By Toni Ford
While recently reading in Isaiah 51 and 52, the words “listen, “look” and “wake up” kept popping up. I have learned over time that when I continue to see the same word or phrase repeatedly in a section of Scripture, it is wise to pay closer attention. The words are there over and over for a reason, often to teach me a lesson or bring me a warning. The Lord showed me that these words are very fitting for our present time and that they have the same meaning for us today that they did for the Israelites several thousand years back.
Listen First. Isaiah 51:1-2 says, “Listen to me, all who hope for the deliverance – all who seek the Lord! Consider the rock from which you were cut, the quarry from which you were mined. Yes, think about Abraham, your ancestor, and Sarah, who gave birth to your nation. Abraham was only one man when I called him. But when I blessed him, he became a great nation.”
Notice that the children of Israel longed for deliverance, just as we long for deliverance from this pandemic. Before deliverance could come, however, the very first thing that had to happen was to remove all distractions and “listen.” Once the Lord had their attention, He asked the children of Israel to look back and remember how He used Abraham and Sarah to create a nation that was as numerous as the stars. Once we remove our earthly dis-tractions of fear, doubt and all wrong thinking and turn our focus on the Lord and begin remembering His faithfulness towards us in our own lives, it is then that we begin to experience deliverance, hope and our faith rises.
Look ahead and within. Isaiah 51:6-7 says, “Look up to the skies above and gaze down on the earth below. For the skies will disappear like smoke and the earth will wear out like a piece of clothing. The people of the earth will die like flies, but my salvation lasts forever. My righteous rule will never end! Listen to me, you who know right from wrong, you who cherish my law in your hearts. Do not be afraid of people’s scorn, nor fear their insults.” Just as the Lord told the Israelites to “look up,” He is telling us the same thing today. Look up and remember that this is not our home. Instead, God is preparing for us as believers a home in heaven with Him that is for eternity. We are just passing through this earth, and ultimately our destination is in eternity with God. So how do we avoid living in fear of the things of this world and others? He gives us the answer in verse 7: “Cherish my law in your hearts.” When we keep His Word close to our heart and mind, we do not have to live in fear of man!
Wake up. Isaiah 51:7, 52:1 says, “Wake up, wake up, O Lord! Clothe yourself with strength! Wake up, wake up, O Zion. Clothe yourself with strength. Put on your beautiful clothes, O holy city of Jerusalem, for unclean and godless people will enter your gates no longer.” I love these verses! The Lord repeats Himself twice in telling the Israelites to wake up and clothe your-self with strength! The Lord wanted the Israelites to see that victory and deliverance was coming and to trust that the Lord would fulfill His promises to them as a nation. We often pray 2 Chronicles 7:14 as a prayer of healing for our nation. It is the Lord’s desire to heal our land and save our nation, so keep praying God’s Word over this world in which we live. The Lord is working, and as we keep our focus on Him and continue to pray, I see the tide changing. God is telling us to wake up, as the time is now to clothe our-selves in preparation for a victory party!
It is only fitting to close with Isaiah 52:6: “I will reveal my name to my people, and they will come to know its power. Then at last they will recognize that I am the one who speaks to them!”
Come Lord Jesus, come! We want more of You!!
If you would like continued prayer, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to pray for you!