Listen to me, all who hope for deliverance. Isaiah 51:1
This past month I read the book of Isaiah. Once again, the Holy Spirit caught my attention. Do you know how many special action words Isaiah uses in talking to the Israelites and to us? Well, I confess I don’t either! I know God’s action words are throughout the Bible, but they caught my attention in Isaiah.
Actions words like “listen”. Listen to me, all who hope for deliverance—all who seek the Lord! Consider the rock from which you were cut, the quarry from which you were mined. Isaiah 51:1. Isaiah 51:7 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. I felt like a child, where a parent was trying their best to get their attention. Homeschooling my grandchildren, I often tell them “listen up”. This is important. I feel God is trying not only to get my attention, but the attention of His church. We need to listen much more attentively than ever before. We must remember who it is that is speaking to us. It is the Lord of Heaven and Earth. My Lord, who has my best interest at heart. It is your Savior, who loves you more than anything.
I am trying to practice listening. Sunday morning I knew it was going to be a long morning, so I went to make coffee in my travel cup. It is something I often do, especially if I serve both services. Quietly I heard the Lord say, “not today”. Instead of arguing and pondering His reasons, I just walked away from the coffeemaker empty handed. I trusted He had His reason. I congratulated myself on listening!! I think listening begs the question, are we using the ears He has given us to hear? I watch my children teach their children the importance of listening during dangerous times. Little ones don’t always know why they need to stop when mom says stop, but they learn to trust her voice. I hope to learn to trust His voice even more. I need to become a better listener.
Another “action word” that caught my attention is wake up. Wake up or awake! Isaiah 51:17-19 is very sobering. Wake up, wake up, O Jerusalem! You have drunk the cup of the Lord’s fury. You have drunk the cup of terror, tipping out its last drops. Not one of your children is left alive to take your hand and guide you. These two calamities have fallen on you: desolation and destruction, famine and war. And who is left to sympathize with you? Who is left to comfort you? Terrible things had happened to them and, in a way, they really didn’t even understand or realize it. Is that what is happening in our culture? Are we so asleep that we are losing the next generation to destructive and desolate thoughts and actions that are definitely against the Word of God? We need to wake up with courage and faith. We need to arise with hope and be about our Father’s business.
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. Rise from the dust, O Jerusalem. Sit in a place of honor. Remove the chains of slavery from your neck. Let us wake up and listen to His Words. Let us put on His strength, learning to lean on Him and His wisdom. These two action words “listen and wake” are for each of us, as His children.
Father, I ask you to help us wake up and listen. I ask that as we read your Word, we put into action your requests. I thank you for opening our ears that we may hear your direction and assignment. We are called to be your lights in this dark world, help make it so. Forgive us for sleeping on the job. Help us to pray for our leaders, both spiritual and governmental, during these difficult days. In Jesus’ Name. Amen