Read: Isaiah 52:1-6
Awake, awake, Zion,
clothe yourself with strength!
Put on your garments of splendor,
Jerusalem, the holy city.
Shake off your dust;
rise up, sit enthroned, Jerusalem.
Free yourself from the chains on your neck,
Daughter Zion, now a captive.
It’s Time to Get Up!
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Waking someone up is hard. Trying to wake someone up when they really, really don’t want to wake up is almost impossible. Unless… you have something exciting to tell them. For example, would this get you out of bed? “Wake up… it’s your birthday!” Or, “Get up, today’s the day we leave for our vacation!” Or, “Time to get up, it’s the first day of school” (Okay, maybe not that one). The point is good news can be a really powerful thing when you need someone to get up.
That’s why God is sharing good news with his people (he calls them “Daughter Zion”) here in Isaiah. They had spent many years “asleep” in their faith. They forgot God and how much he loved them. They replaced him with false gods to give them what they wanted. As punishment, God allowed other powerful countries to take them from their homes, put them in chains and led them far away. Daughter Zion was captured. Unable to free herself, she slept.
But God woke her up. “Get up!” he said. He had good news to share. He was going to give back her strength, beauty, and freedom! They had been taken away, but now God was going to buy them back and bring them home. Now they would remember God and who he is and what he did for them. This was such great news! But would be enough to catch their attention and get them to wake up?
The thing is… we need our own wake-up call, too. We were held captive by sin, death, and the devil for so long… we fell asleep with no hope for rescue. But the Holy Spirit wakes us up with good news: you have been set free! Jesus bought you back from your captors. Isaiah said it was “without money that you were redeemed.” But that doesn’t mean it didn’t cost anything. Jesus paid the price for your freedom, not with gold or silver, but with holy precious blood and innocent suffering and death.
Today, the Holy Spirit shakes you awake with the best news you could ever hear: Get up! Enjoy the freedom Jesus bought for you. Wake up and celebrate the name of your Savior Jesus, who said he was going to do this for you a long time ago and kept his promise!
God our Savior, wake up our hearts from spiritual sleep and give us joyful hearts that love to hear the good news your Holy Spirit brings to us every day: the good news of sins forgiven in Jesus! Until the day you bring us home in heaven, we will celebrate your holy name! Amen.
The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.
Questions for Younger Children
- Who’s the hardest person in your family to wake up?
- God was going to wake up his special people. What was the special name he had for them? (Read verse 2 if needed – “Daughter Zion.”)
Questions for Elementary Age Children
- According to today’s devotion, why isn’t it good to fall asleep?
- What good news does God want us to wake up to?
Questions for Middle School and Above
- In verse 4 it says, “you will be redeemed.” “Redeem” means to buy back. How did God redeem us?
- How do Christians today stay awake once they do “wake up”?