Good Nooz Shooz

Jenny ThompsonPosted on Tuesday, September 24, 2013 by Jenny Thompson

Introduction

I have sometimes wondered how hard it must have been for the Jews in exile to believe that God would and could deliver them.

After all, the Lord had allowed them to go into exile in the first place, because of their sin against Him. Yet how could they be sure that God would rescue them?

They felt so rejected, downtrodden and powerless. Even as Christians we can sometimes feel like this. So salvation was long in coming for the exiles, remember it was not the Lord’s fault, but theirs!

So Isaiah calls the exiles to faith. His declaration was that the people need to ‘wake up and loosen their bonds’!

I believe God is saying to His church today: ‘Wake up and loosen your bonds!’

Isaiah 52:1-12

Verse 1: So God’s people were asleep! They must wake in order to know who they are. They are to ‘put on strength like clothes’.

What does that remind us of?

Putting on the armour of God – Ephesians 6:10-18

They were not to ‘pretend that they were strong’. It means ‘God had made them strong. So show it!’

Also, God had made them beautiful.

God says He has made us His church strong and beautiful. When the children of Israel left Egypt, God said these words:

  1. ‘You will be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation’ – Exodus 19:6
  2. ‘Make holy clothes for Aaron your brother, which are wonderful and beautiful’ – Exodus 28:2

Verse 2: But before God’s people can put on beautiful clothes, they must first take off their prison clothes.

‘Prison’ may mean the country where their enemy took (or will take) them. It may also mean their attitude towards God. They probably had a lot of bad attitudes about God! Let’s be honest, do we sometimes?

However, we are in Christ, so in that sense we have taken of the garments of sin, and put on the garments of salvation!

Verse 3: God’s people gained nothing when someone ‘sold’ them to the enemy. Apart from realising the error of their ways!

And when God redeems them, they will pay nothing for it. Of course, the gift of salvation is absolutely free!

Verse 4: God remembers the past history of His people. First, people in Egypt were cruel to them. Then people from Assyria and later, people from Babylon would be cruel to them.

Verses 5-6: The two important things that God says are these:

  1. An enemy took God’s people away.
  2. ‘My people will know my name’ means that God will do something. When God has done something, His people will be great and beautiful again. They did not know that God was going to send His son to make atonement for the sin of mankind.

Verse 7: When Isaiah wrote his book, there were no radios, telephones, emails or social media. So a man ran with the news.

He came from where something had happened. He came to the people that wanted to know about it.

There is a story about this in 2 Samuel 18:24-28 – when the man brought good news, people praised him. They even said that his feet were beautiful!

We can imagine the runner as he shouts his news: “Peace! Safety! God is King!” Wow, he must have been very fit and healthy!

Verse 8: So God will return to Jerusalem! However, Isaiah still does not say how people will see God ‘with their own eyes’.

They still did not know that God was going to send His own Son!

Verses 9-10: When Isaiah wrote his book, some of these events were in the past. Some were still in the future. But Isaiah was absolutely certain that they would happen.

So, he said that they had happened! Isaiah 53:10 talks about ‘the arm of the Lord’. People ‘make their arms bare, or ‘roll up their sleeves’ when they are going to do some hard work.

So God was about to act on behalf of His people, on behalf of us by sending Jesus. Hallelujah!

Verses 11-12: The people were then to go out and declare what the Lord had done.

We also are to ‘go out’ and tell others what the Lord has done for us. We have left the old way of life behind and been made new in Christ.

Here is a reference to priests of old! But now were are all Priests of God.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
1 Peter 2:9

We are his priests, his ministers even though we do not often feel like it!

Luke 2: 1-24

So we come to the New Testament and the wonderful announcement to the shepherds that the long awaited Messiah had been born! This monumental event in history had finally arrived!

Nothing has or will ever surpass it! Suddenly, light replaced the darkness of the night. An angel appeared and with him the glory of the Lord came. This sight frightened the shepherds.

Verse 10-11:

“But the angels said to them, ‘ Do not be afraid. I bring you ‘good news’ of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David, a Saviour has been born to you he is the Christ the Lord.”

Notice that the message was personal! The message is personal to us!

After finding Jesus and telling Mary what the angel had said, they returned to looking after their sheep. They returned to the ordinariness of their everyday lives, but their lives were transformed.

Just like us, we encounter the love of Jesus, and soon we find ourselves shopping in Tesco! But we too are changed by the power of God working in us and through us.

”Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.”
Ephesians 6:13-15

Here Paul is emphasising the word ‘stand’ – it is as if you and I are to stand in a castle. This is the Castle of the Church of Jesus Christ. We are to guard the Castle of the Church against all the evil attacks of the enemy.

Thank God for intercessors, those who stand in the gap, those who station themselves on the ramparts and intercede.

God is calling some of us to this ministry, how we need intercessors in our day! The Church is so vulnerable.

God hates the Church of Jesus Christ and wants to destroy her! Thank God that He says He will build His Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. But we need to pray!

Is God calling you today to this vital ministry of intercession?

Finally then, I sense that the Lord is saying ‘wake up’ church and be strong with the strength that He gives us! He calls us strong and beautiful.

As we share the good news with others, we are speaking hope, life, joy and peace into people’s hearts and lives!

“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.“
1 Peter 3:15

Let’s then go out wearing our gospel shoes of peace and being His priests proclaiming this glorious ‘Good News’.

Amen.

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