Reassurance of Israel’s Future Restoration

One bleak day in February 1832, Samuel Francis Smith, a young theological student sat in his room at Andover Seminary. He was going over a sheaf of German songs for children, given him by a friend, and composer Lowell Mason. As he hummed over one after another, one struck h … More

Freedom

A third wake-up call is addressed to Jerusalem and is a command not only to wake up, but to dress up (vv. 1-6). She must put on her beautiful garments (v. 1). She shall no longer be a servant girl trodden under foot by the gentile nations but she shall once again be the holy city (v. 2). God sold his people into captivity for nothing and shall redeem them without money as well (v. 3). Egypt had made slaves out of the Jews, Assyria had oppressed them, and Babylon had taken them captive, but now this was all ended (v. 4). Now another power, Babylon takes away Judah and mocks them (v. 5) and blasphemes God (v. 6). God says that the feet of those who bring good news are beautiful (v. 7). He goes on to say that everyone on guard duty shall sing together (v. 8). This will all happen when Israel’s Messiah returns to Zion to reign (vv. 9-10).

The defeat of Babylon by Cyrus was certainly good news to the Jews because it meant freedom for the captives (vv. 11-12). Isaiah uses repetition when he says, “depart, depart” (v. 11). It seems strange that God would have to urge His people to leave their place of captivity, but they had become comfortable in Babylon and were reluctant to leave. God commanded them to depart because Babylon was a condemned place. God promised to protect them (v. 12). At the second coming the servant will act wisely doing what the Lord wants him to do (v. 13). When He returns many will be “awestruck” as they see Him from a new prospective (v. 14). Even the kings will be silent and bow in wonder (v. 15).

Application

When the Jewish people obeyed God, He went before them (Ex. 13:21) and protected them. When I obey God I can always count on His leading and protection.

Isaiah 52:1-15 (English Standard Version)

Awake, awake, put on your strength, O Zion; put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city; for there shall no more come into you the uncircumcised and the unclean. Shake yourself from the dust and arise; be seated, O Jerusalem; loose the bonds from your neck, O captive daughter of Zion. For thus says the LORD: "You were sold for nothing, and you shall be redeemed without money." For thus says the Lord GOD: "My people went down at the first into Egypt to sojourn there, and the Assyrian oppressed them for nothing. Now therefore what have I here," declares the LORD, "seeing that my people are taken away for nothing? Their rulers wail," declares the LORD, "and continually all the day my name is despised. Therefore my people shall know my name. Therefore in that day they shall know that it is I who speak; here am I." How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, "Your God reigns." The voice of your watchmen--they lift up their voice; together they sing for joy; for eye to eye they see the return of the LORD to Zion. Break forth together into singing, you waste places of Jerusalem, for the LORD has comforted his people; he has redeemed Jerusalem. The LORD has bared his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God. Depart, depart, go out from there; touch no unclean thing; go out from the midst of her; purify yourselves, you who bear the vessels of the LORD. For you shall not go out in haste, and you shall not go in flight, for the LORD will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard. Behold, my servant shall act wisely; he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted. As many were astonished at you-- his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind-- so shall he sprinkle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which has not been told them they see, and that which they have not heard they understand.

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