Jesus, Name above all Names, Highly exalted!
“Come and take My hand and let Me show you”. Its as if God is leading me outside where I can see into the distance – even up into the unplumbable depths of outer space. “I have created all things in order – despite the disorder you see around you, which is ongoing because of sin. Despite that, there is a massive well-oiled order which is driving the whole universe. I am the King of Kings, I have the authority over all of this, because I made it, I own it. I have made you to fit into that order and am orchestrating it constantly. Now the true contentment that comes from being in harmony with that order does not only come from making the right big decisions – it comes from recognizing that you have nothing intrinsically to commit to that order. Only doing what I have laid out for you, can you contribute to the harmony of My order. The starting point of your usefulness in My kingdom, is recognizing – “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God”. That is the starting point of true discipleship”.
Now back to Isaiah, from 51:9 to 52:12. There are three calls of ‘awake, awake’, which provide the structure. The first in 51:9 seems to come from the remnant, still in bondage in Babylon. They are feeling that God has abandoned them. Fallen asleep? So they are reminding Him of His relationship with them and His promises to them of their return to Zion. They are reminding Him of the great deliverance of the Exodus.
God answers “awake, awake” in vs 17. He puts their suffering into the context of His wrath. This passage strikes a special cord, as we read of God’s wrath being likened to a cup that makes you stagger v 22b. Look at the promise in vs 22 a. “See, I have taken out of your hand this cup”. How has He done that? Pause for a moment and allow your thoughts to go to a garden. The garden of Gethsemane and Jesus’ prayer. “take this cup away from Me, yet not My will but yours, O Lord” (Luke 22:42).
Prophetic words looking forward to the greatest event of all time, which started with the difficult submission of a Man/God to His Father’s will; to drink this awful cup on behalf of the whole of mankind, that we may have the opportunity of escaping the full effect of that wrath. See it is only God Himself that can take away the cup of His wrath so that we never have to drink of it again. (52:22 b).This little section illuminates that scene in the darkness of the night in he garden with the brightest of light, because it is only when we fully understand how awful God’s wrath is, that we can appreciate the full extent and value of what Jesus did there, taking it with Him to the cross.
That is why the last “awake, awake” (52:1), becomes so logical. This act of removing God’s wrath has made it possible for every one of us to be clothed with garments of splendour. These garments are further described in 61:10 “the garments of salvation and the robe of righteousness”. If we understand what this means, we will be the first to go out and proclaim what has happened 52:7. We will hasten to stand on a mountain top and shout it aloud. As we appreciate it we will burst into songs of joy as God comforts us while we “return to Jerusalem”, to His bosom.
Isn’t it wonderful how the Old Testament keeps referring us to the gospel. That is the key to life. That is the only key to life. The key that opens the door for God’s abundant blessings. We see also here how the word comfort is used to show how trusting in he gospel message brings the greatest comfort. Because comfort can only come when we are in a healthy relationship with the Lord.
Listening to Jesus, how does the promise of God’s comfort make you feel? Let us all rejoice together.