Read Isaiah 52
52 Awake, awake, Zion,
clothe yourself with strength!
Put on your garments of splendor,
Jerusalem, the holy city.
The uncircumcised and defiled
will not enter you again.
2 Shake off your dust;
rise up, sit enthroned, Jerusalem.
Free yourself from the chains on your neck,
Daughter Zion, now a captive.
3 For this is what the Lord says:
“You were sold for nothing,
and without money you will be redeemed.”
4 For this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“At first my people went down to Egypt to live;
lately, Assyria has oppressed them.
5 “And now what do I have here?” declares the Lord.
“For my people have been taken away for nothing,
and those who rule them mock,”
declares the Lord.
“And all day long
my name is constantly blasphemed.
6 Therefore my people will know my name;
therefore in that day they will know
that it is I who foretold it.
Yes, it is I.”
7 How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of those who bring good news,
who proclaim peace,
who bring good tidings,
who proclaim salvation,
who say to Zion,
“Your God reigns!”
8 Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices;
together they shout for joy.
When the Lord returns to Zion,
they will see it with their own eyes.
9 Burst into songs of joy together,
you ruins of Jerusalem,
for the Lord has comforted his people,
he has redeemed Jerusalem.
10 The Lord will lay bare his holy arm
in the sight of all the nations,
and all the ends of the earth will see
the salvation of our God.
11 Depart, depart, go out from there!
Touch no unclean thing!
Come out from it and be pure,
you who carry the articles of the Lord’s house.
12 But you will not leave in haste
or go in flight;
for the Lord will go before you,
the God of Israel will be your rear guard.
The Suffering and Glory of the Servant
13 See, my servant will act wisely;
he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.
14 Just as there were many who were appalled at him—
his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being
and his form marred beyond human likeness—
15 so he will sprinkle many nations,
and kings will shut their mouths because of him.
For what they were not told, they will see,
and what they have not heard, they will understand.
Isaiah 52 starts by telling Jerusalem to awake because their time of judgment has ended. The people have been in exile for about 70 years and they are informed that even though they have sold themselves to other gods for nothing in return (v. 3), they shall be redeemed without money. This highlights the prophetic nature of the chapter. It brings awareness of a coming king who will pay the price of redemption for His people, but not with money, but with His life.
God first affirms the glory and authority within His name, even if the nations and His own people didn’t acknowledge it at the time. He tells the people that one day they will know that He is and always has been God. Isaiah proclaims the earth will know that God is a God of salvation. The author then affirms the future servants of God, blessing the feet of those who will proclaim the good news of Jesus’s sacrifice on earth. In fact, this exact passage is revisited by Paul in Romans 10:14-15 as he exclaims the importance of sharing the gospel:
“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’”
You may remember in Isaiah 6 the reference to the “holy seed” or remnant of Israel following the exile. Paul brings this together in Romans 11 as he looks back on God’s faithfulness through the prophets of the Old Testament. He references how Elijah thought he was the only follower of God left, but God had reserved 7,000 men as a remnant. In the same way, Isaiah 52 prophecies of a remnant of devoted followers of God who will later bring peace, joy and truth to the earth through telling about Jesus.
As a reminder, Isaiah was written about 700 years before Jesus was even born. This book is (and was) often referenced as proof that Jesus was the true Messiah. Today, re-read verses 13-15 and reflect on God’s faithfulness to fulfill His promise to send a savior and redeemer for us.
- How do you see God’s faithfulness in this chapter?
- Who can you share what you’ve learned in this chapter with this week?
- How can you make an effort to bring the “good news” of Jesus to someone this week?
Thank you for your faithfulness to send your Son to die on a cross for me, knowing in advance the sins I would commit. Thank you for your reminder that you are always God and you are the redeemer. Help me look for people who need to hear the story of Jesus’s sacrifice and give me the courage to share that with them this week. Amen.
Leave a Comment Below
Join the Team
Interested in writing for the Bible Reading Plan? Email email@example.com.