Tuesday 25 September 2012

Bible Book:

“You who remind the Lord, take no rest, and give him no rest until he establishes Jerusalem and makes it renowned throughout the earth.” (vv. 6-7)

Isaiah 62:1-7 Tuesday 25 September 2012


This passage represents the third time in these latter chaptersof Isaiah where the anointed one (Isaiah61:1) or Messiah speaks for himself; the passage begins in 61:10 where he claims to be clothed withsalvation and righteousness. Clothes express character, equip us,and may express commitment to a cause. In this poem the cause isGod's, and the task for which the anointed one is equipped is thatof bringing fullness of joy to Jerusalem, also called Zion,particularly in contexts where the city is being envisaged as aspiritual community and not just a geographical location.

As God's agent, the Messiah will "not keep silent" (v. 1); asthe parallel term "will not rest" implies, the commitment is toactions and not just words. At the end of the passage there is asimilar call to sentinels or guardians who are posted to keep watchover the city. Their actions are those of prayer, and verses 6-7are a lovely description of the task of prayer as one of remindingGod and refusing to give God peace until the job which we and Godlong to see accomplished is completed. In the stories around thebirth of Jesus, we encounter two such prayer-guardians in thepersons of Simeon and Anna (Luke2:25-38).

The image of a saved Jerusalem being like a burning torchdrawing the nations (verse 1) is a vivid one at the moment for themillions in Britain this summer who witnessed the journey of theOlympic torch before the nations were drawn to these shores. It isa frequent theme in Isaiah that a spiritually-restored Jerusalem,following the exile, will be a beacon or magnet drawing the rulersof the world and their nations, to discover true life and joy.

Jerusalem is promised a new name, signifying a new nature, asGod's delight which he protects (and so in verse 3 she is like acrown held safely in God's hand), and as God's bride whom (asbridegroom) God will love and cherish.

To Ponder

  • Jerusalem was seen as an important visual symbol of God'ssalvation throughout biblical times. Which places today havespiritual significance for you or for other people? What accountsfor this?
  • Surely God is not forgetful; so why do you think that God needsto be "reminded" (v. 6)?
  • Can prayer for spiritual good things be combined with prayerfor national and political life? If so, how should we pray?


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