“Your God Reigns”
The setting in Isaiah 52 is the city of Jerusalem which had been invaded by the Babylonians, their Temple destroyed, and many taken into exile. Those that remained were in a state of confusion and despair, wondering “What just happened?”. This poem depicts a messenger running over the mountains to these broken and hopeless people to bring a “good news” – a news that would bring peace (shalom), happiness, joy, and salvation. What’s the beautiful message? “Your God reigns.”
When we look out into the world and see the brokenness and despair, the anger and fear, we may wonder how God is at work, or if He is even at work at all. When we look at our own lives, we may wonder the same thing. And yet, there is a beautiful message, “Your God reigns.” This is what makes the first Advent of Christ so incredible, and it was announced as “good news” that brings “great joy”! What we see in the birth of Christ celebrated at Christmas is that God had been at work all along, despite what anyone could see. Because of Jesus, God is in charge.
7 How beautiful upon the mountains
are the feet of him who brings good news,
who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness,
who publishes salvation,
who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”
8 The voice of your watchmen—they lift up their voice;
together they sing for joy;
for eye to eye they see
the return of the Lord to Zion.
9 Break forth together into singing,
you waste places of Jerusalem,
for the Lord has comforted his people;
he has redeemed Jerusalem.
10 The Lord has bared his holy arm
before the eyes of all the nations,
and all the ends of the earth shall see
the salvation of our God.
Make a Joyful Noise to the Lord
98 Oh sing to the Lord a new song,
for he has done marvelous things!
His right hand and his holy arm
have worked salvation for him.
2 The Lord has made known his salvation;
he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations.
3 He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness
to the house of Israel.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation of our God.
4 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth;
break forth into joyous song and sing praises!
5 Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre,
with the lyre and the sound of melody!
6 With trumpets and the sound of the horn
make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord!
7 Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
the world and those who dwell in it!
8 Let the rivers clap their hands;
let the hills sing for joy together
9 before the Lord, for he comes
to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
and the peoples with equity.