Wake Up, Sleepyheads
Lord, keep my lamp full of oil as I attentively wait for Your next move in my life.
Read ISAIAH 52:1–12
Awake, awake, Zion,
clothe yourself with strength!
Put on your garments of splendor,
Jerusalem, the holy city.
The uncircumcised and defiled
will not enter you again.
2 Shake off your dust;
rise up, sit enthroned, Jerusalem.
Free yourself from the chains on your neck,
Daughter Zion, now a captive.
3 For this is what the Lord says:
“You were sold for nothing,
and without money you will be redeemed.”
4 For this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“At first my people went down to Egypt to live;
lately, Assyria has oppressed them.
5 “And now what do I have here?” declares the Lord.
“For my people have been taken away for nothing,
and those who rule them mock,”
declares the Lord.
“And all day long
my name is constantly blasphemed.
6 Therefore my people will know my name;
therefore in that day they will know
that it is I who foretold it.
Yes, it is I.”
7 How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of those who bring good news,
who proclaim peace,
who bring good tidings,
who proclaim salvation,
who say to Zion,
“Your God reigns!”
8 Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices;
together they shout for joy.
When the Lord returns to Zion,
they will see it with their own eyes.
9 Burst into songs of joy together,
you ruins of Jerusalem,
for the Lord has comforted his people,
he has redeemed Jerusalem.
10 The Lord will lay bare his holy arm
in the sight of all the nations,
and all the ends of the earth will see
the salvation of our God.
11 Depart, depart, go out from there!
Touch no unclean thing!
Come out from it and be pure,
you who carry the articles of the Lord’s house.
12 But you will not leave in haste
or go in flight;
for the Lord will go before you,
the God of Israel will be your rear guard.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober… since we belong to the day” (1 Thess. 5:6,8).
Israel’s call for God to wake up (51:9) is answered by God’s corresponding call for them to do the same. After all, he’s not the one who is asleep. It’s the people of Zion who need to wake up to reality. They need to stir themselves and get dressed in their party clothes, not in the old mourning rags, because they’re about to celebrate their liberation.
With eyes fully opened, they’ll see that there is something to understand (4–6). God has permitted Israel to be subjected to captivity, more than once, for disobedience. However, their captors have overreached, abused their power and dishonored God’s name. The Sovereign Lord will not permit such disrespect and will demonstrate just who really is in charge by foretelling and arranging Israel’s release. Then they will fully recognize that there is something to celebrate (7–10). They’ve gotten used to churning out mournful dirges in captivity. Now it’s time for some upbeat songs of joy. Neither Babylon, nor chance, nor chaos rules the world. God alone reigns and has determined that his people should experience a second exodus and return home.
Finally, with eyes wide open, they’ll realize that there is something to do (2,11,12). They are not spectators of God’s plan but participants. They need to break off their chains, get dressed, and prepare to leave Babylon, although not in an over-hasty manner. God’s salvation of Israel will profit them only if they take active steps of faith. The same is true of our involvement with Jesus Christ. Let’s not sleepwalk through our Christian lives with downcast eyes, preoccupied with our own problems. Rather, let’s wake up to all God is doing in our lives and celebrate our great salvation. Let’s forget our pre-Christ lives and walk confidently into God’s liberated future for us.
What does it mean to “live as children of light” (Eph. 5:8) in today’s world?
Lord, make my feet as beautiful as the proclaimers of Your good tidings (7), while I promote an awareness of You everywhere.