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Rev. Ronald C. Purkey, a Baptist minister, claims no originality for this Bible study outline.
However, every Bible study posted on this website has been taught by Rev. Purkey.
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LET ZION REJOICE
November 30, 2014
SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 52:1-2, 7-12
BACKGROUND: Isaiah chapter 52 gives reassurance to God’s people Israel. The following is a summary of the chapter:
Note: The things God tells us here may apply to Christian believers also.
· It is a new day and time for God’s people to wake up (Isaiah 52:1; 51:9, 17; Romans 13:11–14).
The night of trial is over, and the Lord will do a new thing for them. This is a new day for you, so wake up to the Lord’s blessing (Lamentations 3:22–23).
· It is also time to dress up (Isaiah 52:1).
The feast is about to begin. The Lord has forgiven His people and brought them home, and it is time to rejoice (Isaiah 52:9; Luke 15:22–24).
· It is time to speak up (Isaiah 52:7–10).
Tell the world what the Lord has done for His people. The Apostle Paul applies this to the sharing of the gospel with lost people (Romans 10:15).
· It is time to clean up (Isaiah 52:11–12).
As the exiles left Babylon, they were not to defile themselves but be clean and carry the holy vessels back to Zion. There is always a new “Babylon” for the Lord’s people to flee if they would keep themselves clean (Revelation 18:1–8). As we obey, the Lord goes before us and behind us, so we need not be afraid of the enemy.
INTRODUCTION: As you move through the Book of Isaiah, you will see in the shadows or in the background the Servant of Jehovah. And as you approach Isaiah chapter 53 you will see very clearly that the Servant of Jehovah is none other than our Lord Jesus Christ.
In Isaiah chapter 52, the “alarm clock” chapter, the alarm goes off -- “Awake, awake!” Now again in this chapter before us we have the alarm sounding.
I. WAKE UP! (Isaiah 52:1-2)
A. The Savior’s redemption is coming.
(Isaiah 52:1) 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.
1. This is a wake-up call.
When God says, “O Zion,” He doesn’t mean Los Angeles, or Pocatello, Idaho, or Muleshoe, Texas. He means Zion, which is a geographical place in the land of Israel. It is actually the high point in the city of Jerusalem. It was David’s favorite spot. Blessing is going to come upon Jerusalem, and it will no longer be an unattractive place.
Note: Dr. Vernon McGee said this, “I was not impressed when I saw Jerusalem for the first time. I came up from Jericho and made that turn around the Mount of Olives by Bethany; then I was within sight of the temple area, the wall, and the east gate -- that was a thrill. It was late in the afternoon and a shadow was over the city. I could hardly wait until the next morning to enter the city and visit around. Well, the next day was a great disappointment to me. That city is not beautiful in my opinion.”
“Yet the Word of God says it is beautiful for situation; so that’s God’s viewpoint. I will agree with Him that the situation of it is beautiful, but not the city. However, He makes it clear here that it will be beautiful someday -- because of our Lord’s work of redemption.” – Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee
2. This is a redemption call.
You see, Christ will redeem this physical universe, which now is groaning and travailing together in pain. All the world will become a beautiful spot because of redemption in Christ. He will redeem our bodies; we will get new bodies, and when this takes place, all creation will be redeemed. Redemption is not only of the person but of the property. This is the type of redemption that God permitted in the Mosaic Law, which serves as an illustration of it.
B. The promised change is coming.
(Isaiah 52:2) Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.
Today the Arab is there. All the sacred spots are covered with churches -- Russian Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Lutheran, and the Church of All Nations -- they are all over the place!
Jerusalem needs to be released from religion. It needs to be turned loose from the sin and the low degree of civilization that is there right now. Release is coming someday, and it will come during the Millennium. For twenty-five hundred years that city has been captive and trodden down of the Gentiles, but the day is coming when the shackles of slavery will be removed.
II. Invitation to Israel. (Isaiah 52:3-6)
A. The God of the Bible will take back Jerusalem.
(Isaiah 52:3) For thus saith the Lord, Ye have sold yourselves for nought; and ye shall be redeemed without money.
Since God received nothing from those who took His holy city captive, He will give nothing in return. He will take it from them and restore it again.
B. The God of the Bible will stop the oppression of Israel.
(Isaiah 52:4) For thus saith the Lord God, My people went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there; and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause.
Jacob went down to Egypt by invitation, but his children were made slaves. The Assyrians, and others likewise, have oppressed them. That will end when the Millennium begins.
C. The God of the Bible will speak with great authority.
(Isaiah 52:5) 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.
God received no gain from the years of His people’s rejection. Therefore He says:
D. The God of the Bible will reveal Himself as Jehovah God.
(Isaiah 52:6) 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.
1. The world will know Him.
This is a lovely thought! When the Lord was here over two thousand years ago, they did not know Him. If they had only known the day of His visitation! Well, they will know Him when He comes again, and He will say, “Behold, it is I.” This expression is rendered freely by Lowth: “Here I am.”
2. The world will be too late.
The world has rejected Jesus Christ; it doesn’t know Him. One day He will say to the Christ-rejecting world, “Here I am,” but it will be too late then for multitudes that have rejected Him to turn to Him.
III. GOOD TIDINGS. (Isaiah 52:7-10)
A. The Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
(Isaiah 52:7-8) 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! 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.
1. Beautiful feet.
The herald of good news is always welcome, the thought expressed in the “how beautiful” phrase. The feet are emphasized because he runs to the city with the good news of salvation, to announce that “your God reigns.”
2. Good news.
These verses picture the return of the Jews from their worldwide dispersion. As the exiles travel over “the mountains … to Zion” they are preceded by heralds who proclaim the “good tidings” of the Messiah’s reign. The “watchmen” on the walls of Jerusalem “sing” with joy as they “see … the Lord” returning at the head of the multitude. Jerusalem itself is summoned to celebrate the Lord’s mighty deliverance.
B. The Second Coming will bring great joy.
(Isaiah 52:9-10) Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the Lord hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem. 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.
1. Sad day.
One of the things you will note about the present-day Jerusalem is the lack of a joyful song. It is even true of the churches there. If you listen for it, you will never hear a joyful song. Around the Mosque of Omar (which stands on the temple site) everything is in a minor key.
If you go to the wailing wall, wailing is what you will hear and the Jews are knocking their heads against it. But in the Millennium everybody is going to have fun -- they will “Break forth into joy” and they will sing together. It will be a joyous time!
Note: Even today I don’t think God likes to see us Christians walking around with long faces, complaining and criticizing. The Lord wants us to have joy. The Apostle John wrote, “And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full” (1 John 1:4) -- not just a little joy, but joy all the time!
2. Glad day.
The Millennium is the time when God answers the prayer which our Lord taught His disciples: “Thy kingdom come …” (Matthew 6:10). The tears and the sorrow will be gone; no longer will there be weeping on the earth. Instead there will be joy, and they will know that the millennial kingdom has come.
IV. THE LORD WILL GO BEFORE YOU. (Isaiah 52:11-12)
A. Pure lives.
(Isaiah 52:11) 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.
God had a special word for the priests and Levites who were carrying the vessels of the temple: "Come out from it [Babylon] and be pure." This is a good command for all of God's servants to obey. If we defile ourselves, we will also defile the work of the Lord. How tragic for a holy ministry to be a source of defilement to God's people!
B. Encouraging words.
(Isaiah 52:12) 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 reward.
The prophet added a final word of encouragement: "The Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard." (See Isaiah 58:8). This reminds us of Israel's exodus from Egypt when the Lord went before them (Exodus 13:21) and stood between them and the enemy (Exodus 14:19-20). (1) When God's people (2) obey God's will, they can always count on (3) God's leading and protection.
C. Prepared hearts.
(Isaiah 52:13) Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.
Isaiah has prepared the way for the "heart" of God's revelation of the Servant Messiah, the fourth Servant Song (Isaiah 52:13-53:12). We must prepare our hearts, for we are walking on holy ground.
Note: In the same way, Christians may rejoice as we are delivered from the shackles of sin by the hand of God, who goes before us in all things and is also our "rear guard." The Christian’s job is to stay pure after the Lord has brought us out of our bondage and sin.
By David C. McCasland
A recent news feature chronicled the growing search for stress relief through spas, massage, pills, and exercise tapes. The craving to ease tension has spawned an entire industry, including walk-in backrub stores in shopping malls across the country. The report ended by saying, “Although people will pay to fix their stress, they are not about to change the lifestyle that is causing it.”
No matter what the problem, our initial response is to treat the symptoms rather than the cause.
During the days of Isaiah, God’s people were not experiencing the Lord’s blessing. They went through the motions of worship and couldn’t understand why God wasn’t noticing their religious efforts (Isaiah 58:3). But while they were fasting, they were also exploiting their workers and fighting among themselves (verses 3-4). Isaiah condemned their hypocrisy and told them they needed to change. If they would free the oppressed, share with the hungry, house the homeless, and clothe the naked, God would bless them with healing, answered prayer, guidance, strength, and joy.
Religious activity is no substitute for an obedient heart. With God’s help -- and a willingness to change -- we can eliminate the root problems, not just the symptoms.
Christian life is not confined
To church one day a week;
God wants us to obey His Word,
Each day His will to seek. — Sper
-- Our Daily Bread, January 17, 1997
CONCLUSION: The sense of urgency found in Isaiah chapter 51 is maintained as the Lord warns of coming wrath (Isaiah 51:17-23). God's people must awake (Isaiah 52:1-2). God in the past acted to punish (Isaiah 52:3-6). He will soon act to save, and the joyous message of salvation will be announced to all (Isaiah 52:7-10).
The momentous announcement culminates in an even more intense call: Israel is to flee Babylonia and return to a pure and holy life (Isaiah 52:11-12). The last verses of the chapter properly belong with Isaiah 53, for they return to the Servant (Jesus Christ), the agent of God's salvation -- but this time to describe His sufferings, through which we will be redeemed.
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: “Religious activity is no substitute for an obedient heart.”
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REFERENCES: References used in the Bible study are the King James Bible (KJV), the Scofield Study Bible, the Believer’s Bible Commentary, Charles J. Woodbridge Bible Outlines, Lee Roberson’s Sermons, Don Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Women’s Study Bible, The Bible Reader’s Companion Ed. 3, The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version, KJV Bible Commentary, Dr. J. Vernon McGee © Thru the Bible Radio Network ( www.ttb.org ), Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the New Testament ed. 4, Cliff Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the Old Testament, With the Word Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s “Be” Series: Old & New Testaments, RBC Ministries ( http://rbc.org/ ), selected illustrations, and other references.
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