Beautiful words of encouragement – stoking the coals of fire in the heart of Israel. Stoking the hot coals also in us.
You see once again the parallels between God’s dealings with the Jews and His dealings with us as Christians. Sure, these words were written to the Jews, but, as always with our God, He can speak to several groups at once. The words are also for us.
“Awake, awake, put on your strength, O arm of the Lord.” (51:9) “Rouse yourself. Rouse yourself. Arise, O Jerusalem.” (51:17) “Awake, awake, clothe yourself with your strength.” (52:1) “Shake off the dust. Loose the chains from around your neck, O captive daughter of Zion.” (52:2)
Verse after verse seems to be talking to us directly. We are the spiritual Jerusalem. We are Zion. When the church gets this and really believes it, we will see an explosion of purpose coming from His body.
All of what has gone on before has brought us to this place. Now we understand the power of God’s Words in our lives – and the power of His plans for us.
The church has been in Babylonian captivity – mixed up with the ways of the world. Now is the time for us to rise up and be the beautiful church He wants us to be. Clothed with His strength and His garments, we can take His message to those around us who don’t know Him.
God’s love is for all, if they will just receive it. They need for someone to tell them.
Will we do it?
I Thessalonians 5
Paul’s last words in this letter are rich with meaning.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God for you.” (V.16-18)
These verses are foundational for a walk of faith. Rejoice, pray, give thanks.
Does it mean that everything that happens to us is God’s will? I don’t think so. But if we give thanks in the midst of whatever is going on, He will continue to work on our behalf. Our Father will bring good from evil – and what the devil meant for evil will be turned around for our good.
Then Paul strikes a note of encouragement to those who are growing weary. “May God sanctify you completely. He who called you is faithful, who will also do it.” (V. 23-24)
Our God is faithful!! He will do what he has promised.