God wants you to do this or do that …, or to have this, or to have that”.

    I am a preacher, but as of yet, I see this kind of preaching as “red-meat” preaching, in my opinion. It’s simply nothing but a method to excite people into some kind of an unholy-ghost frenzy, and distract others who may be getting close to understanding that it’s about a relationship with the Saviour and not the messager, the atmoshpere, or the building. Weapons that we knowingly and unknowingly form against ourselves certainly does prosper in terms of their intent; and we are injured all the day long.

    all of us have enough to ask the Lord to help us deal with, we don’t need anything more

    Again, Thank you

  3. Many scriptures of this kind have been misused over and over again. The people of God will never get the true benefit of the word of God until they get the right interpretation in order to make the right application. This was an excellent exegesis of the text!!!

  4. Brady Williams says:

    I believe the scripture as read. No weapon formed against us shall prosper. The weapon shall not prosper because if it kills us it just sends us on home to God. The problem is that we dont know who the people of God are. It sounds as though we think God is an absent father or something. But know this, if you are doing a great work for God or even if you just have potential to do a great work, there is no way any weapon form against you will prosper.

  5. Bishop Wendell Leon Jackson, M.Div. says:

    God’s Kingdom has an economy and those of us that are persecuted for the Kingdom’s sake will reap our maximum award when we go to be with the Lord. As for those who may persecute/smite us……… The wages for their sins against the children of God and God’s Kingdom will be death! The righteous folk that are targeted by the weapons of the unrighteous will ultimately prosper!

  6. Bishop G.D. Phipps says:

    The Bible is replete with illustrations of the Holy Spirit’s meaning when He convey’s this eternal truth to us through the pen of the prophet Isaiah. Future event? Yes, perhaps and indeed it is so, but certainly not restricted to such. The more present and tangible examples are to be found in Biblical illustrations such as:
    (a) Cain slew Abel…but Abel was righteous…”…he being dead yet speaketh.” Hebrews 11:4
    (b) Jacob having to deal with his treacherous uncle Laban and Laban’s sons…”…your father has deceived me, and changed my wages ten times; but God suffereth him not to hurt me.” Genesis 31:7
    (c) Jospeh’s reply to his brothers after the evil that they had done to him…”…But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good…” Genesis 50:20
    Of course one of the most profound biblical examples of Isaiah 54:17 is found in Jesus’ reply in the Gospel’s. His enemies were certain they had defeated him by imposing death upon him, but he rose from the grave, the angels who kept watch at the tomb declared to the women and to all of us who believe, “He is not here, but is risen.”

    In these context’s we see the import of the meaning of “No weapon formed against us shall prosper.” Yes, there is a future interpretational truth and reality to this statement. Perhaps it can be summed up in Jesus’ promise to us in Revelation 22:20, “…Surely, I come quickly.”

  7. Thanks for that explaination and a clearer understanding of God’s word so we will not have a false perception of His word.

  8. Marsha Hoston says:

    I was just having this conversation with someone a few weeks ago. We have to continue to make the word plain, because the power is in the understanding of the word. It’s not enough to quote the scripture, but understand it!!! This is still a very powerful word. It gives one up and assurance that regardless of what you have gone, through, are going through and will go through, GOD has already made provision to turn it around. We must trust him enough to know that one day, rather it be here or in HIS presence, we shall overcome all the weapons, trickery, plots and plans of the enemy. That’s GOOD NEWS!!! -The Encourager!

  9. Prescott Jay Erwin says:

    Once again, you’ve reinforced that fact that only sound exegesis leads to sound application. Thanks, Bro. Sherman!

    Yes, this really is the heritage of the servants of the Lord: “‘no weapon that is formed against you will prosper; and every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn… and their vindication is from Me,’ declares the Lord.” What it does NOT say is that every weapon formed against you will be prevented from harming you and that every tongue will be prevented from judging you, just that the weapons will not prosper and the judging tongues will be condemned.

    Here’s a literal word-for-word translation: “‘All weapons (kal-kliy) formed against you shall not prosper (the negative particle “lo” [no] modifies “prosper,” not “weapon”); and all tongues raised up toward you in judgment, you shall condemnation. This is the inheritance/possession/property of the slaves/servants of the Lord and their righteousness from Me,’ declares the Lord.'” Is there an interplay of “already and not yet” in this passage and in this verse? Probably. One can legitimately argue that it’s future oriented from the context, the word “shall,” and the word “inheritance;” I think that’s true, but I would argue for “already/not yet;” it is a present reality with an even greater future fulfillment. Have believers inherited eternal life even if they’ve not yet died and been raised? I believe that’s what Scripture teaches. Do believers experience the fullness of it while they’re still alive? I don’t think so. Yet, it’s still true. What about salvation from sin? There are three dimensions there: believers “have been” saved from the penalty of sin, “are being” saved from the power of sin, and “will be” saved from the presence of sin. Already/not yet.

    I suppose some of the questions we should be leading people to ask themselves, if they want to claim this inheritance for themselves, are: “Am I REALLY a servant of the Lord?” and “What does it TAKE to really be a ‘servant of the Lord?'”

  10. Prophetess Sconiers says:

    The word of God is not to be understood with our natural mind.We must seek the spirit of God for revelation of his word… If I look at my life I see where things were formed and came to pass, so that let me know the word of God is speaking beyond the natural.. We must study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed,rightly dividing the word of truth… Thanks for expounding on the work.

  11. Anthony Scott says:

    Great job, I enjoyed it tramendously. I agree with Ed Hightower. Some times we think as preachers it is our job to instantaneously heal the congregation, when in reality we lie to them. It’s healthy to know that weapons do hurt and even kill.Just ensure that we finish the story and tell about how Jesus makes the difference when He is ready to and not before.

    By the way, I am new to this sight and was refered by a friend.


    Tony scott

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