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by David Thompson
To understand chapter 52 of Isaiah, one needs to back up to the 51st chapter. There we see a lot of oppression of the remnant of Israel. In verses 22 and 23 it reads of their treatment and torment, “See, I have taken out of your hand the cup that made you stagger; from that cup, the goblet of my wrath, you will never drink again. I will put it into the hands of your tormentors, who said to you, ‘Fall prostrate that we may walk on you.’ And you made your back like the ground, like a street to be walked on.” (NIV) The Lord heard their cries and is describing the bad times His people were having.
In chapter 52, it states, "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. Shake off your dust; rise up, sit enthroned, Jerusalem. Free yourself from the chains on your neck..." (NIV) The people of Zion will no longer be oppressed or taken captive again from their homeland. God states that He will no longer be mocked and that everyone will know His name. The people of the Lord will rejoice and will tell of what God did for them all.
There is a foretelling through the rest of chapter 52. The most famous verse in this chapter speaks of the future telling of the "Good News" of Jesus. Verse 7 states, "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!'" (NIV)
The contemporary song about this verse is playable by clicking on the link, "Our God Reigns."
Chapter 52 ends with a promise that the Lord will lead us from the front and also be behind us as we journey through life. That too is great news. One of the darkest journeys my wife and I ever took involved almost losing our daughter to a medical mishap. The details will be shared at a later time, but suffice it to say that looking back at that awful time I can see where Jesus prepared us ahead of time and was with us through the whole journey and through the end.
Dear God, thank-you for your Good News that saved me and has sustained me through many years. I pray that you will be with everyone that reads this reflection and, if they are going through a hard time, sustain them as you have me. In Christ's name, Amen.