Reading For Tuesday Isaiah 52:1-15
The Lord invites his people to move from slave status and become a queen. She is to put on beautiful garments. Babylon had not paid anything to acquire Judah, and the people of God would be freed without payment by the strength of a divine order. Just as the Egyptians and the Assyrians had no rightful claim upon Israel, neither did the Babylonians. Furthermore, these current oppressors continually blasphemed the name of God. God had the right to demand the release of his people. Through this deliverance, Israel would have a better understanding and knowledge of God. God had good news for the people who live in Jerusalem and for those who would be carried away to Babylon. Isaiah depicted a messenger racing over the hills of Judah toward the capital announcing that God has won a great victory. Zion’s God reigned, and this meant peace, happiness, and salvation to her citizens. Those who had been watching for the messenger broke forth into loud cries of joy.
God had now returned to his people. Isaiah supplied a victory hymn worthy of the occasion. He called upon all the waste places of Jerusalem to break forth in joyous song. They now could celebrate that God had comforted his people, redeemed Jerusalem, and demonstrated his strength in the sight of all the nations. The ends of the earth would come to see the salvation of Judah’s God. Babylon and all she stood for had to be renounced. The captives were not to touch any unclean thing, and they were not to plunder Babylon as they did Egypt at the Exodus. The holy vessels of the Temple would be returned to Jerusalem. Those vessels had to be carried by holy hands. The remnant would leave Babylon in a dignified manner as God lead the way. Simultaneously, he would be their rear guard. The Servant that is spoken of is none other than Jesus of Nazareth. The Servant would be successful in his mission amid some shocking things that would happen to him. He would be disfigured to the astonishment of onlookers and in his suffering, he would cleanse many nations. Because he succeeds in this priestly ministry in spite of suffering, the kings of the earth would be in awe of him and his accomplishments.
Things To Consider:
- Why does God always call his people to freedom? How do we forfeit his freedom?
- How do you feel when God seems distant? How do you respond when you sense his nearness?
- Why does God call his people to holiness?
- How does the idea of God going before and behind us apply today?
- How is exaltation achieved through humiliation in the life of Jesus?
- Why is the gospel so "scandalous"?