Isaiah 52

Let God’s people prepare for eternal joy,
for His Word shall without fail have its accomplishment in due season.
Jerusalem shall be made a praise and all the earth shall break forth in joy when He who was rejected and despised of men shall come forth as Lord and King.

1 Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.

2 Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.

3 For thus saith the LORD, Ye have sold yourselves for nought; and ye shall be redeemed without money.

4 For thus saith the Lord GOD, My people went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there; and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause.

5 Now therefore, what have I here, saith the LORD, that my people is taken away for nought? they that rule over them make them to howl, saith the LORD; and my name continually every day is blasphemed.

6 Therefore my people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am he that doth speak: behold, it is I.

7 ¶ How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!

8 Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the LORD shall bring again Zion.

9 ¶ Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the LORD hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem.

10 The LORD hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.

11 ¶ Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD.

12 For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the LORD will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rereward.

13 ¶ Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.

14 As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:

15 So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.

Isaiah 52 – ​“Thy God Reigneth!”

   It is not God that has become lethargic; but we that have slept and need to awake. Being awakened, we discover that two sets of attire are waiting for us: First, His strength, so that we may not be afraid of ten thousands of people who set themselves round about; and secondly, the beautiful garments of our Lord’s character. See Colossians 3:9-17.
   At last the climax of the long prophetic stairway is reached and the summons for the exodus from Babylon rings out, Isaiah 52:11. It was God’s return to the desolate city, Isaiah 52:2, 8. The stately procession moves slowly and fearlessly. It is not the escape of a band of fugitive slaves, dreading pursuit and recapture, Isaiah 52:12. Before it speed the heralds, appearing on the sky line as they ascend the mountains which surround the Holy City, publishing peace and salvation, Isaiah 52:7. The central body is composed of white robed priests, bearing with reverent care the holy vessels, Isaiah 52:11, of which Nebuchadnezzar despoiled the Temple, but which Cyrus restored. See Ezra 1:7-11. Thus, also, the Church marches through the world. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Isaiah 52:11—Be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD.

​   The chosen people are at the end of the seventy years’ captivity; the time of their deliverance from Babylon has arrived. Their Almighty Deliverer, throwing back the loose sleeve of his robe, to leave his arm free, makes ready for an unusual exercise of power. There will be no need of haste as when the people fled at night from Egypt. They may not go out with haste, nor go by flight; for their Divine Leader would precede them, and his escort would be their rearguard.
   This is the summons to us all who may have been in captivity to Babylon in any form. We are to arise and depart, shaking loose the bonds of our captivity. Let us follow the cloudy pillar of God’s presence guiding us continually, and let us not be always looking behind, as though dreading the recurrence of past sins and mistakes. They shall not pursue those whom God has delivered; or, if they do, they shall not overtake. It is an unspeakable comfort to those who have sinned to know that the old temptations and forms of bondage are intercepted by the presence of the Eternal God, just as his cloud intercepted Pharaoh’s host.
   The one matter about which we must be scrupulously careful is our cleanliness. Of old, Cyrus entrusted Ezra with the holy vessels which Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple. Their custodians needed to be holy. We, too, have to bear the sacred trust of God’s holy Name and Gospel. His day, his Book, the doctrines of evangelical truth, his honor, are among the vessels which we are to carry through the world. We, too, must be holy, cleansing ourselves of all filthiness of the flesh and spirit; coming out, and not touching the unclean thing. —Our Daily Homily