Awake, awake, Zion, clothe yourself with strength! Put on your garments of splendor, . . . Shake off your dust; rise up, . . . For this is what the LORD says: “You were sold for nothing, and without money you will be redeemed.” . . . “Therefore in that day they will know that it is I who foretold it. Yes, it is I.”
God is Here
An old man sits hunched in the dust. His wife and three children huddle around him. Their vacant stares and tear-swelled eyes telling a tale of hopeless surrender. In his hand, the father limply grasps a lyre. His captors call for a joyful tune, but when he opens his mouth all he can produce is a song of lament: “By the rivers of Babylon, we sat and wept when we remembered Zion” (Psalm 137:1).
Babylon had destroyed everything that Israel held dear and dragged them into captivity. Having lost hope of ever returning home, they were sleepwalking through life.
Still, they had reason for joy. They were God’s people. He hadn’t stopped loving them. He was with them. He hadn’t forgotten his promise to them. The long night would end. He would set them free and send them home.
What joy has been stolen from you? What sadness stings your eyes? We all suffer loss that leaves us slumped in the dust, sleepwalking through life, wondering, “Where is God?”
In our stupor, God speaks tender words of assurance. “Here I am,” he says, “Yes, it is I.”
God, who delivered us by his Son, Jesus Christ, is here. He, who strong-armed Satan and paid the debt of our sins on the cross, is here. He, who disarmed death and opened heaven’s gates for all who trust in him, is here. He has not forgotten you. He has not forsaken you. You are loved. You are forgiven. Heaven awaits.
Wake up! Watch for him in faith. Why surrender to sin? God arms you with strength in his Word. Why wallow in self-pity? God has purchased you for himself with the blood of his Son. Why sleepwalk through life? God will deliver you as he has promised. And when that day comes—when shackles, storm clouds, and shed tears are past—you will know that God is here and has the power to save.
Lord Jesus, when I am dismayed, be near me and deliver me. Amen.