In The Word
Read: Isaiah 51:17 – 52:12
Rouse yourself! Rouse yourself! Arise, O Jerusalem,
You who have drunk from the Lord’s hand the cup of His anger;
The chalice of reeling you have drained to the dregs.
18 There is none to guide her among all the sons she has borne,
Nor is there one to take her by the hand among all the sons she has reared.
19 These two things have befallen you;
Who will mourn for you?
The devastation and destruction, famine and sword;
How shall I comfort you?
20 Your sons have fainted,
They lie helpless at the head of every street,
Like an antelope in a net,
Full of the wrath of the Lord,
The rebuke of your God.
21 Therefore, please hear this, you afflicted,
Who are drunk, but not with wine:
22 Thus says your Lord, the Lord, even your God
Who contends for His people,
“Behold, I have taken out of your hand the cup of reeling,
The chalice of My anger;
You will never drink it again.
23 “I will put it into the hand of your tormentors,
Who have said to you, ‘Lie down that we may walk over you.’
You have even made your back like the ground
And like the street for those who walk over it.”
Cheer for Prostrate Zion
52 Awake, awake,
Clothe yourself in your strength, O Zion;
Clothe yourself in your beautiful garments,
O Jerusalem, the holy city;
For the uncircumcised and the unclean
Will no longer come into you.
2 Shake yourself from the dust, rise up,
O captive Jerusalem;
Loose yourself from the chains around your neck,
O captive daughter of Zion.
3 For thus says the Lord, “You were sold for nothing and you will be redeemed without money.” 4 For thus says the Lord God, “My people went down at the first into Egypt to reside there; then the Assyrian oppressed them without cause. 5 Now therefore, what do I have here,” declares the Lord, “seeing that My people have been taken away without cause?” Again the Lord declares, “Those who rule over them howl, and My name is continually blasphemed all day long. 6 Therefore My people shall know My name; therefore in that day I am the one who is speaking, ‘Here I am.’”
7 How lovely on the mountains
Are the feet of him who brings good news,
Who announces peace
And brings good news of happiness,
Who announces salvation,
And says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
8 Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices,
They shout joyfully together;
For they will see with their own eyes
When the Lord restores Zion.
9 Break forth, shout joyfully together,
You waste places of Jerusalem;
For the Lord has comforted His people,
He has redeemed Jerusalem.
10 The Lord has bared His holy arm
In the sight of all the nations,
That all the ends of the earth may see
The salvation of our God.
11 Depart, depart, go out from there,
Touch nothing unclean;
Go out of the midst of her, purify yourselves,
You who carry the vessels of the Lord.
12 But you will not go out in haste,
Nor will you go as fugitives;
For the Lord will go before you,
And the God of Israel will be your rear guard.
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Walking In The Word
In exile, Israel seems to have fallen asleep. They had grown accustomed to the thought of being in captivity, and had allowed their faith in the promises of God to hibernate. Instead of believing Jerusalem could be restored, they settled for oppression and slavery. Accepting this curse, they’d forgotten about the goodness of God and had allowed their spirits to become unresponsive to His call. But God was not satisfied with the state of His people, and He sounded the alarm, “Rouse yourself!” “Awake, awake!” Even though their disobedience had lead Israel into the exile; the time had now come to deliver them…But they had to awaken their spirits to receive that rescue.
This is so true for us today. Many people fall into this same mindset: “Well, it is not going to get any better, so why try?” And so, they are asleep in their captivity, unresponsive to the promises of God beckoning them. As a pastor, I see a lot of people that have accepted their present state of existence as the way their life will always be. They truly believe that they have to settle for a less than abundant life. But God is still sounding the alarm: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you! (Ephesians 5:14)”
You many be in captivity today, but you have a liberating God. Others may be walking over you, but you have a God who can lift you up! Where you are does not have to be where you stay. If you will just rouse yourself and awaken to God’s salvation, your spirit will begin to be filled with faith, and you will be able to receive His rescue.