Meditation on Isaiah 52:1—15
The Lord’s Coming Salvation
Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passages of Scripture.
1. The nation of Israel, its history, is paramount in the unfolding story of salvation. From the creation and Adam and Eve in the garden flows the long story of the Messiah, the One chosen to be the means of redemption.
2. With Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob the story unfolds in real time. The 400 years of captivity in Egypt, the deliverance under the leadership of Moses, the desert wandering, the entrance into Canaan, the Promised Land, the building of the temple in Jerusalem under David and Solomon, the division of the kingdom into Israel and Judah, then the long history of the prophets.
3. Isaiah, prophet to Judah, 740 BCE and on, more clearly speaks of the servant of Israel who will emerge at some point in the future. He speaks of the calamities that befall God’s people, the loss of the northern Israel to the Assyrians, and later the Babylonian captivity.
4. Isaiah speaks about that which will be coming, the Lord’s coming salvation, and calls for celebration. He sees centuries ahead to the Messiah, the One who brings good news. He exults, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet” of the one who announces and publishes salvation.
5. But then the prophet seems to switch gears and speaks of this One being “lifted up,” which can be taken in two ways in the following chapter. One, exaltation as a great king, and two, treated so badly that He becomes unrecognizable.
6. Despite it all, and we understand Isaiah to be referring to the crucifixion, this coming One brings salvation and even to the Gentiles, here named, the “nations.”