Awake, awake, Zion, clothe yourself with strength! Put on your garments of splendor . . . Free yourself from the chains on your neck, Daughter Zion, now a captive. For this is what the LORD says: “You were sold for nothing, and without money you will be redeemed.”
Are you or is someone you know a sleepwalker? Sometimes, sleepwalking can result in some funny things happening. One time, my grandmother found my father sleepwalking, and he was trying to water the plants in the house! Sometimes, sleepwalking can be dangerous, like walking out into the middle of the street.
Spiritual sleepwalking is always dangerous. The people of Israel were spiritually sleepwalking through life. It was what brought them into captivity in Babylon. And for many, the lesson wasn’t yet learned. Many looked at their situation as strangers in a foreign land, unable to return home, as a reason to continue to sleepwalk through their spiritual life. Many thought God would not keep his promise of deliverance (even though he told them exactly how long it would be).
Friends, captive Israel is a picture of you and me as we wait for God to deliver us from the “captivity” of this sinful world and, at last, bring us home to heaven.
As you wait, watch out for spiritual sleepwalking! Be on your guard against sleepily stumbling through life because of the sorrow of living in this sinful world. Awake, and keep watch against the devil’s empty promises, which lure us into wandering into the path of destruction.
Through the prophet Isaiah, the Lord calls out to his sleepwalking people, “Awake, awake! Rescue is coming! In fact, it is already yours, even though you do not see it. I have given you garments of splendor because I have washed away all your sins. I have redeemed you, buying you back to myself without money. Not because you have no worth but because the price of your immortal soul is priceless. So I have sent my Son to purchase you with his precious blood. Only I can and will rescue you from your captivity. Only I can and will bring you home. Awake!”
Lord, in your mercy, wake me from my spiritual sleepwalking that I may be ever watchful for the day of your Son’s return. Give me the assurance that I already wear forgiveness as garments of splendor. Amen.