(15) I, YHWH your God stirred up the sea so that its waves roared. My name is YHWH of Armies! (16) And I put my word in your mouth, and gave you protection under the shadow of my hand. I stretched out the heavens, I founded the earth, I said to Zion, “You are my people!”
(17) Get up! Get up! Stand firm, Jerusalem!
You have drunk from YHWH’s hand the cup of his wrath,
You’ve finished the wine-glass stumbling completely. — Isaiah 51:15-17
This is a good verse for early morningâ€”Get up! Get moving! There’s lots to do! Everybody groan together now.
It’s ironic that most people, if you ask them, really want joy. They want to be happy, fulfilled, and positive. Yet the place were we tend to settle naturally is one of unhappiness, dissatisfaction, frustration, and pessimism. This is even true of Christians, sometimes more so than others. It’s quite easy to take Christian doctrines like our sinfulness, which should be our motivation to seek God, and transform (or deform) it into an excuse to look down on ourselves and a reason to live unhappy lives.
There are three requirements to become a joyful person, living a happy and fulfilled life:
- Learn who you belong to
- Learn who you are
- Make the decision to live accordingly
Our verse really addresses all of these questions.
First, we belong to God. Who is this God? He’s the one who stretched out the heavens and founded the earth. He’s the creator of everything. It’s pretty easy for us to forget that. No, I don’t mean to say that we announce that God isn’t the creator, or that we actually believe God isn’t involved. Rather, we start saying that God isn’t active. Well, if God isn’t active, nobody’s around to notice it. We owe our existence to our creator. But we never have to worry about that, because he is who he isâ€”the creator.
Second, we’re important to God. We are ones he created, people he has chosen. Notice the end of verse 16. God is credited with three things: Stretching out the heavens, founding the earth, and telling the people of Zion that they are his people.
1Just look at the type of love the Father has given us, that we can be called children of God! And we are! Because of this the world doesn’t know us, because it didn’t know him. 2Loved ones, now we are children of god, and it has not yet been revealed what we will be. We know that when he appears, we will be like him, because we will see him just as he is. 3And everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as that one is pure. — 1 John 3:1-3
Third, he calls on us to wake up and get going, working with him. As part of that call, he has put his word in our mouths. Again, Wow! That is the word that created the heavens (Psalm 33:6-9). What a call! What amazing people we must be!
Wake up! Smell the coffee! Start living up to God’s call!