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By Denise Steele
Read Isaiah 52:1-12
Wake up! Wake up! Have you ever been startled out of sleep before? It can feel like you are in a fog or a dream but suddenly you have to pay attention with every faculty to focus on the situation at hand. I sometimes notice the spiritual “fog” creeping in when my time with the Lord keeps falling out of habit. I almost need someone to come along and shake me – to say “Wake up!”
This wake-up call is what starts our passage today. Judah is the remnant of God’s chosen people that are left in the promised land; the rest of Israel has been taken captive. But Judah is relying on alliances with Assyria and Egypt for protection. How similar we are – to add crutches to our lives in addition to our relationship with God. Or to let our reliance upon and time with God to be crowded out by other dependencies.
Re-read verses 1-10 but this time replace the words “Jerusalem”, “Zion” or “My People” with your own name. Focus on your old identity versus your new identity in Christ. Write down a few truths about who you are in Christ and/or a few things that you are free from because you are a “Daughter of Zion”.
The second double-warning in this passage is to Depart! Depart! What did they need to depart from and why the urgency? The call to “Depart” or to “Come out and be pure” comes after a promise. Verses 6-10 promise that the people would know the Lord, hear the proclamation of salvation and see the Lord’s return as would the whole earth! That is the reason for the urgency. We and the whole earth will see the Lord’s return.
I want to be ready to hear this proclamation when it comes. Just as some were ready when Christ came to earth as a baby, only some will be ready for his return. As Christmas approaches, Isaiah 52 prepares us to “Wake Up!”, to rely only on the Lord and to be ready to “Depart!”, for soon “all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God.” (vs. 10). Pray that you would be alert, free from the chains that enslave or extra dependencies that you have come to rely upon and thank God for His proclamation of peace, good tidings and salvation over your life.